An increasingly energy thirsty world craves transportation fuels, lucrative oils to run factories, and energy to supply the astounding amount of electronic devices that are proliferating.
There is a great need for a new sustainable energy resource. Algae can contain high levels of oils, carbohydrates, sugars and proteins, and can be used to produce renewable fuel, animal feed, and human food.
Algae is used to run electricity to homes in Arizona and shows great possibility for a future in biodiesel.
Heterotrophic microalgae are grown in large fermenters using sugar or starch, similar to the corn ethanol fermentation already providing almost 10 percent of our liquid transportation fuels.
Algae can reproduce rapidly, faster than any other plant and is the oldest living microorganism. Autotrophic microalgae are cultivated in large ponds or in enclosed photobioreactors using an enriched C02. This process can help reduce greenhouse gases overall through algal biomass.
Algae naturally store oil and continue to evolve. These oils are cultivated and used to make biodiesel and other chemicals. Algae can additionally purify waste waters because they thrive in sewage, animal wastes, and some industrial effluents. The algae purify the waste water while producing a biomass suitable for biofuel production.
Algae plants can help create much needed jobs in a faltering economy. Since algae can grow in a multitude of climates it can generate jobs across the United States. Opportunities in research, engineering, marketing, construction, farming, and financial services would abound.
The Algal Biomass Organization projects that a possible 220,000 jobs could be available by 2020.
Algae could eventually replace crude oil and help us to lower emissions and provide better national energy security.
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