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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Algae as renewable energy;

The major benefits of using algae as source of bio-fuel;


What is the potential bio-fuel source of algae?

 What are algae? 

Algae are a group of photosynthetic, plantlike organisms, mostly adapted to aquatic habitats. The cellular construction of algae may be a simple single cell to multi cellular organisms. Algae are the green froth seen above the surface of ponds. The classification of algae is controversial; they are classified under plants as they are autotrophic and can synthesize their food by photosynthesis. But in the other hand, algae are not considered as plants because they lack certain complex structures of plants such as true leaves, rhizoids and roots.

What is the role of algae

Algae play a great role in the function of ecosystem and food chain. They serve as food for fishes and other organisms living in aquatic environment.

What are the uses of algae

Algae are used in various manners; they are used as a source of food for animals and humans since long times ago. The highly proteins supplement spiraling is prepared from algae and used for treatment of malnutrition for children. Recently it is discovered the potential productivity of bio-fuel from algae.

How algae to grow

Algae are found in freshwater, seawater, and can grow in damp soils and rocks; they withstand in both hot and cold weathers. The single cell algae grow by dividing themselves by tow. They can also reproduce through a sexual reproduction and feed themselves through the process of photosynthesis like plants.  Some types of algae feed themselves on symbiotic, parasitic and saprophytic relationships with other trees or aquatic plants.

What is Bio-fuel from Algae

Bio-fuel refers to fuel produced from living recently dead organisms. It can be in the form of solid, liquid or gaseous states. One of the major benefits that can be derived from algae is the algae bio-fuel. Bio-fuel is used for running vehicles, generating electricity for different appliances and cooking.

What is the potential bio-fuel source of algae

Due to the large biomass presence of algae in freshwater and marine sources the studies have been conducted for the useful algae as a potential source of bio-fuel. For production of bio-fuel, large cultivation of algae is started in many areas in the world.  

What are the synthesized fuels from algae

The important fuels synthesized from algae are vegetable oil, biogas, biodiesel, biomethanol, bioethanol, biobutanol and dry fuels such that are similar to coal. Therefore many countries have implemented highly sophisticated techniques for enhancing mass scale cultivation of algae.

What are the Advantages of algae as Bio-fuel

The rapid growth of algae is a contributing factor for mass cultivation without spending extra sources. Some species of algae can double their mass daily. There are many advantages of algae in comparison to traditional fossil fuels and other bio-fuel sources, like soybeans or jatropha.

The major benefits of using algae as source of bio-fuel are that:

1.    Many algal species, particularly the small one can be used to extract bio-fuel.
2.    The yield of vegetable oil from algae is much higher than land crops; about 30 percent.  
3.    Marine water as well as wastewater can be used for mass cultivation of algae.
4.    Unlike fossil fuels, bio-fuel produced from algae are biodegradable, thus reduces the chances of environmental pollution.
5.    In case of spillage of algal bio-fuel in water sources, there are no significant effects on the ecosystem; algae based bio-fuel does not affect the natural freshwater sources.
6.    It is observed that about 60 percent of algae biomass can be converted into bio-fuel. The microalgae species are more productive of bio-fuel than the larger algal species.
7.    The amount of carbon emission after using algal bio-fuel is lower than those of fossil fuels.
8.    Among the uses of algae for human being are that algae rich in proteins, minerals and nutrients and can be used as fertilizers for crops.
9.    Different kinds of algae are used for medications, cosmetics, livestock feed and for pollution control.
10. Aquatic animals largely benefit from algae as they provide food for microorganisms on which fishes can feed.
11. Algae also provide shade to the aquatic animals living in the ponds and again algae enrich water with oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, which then benefits the aquatic living.

What are disadvantages of Algae

In spite of many benefits of algae as bio-fuel, there are some drawbacks.
1.    The performance of algal based bio-fuel is lower than other alternatives such as bio-fuel extracted from rapeseed and soybean.
2.    The production of bio-fuel from algae results in several unstable compounds.
3.     As bio-fuel production from algae is relatively new technology, therefore further researches are required to develop standardized protocols for cultivation and bio-fuel production.
4.    Excessive amounts of algae may result to harmful of the marine life because algae sometimes block sunlight from the aquatic plants, which can cause their deaths due to the strangulation.
5.    The process of deriving bio-fuel from algae is still expensive and requires constant temperatures.
‹hysgys›

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