Advanced biofuels, including those derived from algae, have many benefits over fossil fuels. They are renewable, they can reduce our dependence on imported fuel, and developing a new industry will provide thousands of American jobs.
Now it is looking like engines running on biofuels tend to run longer, cleaner and more efficiently.
Algal biofuels have been tested in almost every type of vehicle. In the air, jet fuels made from algae have been certified for commercial and military use. On the ground, the fuels have been tested in cars, trucks, and they were recently demonstrated in an algae biodiesel motorcycle that broke a land-speed record.
The purpose of these tests was to show that a normal engine would be able to use biofuels without modification. In many cases the tests have consistently shown that biofuels have several characteristics that make them better for engine performance and longevity than fossil fuels.
Take a look at two types of biofuels that have undergone some the most extensive testing:
Test flights have shown aviation biofuels have a higher energy density that imparts better fuel mileage. Engines running on biofuels also encounter lower burn temperatures, which means less fatigue on parts and longer engine life.
Biodiesel has also been shown to burn cleaner, which means fewer health impacts from harmful emissions.
These types of advantages are becoming clear as algae-derived fuels are produced and used in higher volumes. It is likely that other advantages will emerge as algae companies increase their production, adding to an impressive list of reasons to support the development of advanced biofuels that can be made here in the U.S.