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Algae fuel or algal biofuel is an alternative to fossil fuel that uses algae as its source of natural deposits. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially viable. Like fossil fuel, algae fuel releases CO2 when burnt, but unlike fossil fuel, algae fuel and other biofuels only release CO2 recently removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis as the algae or plant grew.
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SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE:
Algae grow much faster than food crops, and can produce hundreds of times more oil per unit area than conventional crops such as rapeseed, palms, soybeans, or jatropha. As algae have a harvesting cycle of 1–10 days, their cultivation permits several harvests in a very short time-frame, a strategy differing from that associated with annual crops.
Microalgae production also includes the ability to use saline waste or waste CO2 streams as an energy source. This opens a new strategy to produce biofuel in conjunction with wastewater treatment in order to get reclaimed water. When used in a microalgal bioreactor, harvested microalgae will capture significant quantities of organic compounds as well as heavy metal contaminants absorbed from wastewater streams that would otherwise be directly discharged into surface and ground-water. Moreover, this process also allows the recovery of phosphorus from waste, which is an essential but scarce element in nature – the reserves of which are estimated to have depleted in the last 50 years.
The algae based biofuel has all the abilities to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for oil and gas. Presently, several government agencies and companies are funding the research and development activities to reduce the operating cost and capital involved in algae fuel production. The algae fuel would not only help to meet the oil and gas demands but also provide a clean source of energy. The increase in demand for oil coupled with the government regulations providing support to the development of biofuels can have a positive impact on the algae fuel market. Moreover, the volatility in supply and prices of crude resulting from geopolitical differences and varying demand from consumers further strengthens the possibility of using algae as a fuel. The algae can be used to produce biodiesel, bio-butanol, bio-gasoline, methane and jet fuel. The micro algae are capable of producing the huge amount of usable oil and biomass in the bio reactors and the algal ponds. The oil can be easily converted into biodiesel that can be used as a fuel in vehicles.
List of major Associations and Societies on Algae Fuels:
List of Companies:
This page will be updated regularly.
This page was last updated on 14th Sep, 2015
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