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Can algae biofuels become viable?

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    29th Sep, 2022

Context

To harness the potential of Algae in biofuel production and to reduce dependence on conventional fossil fuels like petrol and diesel, several industrial and government initiatives have been launched since last decade.

So, let us see up to what extend it is viable.

About

What is Biofuel?

  • Biofuelis a fuel that is produced over a short time span from biomass, rather than by the very slow natural processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as oil.
  • Biofuel can be produced from plants or from agricultural, domestic or industrial bio waste.

How it can be produced from Algae?

  • Algae can be produced in ponds or tanks on land, and out at sea.
  • Algal fuels have high yields, can be grown with minimal impact on fresh water resources, can be produced using saline water and wastewater, have a high ignition point, and are biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled.
  • Production requires large amounts of energy and fertilizer, the produced fuel degrades faster than other biofuels, and it does not flow well in cold temperatures.

Types of Biofuels:

  • Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermentation, mostly from carbohydrates produced in sugar or starch crops such as corn, sugarcane, or sweet sorghum.
  • Cellulosic biomass, derived from non-food sources, such as trees and grasses, is also being developed as a feedstock for ethanol production.
  • Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using trans-esterification.
  • It can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form (B100), but it is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles.

Verifying, please be patient.

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