What about algae?

There are a couple of reasons why researching algae is relevant:

  1. they can grow much faster than any other crop,
  2. they can grow in wastewater or in places not useful for normal agriculture,
  3. they can contain high concentrations of vegetable oil (up to 40% or 80%, depending on the source),
  4. they are easily cultivated: just some water with nutrients and trace elements + light will do,
  5. they fixate carbon dioxide while growing

Currently, we are facing ever increasing global energy demands. Yet, our resources are mainly limited to fossil fuel and nuclear power, both non-renewable resources. To increase our energy production, we should research new technological pathways.

Numerous companies and research institutions currently research algal production as a second generation biofuel:

Algae hold great promise as a possible source of biodiesel because they grow rapidly, are rich in vegetable oil and can be cultivated in ponds of seawater, reducing the need for fertile land and fresh water. Many companies are seeking ways to produce algal oil on a commercial scale, but they face significant hurdles. – Shell

Algae makes oil naturally. Raw algae can be processed to make biocrude, the renewable equivalent of petroleum, and refined to make gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemical feedstocks for plastics and drugs. Indeed, it can be processed at existing oil refineries to make just about anything that can be made from crude oil. – Technology Review

Algae can be grown in two types of systems: open pond system or closed photobioreactors.


2 Responses to “What about algae?”

  1. Martin Tampier Says:

    Hoi Arjan,

    Het lijk dat we op hetzelfde thema werken. Wij hebben de opdracht uit te vinden of het wel of niet mogelijk is om algae in Britisch Columbie to grooien om biomassakraftstoffen to produceren (ofwel methaan).

    Ik zal dus heelwat geinteresseerd wezen om te zien of wij tot hetzelfde resultaat komen.

    Laat me weten hoe wij in contact kunnen blijven…


  2. abdelnaser Says:

    I WANT to ASK you about the percentage of free fatty acid of algal oil?

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