Those Algae Might Look Green...

July 27, 2010 | 20:05
Those Algae Might Look Green...
Those Algae Might Look Green...
But are they?! Algal biodiesel is a potentially green and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for some. For example for Exxon Mobil, who invested over 600 million USD in cultivating algae that consume carbon dioxide and produce biodiesel.

But they might be doing it all wrong, suggests research of Anna Stephenson of the University of Cambridge. She created a computer model to calculate the carbon footprint that comes with production of biodiesel with algae.

The potential problem - the source of carbon emission in the biodiesel production - is the energy needed to move the algae around in their containers, to ensure they receive enough sunlight to be able to produce biodiesel. Using small perspex tubes could result in a carbon footprint four times that of producing regular diesel! A potential solution could be producing the algal biofuel in open ponds to cut back on carbon emission.

Photo credit: Business Wire
» Read more at NewScientist

Loading comments...
related items