With a plummeting economy, increased air pollution, threats of radical climate change, and peak oil just around the corner, many scientists are very busy looking for alternative energy resources. One possibility may come as a surprise, even for shore-dwellers: using sea algae as biofuel.
Scientists have been toying with the idea since the 1950s, but have begun taking a closer look at algae alternatives, as recent research has indicated that not only might algae produce a lot of oil – as much as 15 times more per acre than other plants used for the same purpose, such as corn – but it also seems that algae can grow in salt-, fresh-, or even contaminated water, and may even thrive on greenhouses gases, thus increasing its obvious ecological benefits.
Research is still in the very early stages, but work is being done at multiple sites to develop the economic feasibility of the process. Not only is seaweed a powerful source of nutrients, a rich compost, and a beneficial additive to a number of other health and beauty products. It may be an even more varied resource than we’d thought.
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