Energy

Algae-Based Biofuel from Waste CO2

Algenol is commercializing a technology that creates ethanol and other fuels from algae. At the company’s facilities in India and Florida, their process allows algae to convert sunlight, seawater and waste CO2 into sugar much faster than through natural photosynthesis. The waste CO2 is sourced from other industries. Through fermentation, the sugar is converted into ethanol and biomass, which is further refined to green gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.

Production facilities are located on non-arable land close to the sea. The biofuels are therefore produced without competing for land suitable for food production and without contributing to fresh water consumption.

Why you should care

Transportation accounted for 22% of global CO2 emissions in 2011. Algae-produced biofuels have the potential to make greener, price-competitive fuels from abundant resources. The energy yield of the process is up to 20 times that of ethanol made from corn, according to Algenol. Fresh water scarcity is another critical issue challenging the globe, and Algenol claims that for every gallon of fuel they produce, 1.4 gallons of fresh water are also created.

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