A little-known yet long established industry in commercial algae farming is coming to the rescue of the increasing controversy surrounding biodiesel. Unlike crops such as soy, palm, corn and rapeseed, many strains of micro-algae contain as much as 70% oil – up to 25 times more than oil seed rape.
With increasing interest in biodiesel as an alternative to fossil fuel, many have looked at the possibility of growing more oilseed crops as a solution to the problem of peak oil, raising concerns over the displacement of food crops and rising feedstock prices.
Set to become the world’s first super fuel feedstock algae is also capable of absorbing nitrogen from wastewater and extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Algae needs just water, sunlight and nutrients for an oil-bearing life and can be grown in open ponds or sealed in clear tubes to produce far more oil per acre than soybeans – a controversial source for biodiesel.
The many advantages of Micro algae include:
ˇ All year cultivation and has a short life cycle
ˇ The fastest growing plant on earth – 100 times faster than trees – typically doubling their weight everyday
ˇ It requires only raw materials that are abundant: sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and nutrients
ˇ Algae can grow in adverse conditions like deserts and saline waters
The UK will get its first demonstration of the revolutionary 2nd generation biofuel at Biodiesel-Expo in October, when AlgaeLink, a subsidiary of Dutch firm Bioking, will unveil their revolutionary photobioreactors.
Richard Price, Director of Biofuels Media commented: “Algae is probably the most exciting development in biofuels today as it has an extremely high yield and does not have the disadvantages associated with other feedstocks. We are delighted to be showcasing Bioking’s technology at the Biodiesel-Expo.”