Microalgae Hold Great Promise for Tackling the Global Need for Sustainability, Better Health, Energy Security, and Climate Stability
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- Algae use photosynthesis to efficiently and quickly convert CO2 and other greenhouse gasses into valuable oils and biomass as feedstocks to produce Omega-3 EPA and DHA oils, animal feed, and biofuels. As the earth’s most productive and sustainable plants, microalgae can double their mass daily with growth rates up to 100 times greater than land plants used to make similar products.
- In addition, microalgae cultivation is gentle on the planet. It does not need to be “farmed” on arable land which is better used for food production; instead microalgae farms and biorefineries can be established on marginal land unsuitable for growing food crops. Marine microalgae can also be grown in brackish or salt water, thereby preserving valuable fresh water sources for human, animal, and agricultural use.
“Put quite simply, microalgae are remarkable and efficient biological factories capable of taking a waste (zero-energy) form of carbon (CO2) and converting it into a high density liquid form of energy (natural oil).”–A Look Back at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic
Species Program : Biodiesel from Algae, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)