GNE

Algae as a Source of Green Energy


Most of our fossil fuels are now believed to be the result of algae that were compressed over the course of several millennia. The resource is fast running out, yet we continue to pump it out of the ground. As we deplete our resources, we discharge carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As people who care about our environment, we could do things differently.

Photosynthesis reverses global warming via greenhouse gases. Photosynthesis takes place in plants and in algae. Photosynthetic efficiencies of microalgae, when looking at biomass yields per hectare, are up to three hundred times greater than conventional crop plants. Greater light capture and conversion efficiencies will lead to reduced fertilizer and nutrient inputs. Microalgae also have a very short harvesting cycle (ten days), providing a continuous supply of plant oil all year round.

Finally, the strains of microalgae we grow enjoy high salt conditions. Water desalination facilities could be used synergistically. Waste water is also ideally suited to cultivate algae. Since no plant takes root, non-arable land can be used, reducing the competition for land crops and opening up new economic opportunities for arid, drought, or saline regions. Thus microalgae can supply all our energy requirements, by utilizing the oil, and all our food requirements by taking out the protein.