Algae are changing our world again. They have already helped to shape our earth into the hospitable, oxygen abundant place that it is. Now they are quickly becoming a renewable source of fuel, agricultural feed, chemicals, plastics, and so much more.
Algae can do all of this because of a few unique advantages.
- Algae consume carbon dioxide (CO2) as a food source, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. This means that algae can be ‘fed’ using the emissions from any number of pollutant sources like power plants, cement factories and manufacturing facilities.
- Algae grow incredibly fast, doubling their numbers every few hours. This makes algae capable of being many times more productive than conventional crops.
- Algae store energy in the form of oils and carbohydrates, which allows them to produce up to 5,000 gallons of biofuel per acre per year.
- Algae can grow in any number of areas that are nutrient rich but inhospitable to traditional crops, like areas polluted with waste runoff. Not only will algae be growing in polluted areas while they create essential products for us, they can consume many of the pollutants, leaving cleaner waters behind.
These basic advantages give algae the world-changing potential to create a renewable energy source that recycles our waste, provides new products, and purifies our air.
Members of the Algal Biomass Organization are working hard to harness these advantages, and the algae industry is quickly expanding as more people begin to appreciate what algae could do for our future. If you’d like to learn more about algae, go to allaboutalgae.com.