Derived from the Latin word that means “seaweed”, algae are a diverse group of “autotrophic organisms” which can be used to produce: agar, alginate, fertilizer, energy, biofuel, nutritional or magnificence products, pigments, and stabilizing substances (Source Wikipedia). They can be used for pollution management.
There are over a hundred,000 different types of algae, and they are often found in virtually every local weather around the world. Some algae grow higher in numerous environments than others. Some thrive in saltwater or freshwater, while others flourish in wastewater. Some algae are also found in terrestrial environments (even in snow and ice). In latest times, when homegrown gasoline sources seems to carry extra significance than ever earlier than, scientists are testing numerous algae beneath different conditions, to improve algae farming practices, and to finally sometime, exchange gasoline with this carbon neutral biofuel.
Why all of the hype about algae? Aside from removing all dependency on foreign oil, microalgae can produce up to 60 instances the oil of its land based plants counterparts. Additionally, under the precise situations, microalgae can produce oil that may be converted into biofuels. These biofuels can then be used for nearly something that presently uses gasoline or diesel to operate equivalent to: cars, boats, trains, airplanes, in addition to yard or farming gear simply to call a few. Microalgae are additionally in a position to transform sunlight into power, and like different plants, algae depends on carbon dioxide to develop. That is nice news for the surroundings, as algae really removes carbon dioxide from the environment. Some researchers suggest that it is also useful to construct algae farms next to current energy plants (that use fossil fuels), so that they will feed and develop directly off their carbon dioxide exhaust emissions(capturing them earlier than they would be released into the ambiance).
You could now be asking, how on earth do algae create oil? Algae are harvested and housed on algae farms worldwide, in large reservoir basins called “raceways”(as they resemble automobile raceways) or “ponds” which domesticate a brand new crop of algae every few weeks. Oil is extracted by actually breaking down the algae’s cell construction. That is accomplished through the use of varied solvents, or through sonification (sound waves). As soon as oil is extracted, it still requires further processing at an oil refinery earlier than it’s prepared to be used as a biofuel.
What are the drawbacks of utilizing algae? Though there are various apparent environmental benefits in the usage of algae as a biofuel, there are a number of downsides. One such downside is the fact that algae pond facilities require over a thousand acres of land per facility (Source Scientific American). Another subject is that the market for this biofuel just isn’t presently in great demand. Even if supplied in the present market, it would be very costly making petroleum fuels nonetheless the first choice of shoppers. Currently these biofuels are only in demand in locations where conventional petroleum fuels are scarce.
Trying forward, it could be in lots of nations greatest curiosity to further examine methods to get this biofuel to the mainstream market at an inexpensive price to the patron. A technique, may be to form partnerships with oil companies to carry the product to the prevailing market, or to look at more environment friendly ways to additional improve algae farming practices. While the “fracking” process utilized in oil extraction has detrimental results on our planet, so would the installations of countless algae farm services have on its pure panorama. Regardless of algae’s unique means to take away fossil fuels from the ambiance, further innovation shall be required to supply an alternate to the current blueprint of algae pond services that may inevitably require too much land to be encroached upon, leading to significant habitat loss.
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