Global Algae Innovations
You know when you are minding your business, swimming in a lake or ocean and suddenly a green blob touches you and you are not down. That stuff could power your house, your car, or it could even stop global warming. Algae, plural, encompasses a large number of stemless, rootless, leafless usually monocellular plants that get energy from photosynthesis. Algae exist in many colours like red, yellow, purple, brown, black, and of course, green and blue-green which we all are aware of and all of these absorb light that turns into energy. For both salt and freshwater animals and birds, algae are the source of the energy. The decomposition of it enables minerals to release into the water, while the latter supplies a shelter to small fish and invertebrates. If nature loves it so much, then why don’t we humans? Global Algae Innovations to check.
It is a completely renewable source, made from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. It is a very sustainable renewable fuel. Dave Hasselback, the founder of Global Algae Innovations, thinks that these tiny plants can be way more valuable than they are already. He is working with his team, turning Algae into fuel for cars, trucks, and aeroplanes. The ones they are dealing with are the microalgae which are a single-celled that grow all the way out and multiply like crazy. They can be fed mainly on, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Eventually, as they multiply, they fill up the pool called as raceways. Then they are pulled out and after being drained from the water and dried. That is a really hard process actually.
This dry alga can be turned into food for animals (or people), but when you feed them certain things or stress them in certain ways, they can produce oils and many different things that are beneficial for nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals stuff. Over 100,000 different types of algae are known till now which store energy in the form of oil. This oil can be easily converted into drop-in fuels to be used as gasoline, diesel, and jet that in current engines. Moreover, no special modifications are needed to run an algae biofuel and despite the fuel produced are exactly same in performance as compared to the renewable diesel; actually perform better than petroleum-based diesel.
Bio-fuels, like these, are energy sources that come from living matter. They stand apart from fossil fuels which by the way, also come from living matter, reason being bio-fuels are made now, and not over millions of years. Ethanol, a fuel made from corn, is easy to make with the industry we already have, but it is not the best bio-fuel as it takes a lot of time to grow a field of corn, but to grow a lot of algae is a lot faster and is just a plant. Above all, it is believed and assured by the U.S. Department of energy that algae could be 10 or 100 times more productive than other bioenergies.
Bio-fuels are new; Henry Ford’s model-T was designed to run ethanol, but ethanol only packs half the punch of gasoline. As people are getting aware of the issues with global warming and climate change, biofuel technology has been improved. Fossil fuels release carbon that was trapped inside of our planet for millions of years, but biofuels are plants that capture carbon dioxide, not getting it released which is part of it. You can grow 40 times more algae per acre than you can with terrestrial crops and as a result, you don’t have all the deforestation. On top of that, these biofuel farmers only need the oil. The algae can be used for industrial applications and in food and drugs. The algae even contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are required for healthy humans, but difficult to find in the food chain.
Algae are such extraordinary little creatures that produce energy without polluting the environment, but this process isn’t perfect yet. In the past, biofuels have been very expensive as it is very difficult to remove it from the water. Though according to Dave, they are down to 2 or 3 dollars a gallon to make it now, they still can’t make it enough to compete with large petrol-gas companies. Hopefully, in the future, algae raceways could replace oil fields, and gas stations will pump out biofuel eliminating global warming in its tracks.