Is Algae the Next Big Thing?

Those of you cursing the unsightly algae on your lake front, take heart.

In the very near future you may be running your car on the stuff. It’s said to be cheaper than oil and burns 28 percent cleaner.

A California-based company Solazyme, has been researching over 14,000 species of algae and developing methods of large scale production. In 2010, Solazyme sold 150,000 gallons of algae fuel to the US Navy and has even produced jet fuel derived from an algal source and is collaborating with Qantas Airlines on renewable aviation fuel.

Company co-founder, Jonathan Wolfson stated in a recent interview that, “algae is by far the best thing on the planet at making oil…”

One acre of algae can produce up to 10,000 gallons of algae oil per year. The company has been driving a Mercedes Benz C320 around to promote algae oil and has recently teamed up with Chevron to explore commercialization of this renewable energy source.

At Solazyme, the algae is fermented in large vats, much like beer. It’s considered a very promising source of fuel because several species of algae contain high levels of oil that can be refined into fuel. Algae feed on carbon dioxide and create oxygen in the process.

And one of the by-products of refining algae into fuel: a flour that makes great tasting cookies!

Company co-founder, Jonathan Wolfson stated in a recent interview that, “algae is by far the best thing on the planet at making oil…”


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