Algal-derived biofuel as an alternative for our fossil fuel dependency

After tweeting about algal biofuels a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would make a blogpost about it too.

It was originally this video that got me thinking of the practical application of algal-derived biofuel as an alternative for our fossil fuel dependent society. Solazyme is the biotechnology company that made produces the biofuel and is featuring a Volkswagon car running on algae-derived biodiesel in the video.

Properties of algal-derived biodiesel

  • It combusts a lot faster (produces less gunky byproducts)
  • Straight chain molecular structure (less carbon dioxide emissions)
  • Strains can be modified in order to produce specifically-designed fuels

Current being applied:

  • United commercial flight from Houston to Chicago
  • US Carrier fleet, destroyers, jets, helicopters at RIMPAC (pretty much everything except the nuclear engines)
    • The Navy decided to have a 50/50 blend
  • Food products
  • Cars
  • Makeup/skin products

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed the video and seeing the wide application of algal-derived biofuels. For the future, I sincerely believe that more research is required to stop lake-wide blooms of algal (that can cause sincere damage to local ecosystems) and turn that threat into a solution for our unrelenting dependency on fossil fuels.

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