Essay on Algae: Plant to Bio-Fuel

Essay on Algae: Plant to Bio-Fuel

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Algae: Plant to Bio-fuel
Introduction
There is a lot of talk about the world’s source of energy going on these days and people are starting to ask questions about our sources of energy. Is it environmentally friendly? Does it make sense economically? For years the world has been highly dependent on fossil fuels that are extracted from the ground. These fuels power things from power plants, cars, plains, and many of the other modern conveniences that we enjoy. There is a lot of energy expended in the extraction and transport of these fuels as well as many negative environmental impacts. Scientists are busy finding alternative ways to power our world that are cost efficient and ecofriendly. One idea that is being explored as an effective replacement is producing oil from algae. Algae have a high content of oil, about 50 percent of its weight, and science is finding a way to use it as a clean fuel source.
Getting Oil from Algae
Turning algae into crude oil is relatively simple and quick process. A mixture of algae and water are placed in what is essentially a pressure cooker. It is cooked at temperatures of 660 degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure of about 3000psi. This produces oil that is extremely close in make up to the petroleum oil we drill out of the earth. Since it is so similar it can be made into something like diesel using existing methods and facilities. The water left over will be packed with nutrients like nitrogen and can be sold back to the algae growers to fertilize the growing algae. Researchers are also searching for different types of algae that are better for different kinds of fuel. Some algae are better for gas while some algae are better used as diesel fuel.
Compared to other plant based oil sources, such a...


... middle of paper ...


...ce continues to advance the cost of algae oil can be lowered to a competitive price. It will have a positive impact on the environment, putting fewer emissions into the atmosphere and actually consuming carbon dioxide as it grows. It is an option that can help solve many of the problems faced by the energy world.



Bibliography
http://inhabitat.com/cal-poly-project-produces-energy-and-purifies-water-using-algae-and-human-waste/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115132840.htm
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/04/01/algae.oil/index.html?_s=PM:TECH
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121126142850.htm
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/scientists-turn-algae-into-crude-oil-in-less-than-an-hour-180948282/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/12/23/green-oil-scientists-turn-algae-into-petroleum-in-30-minutes/




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