(9) Algae Based Fuels
Algae makes oil naturally, Raw Algae can be processed to make bio-crude, the renewable equivalent of petroleum.
This can be refined to make gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and chemical feed stocks for plastics and drugs.
Can be processed in existing oil refineries to make similar bi-products.
Algae can be :
Grown in open ponds.
Grown on marginal lands using water from saline aquifers.
Some types can produce oil up to 60% of their weight.
Produce far more oil per acre than soyabeans, a source of oil for bio-diesel.
Past studies at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) , USA terminated in 1996 without conclusion mainly because of low oil price.
Recent studies initiated in Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.
Observations of Kathe Andrews Cramer, lead researcher for bio fuels and bio energy:
“ Algae have the potential to produce a huge amount of oil”.
“We could replace certainly all of our diesel fuel with algal-derived oils, and possibly replace a lot more than that”.
Observations of Lissa M. Jones, CEO of Live Fuel, Menlo Park, CA,
“Clearly it (producing fuel from Algae) can be done. The only question is whether we can do it cheaply. And the only way we are going to find out, crank it through, spend some millions on it, and make it happen”.