Carbon Dioxide: A Renewable Resource?

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Picture smog filled cities being pollution free, while producing clean biofuel and oxygen. Highly polluted areas, such as the Los Angeles area, pose a threat to the elderly, children, and people suffering with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) (“People at Risk,” 2013). Algae can be used to harness the carbon dioxide, nitrogen, make oxygen and be refined for biofuel. Cyanobacteria is the most common type of microalgae used for biofuel (“Massachusetts company making,” 2011) The biofuel from algae can be cost effective, only costing ten to twenty dollars a barrel to produce. However, there are still financial set-backs to the algae biofuel market (Pienkos, P., Laurens, L., & Aden, A., 2011). A french scientist has even invented a lamp of algae, which runs off carbon dioxide and produces oxygen (“Large scale Algae Street Lamps to clean the air off its CO2 content,” 2012). A few companies are researching microalgae biofuel production: Joule Unlimited and the Natural Resource Energy Lab. Methods for finding other strands of microalgae biofuel include natural trial and error testing and genetic engineering (Pienkos, P., et al., 2011). “Algae lamps” and microalgae biofuel are some tools Los Angeles can use to clean their air. Over a hundred and thirty milling people live in areas where the quality of air is unhealthy (“Key Findings,” 2013). Smog is characterized into two types: Inversion and photochemical. Inversion smog happens when the air becomes unmoving, which makes the smog into a poisonous, deadly cloud. Photochemical smog is a chemical reaction between car exhaust, ozone and sunlight, turning the car exhaust into “formaldehyde” (“Air pollution and pollutants: anthropogenic,” 2010, p. 24). The American ... ... middle of paper ... ...ssociation. Retrieved from http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/key-findings/ Large scale street lamps to clean the air off its CO2 content. (2012, April 12). Ecofriend. Retrieved from http://www.ecofriend.com/large-scale-algae-street-lamps-clean-air-its-co2-content.html Massachusetts company making diesel with sun, water, CO2. (2011, February 27). The Gainesville Sun. n.d. Pienkos, P., Laurens, L., Aden, A. (2011, November 11). Making biofuel from microalgae. American Scientist. 474 (6). Randakovits, R., Jinkerson, R., Fuerstenberg, S., Tae, H., Settlage, R., Boore, J., Posewitz, M. (2012, February 21). Draft genome sequence and genetic transformation of the of the oleaginous alga nannochloropis gaditana. National Communication. 686 (3), doi: 10.1038/ncomms1688 Rodgers, B. (2010, August 12). Algae presents danger to animals. The Jamestown Sun.

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