Algae Biofuel Becoming a Reality?

September 19, 2008 at 10:01 pm 1 comment

I’ve written about algae biofuel a number of times before (see links at the end) and it is definitely a topic that really interests me. I’ll be honest, the idea of growing crops – that could be used for something else – on prime agricultural land for the purpose of making fuel just seems a little out of whack to me.

Ideas like cellulosic and algae biofuel on the other hand just seem to make sense. I think the algae technology in particular holds a special appeal for me due to my background in aquatic biology. I have spent a great many hours with my eyes glued to a microscope, staring at all sorts of algal species, and have always found them to be fascinating organisms – but I certainly never imagined that they could offer so much potential!

Just some of the advantages of using algal biofuel technology include: 1) incredible space-efficiency (far more fuel can be produced per unit area), 2) no soil requirements 3) no fresh water requirements 4) certain algal technologies have even been designed to absorb CO2 from smokestacks!

As exciting as the possibility of harnessing algae’s potential has been, it still seemed like one of those technologies that everyone talks about, and looks great in the lab and on paper – but something nobody is brave enough to actually try commercially. Well, it looks as though that is no longer the case! I caught a post over at EcoGeek that gave me reason to feel optimistic.
Here is an exerpt (link to follow):

Green Fuel Technologies just announced they had begun construction of their commercial scale algae plant while PetroSun announced they’d be taking their pilot algae farm commercial on April 1st.

Now, this obviously isn’t ethanol, with millions of gallons of production…or even cellulosic ethanol, with a wood-waste to fuel plant ready to go online this year, but it is a big deal.

It’s a big deal because algae don’t just create energy from the sun…they create energy from the sun more effectively than anything else save photovoltaic panels. And, as you may have guessed, they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than photovoltaic panels. Green Fuel Technologies is adding another environmental advantage, planning to hook their algae bioreactors up to the smoke stacks from power plants.

Be sure to check out the full article here: Algae BioFuel On Sale Soon

Needless to say, I will be very interested to see how this all pans out!


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