It’s that time of year again where you find yourself at parties and gatherings of friends, family, co-workers and, well, total strangers. Looking for the perfect way to not only be the life of the party, but also help move the algae industry forward?
Here are a few key talking points that will enable you to dazzle the crowd.
These cups we’re drinking from are recyclable. You know what else we should recycle? Carbon dioxide!
The CO2 from power generation can be captured and used to grow algae that can be transformed into valuable fuels, foods and chemicals. This approach to combating climate change not only removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, it also displaces petroleum fuels. A barrel of algae oil is one more barrel of crude we can leave underground.
Don’t forget to remind your audience that the value of algae-based food, fuel and feeds can also be a source of revenue, which is not at all the case for greenhouse gas disposal options such as sequestration.
Don’t let the headlines fool you — low oil prices won’t hold back the algae industry.
First, few think that low oil prices will last for very long. In fact, now is the time to double down on biofuel technologies that can be the foundation of an energy supply that can insulate us from the volatility of crude prices.
Algae-based biofuels can be made here at home, can be grown on non-agricultural lands, and don’t need freshwater supplies that are dwindling all over the world.
Besides, what’s the result of more investment in oil drilling? We usually just get more access to more expensive oil. Thanks to biotechnology and American innovation, renewable fuel prices get lower every year.
Forget food vs. fuel — how about food AND fuel?
Technologies that use algae to make Omega-3 oils, astaxanthin, plastics and in water treatment services are proving their value as business models.
If anything, low gas prices could ignite consumer confidence and push up demand for sustainable products made from algae.
Perhaps the largest effect of non-fuel applications will be felt in the oceans. Algae fish feeds can reduce pressures on stocks needed to supply aquaculture operations that will become increasingly common as the world adapts to feed a growing population.
And for improved health algal Omega-3 oils are already on the market. This product is incredibly important, and deriving it from algae will save vital fisheries that are otherwise headed for depletion.
Big algae opportunity the Gulf & Southwest
As the cold sets in be sure to remind people that recent research from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sapphire Energy has identified the most promising locations in America for commercial algae production, and the South is a big winner.
An analysis of climate, infrastructure availability of agriculture inputs found impressive potentials for cultivating algae along the Gulf of Mexico, especially on the Florida peninsula.
While algae can be commercially grown nationwide (check out the great success of BioProcess Algae), the research indicated that the southern coast of Texas, Louisiana and southern Arkansas are particularly attractive.
Turns out spring break students aren’t the only ones who love the sunshine.
And if you really want to impress your guests, mix up some algae cocktails. You can make a blue-green drink (recipe here) or one with actual algae (recipe here).
So make your final toast to a future where algae plays a role in smarter energy security, a stronger economy and a sustainable planet.