category – Info site on biofuel from algae

Excerpt of email from

As you might be aware, algae represent an exciting feedstock for oil and fuel – Biodiesel and ethanol production. One of the key reasons is that the yield from algae is over one hundred times that for soy! Many of the other problems present with the traditional oilseeds such as palm & soy, and with ethanol feedstock such as corn and molasses/sugarcane are not present in algae. Algae can grow pretty fast, practically anywhere in the world, does not contribute to deforestation and does not interfere with the existing food crop value chains. Algae can also be used to absorb CO2 from polluting areas such as sewages and power plants and in the process give us oil! Add to these the fact that the fossil oil we use today was formed primarily from algae . All these are reasons enough to explore algae as a potentially important feedstock for our future oil and energy needs.

Oilgae provides resources, news and discussion forums, and serves as a community platform for those exploring the production of oil and biodiesel from algae.

This is a fascinating way to create fuel. The future will bring a multitude of new ways to producing fuel, algae to biofuel will certainly be one of them.

[tags]algae, biofuel, biodiesel[/tags]

  • I recently read that some big company was selling liscenes for technology to grow algae and convert it to biodiesel. These were intended for use in the “tribal lands by Native Americans”. I am not sure what that means. Rhodes University in South Africa have been working with algae to oil production in resource poor communal farming ares for some seventeen years. You simply reap the algae, like any other plant, you extract the oil, like you would with any other plant and you convert the algae to biodiesel as you would with any other oil.
    There is no mystery about it. The difference is that huge commercial concerns are trying all sorts of ways to grow huge quantities of algae for diesl production at their huge plants. They estimate x and plan to produce x. they then estimate the capital outlay and their expected returns. If they do not get x the share holders fire them. Whereas rural farmers choose to reap their algae whenever there is an algae bloom. they can choose whether to feed it to their cattle or take it down to the communal extraction plant. Either way they retain the added value in their own community and do not have to pay anyone royalties or liscences for simple processes that have been known to mankind since time immemorial.

  • DJ

    The cool thing about algae (in this context) is that it’s virtually a weed– it’s hard to get it NOT to grow in fresh water. And it grows even better in some polluted waters. In my hometown back in NH, one lake was almost killed by algae growth linked to sewage discharge from a neighboring town. It took over ten years to reverse the damage.

    BTW, has anyone explored making fuel from Russian thistle or tansy mustard? I’ve got plenty of that available for free!

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