I’m a firm believer in algae.
It seems that the future of our clean water, energy, and fuel can all come from algae. Indeed, algae can produce good products as an alternative to oil. Indeed, more research has gone into using algae as a fuel source and it looks more promising than ever.
“We’re looking at microscopic marine algae that produce fatty acids and do not have a cell wall. We plan to genetically modify the algae so that they will continuously produce these fatty acids, which we can then continually harvest,” Roberts says. “We also plan to genetically modify the algae to produce fatty acids of a specific length, to expedite the conversion of the fatty acids into fuels that can be used by our existing transportation infrastructure.” Specifically, Roberts says, “the goal is to create fuels that can be used in place of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel – though jet fuel will be the most technically challenging.” In other words, they hope to make fuels that are 100 percent compatible with the existing fuels’ storage and distribution system and run in existing vehicles – no modifications necessary.
And, Roberts stresses, “it has to be cost-competitive, or none of this makes sense. It’s easy to be cost-competitive when oil is at $300 a barrel, but it’s harder when the price of oil drops. Our goal is to optimize this technology so that it is cost-competitive, renewable, can be produced domestically and is environmentally friendly.”