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Algae Biofuel

  • By: Ille C. Gebeshuber, Richard Gordon & Mark O. Macqueen
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Algae fuel is advanced biofuel produced by algae, small, mostly photosynthetic organisms that consist of one to a few cells. Some are more closely related to bacteria than to plants. In the process of photosynthesis, algae convert carbon dioxide (CO2), nutrients, and sunlight into oxygen and biomass, including oil. This is achieved in a highly efficient way, and it is estimated that the production of oil from algae could be 10 to 100 times higher than second-generation seed-oil crops, up to 200 barrels per hectare (ha) per year. Also, heterotrophic (nonphotosynthetic) algae can be utilized for oil production. Fossil algae may have produced our crude oil.

The reason why algae produce lipids is still unknown. The lipid oil droplets in diatoms might counter the weight of ...

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