Algae Biodiesel

Algae Biodiesel

Biodiesel can be made from many different sources of oils, including animal fats and waste vegetable oils used in cooking. In fact, many home brewers are making their own biodiesel for use in their engines. However, commercially made biodiesel is made from many plant sources. Brazil processes thousands of pounds of sugar cane into biodiesel each year, while the United States processes soy and corn products.

Despite this mass of production, biodiesel fuels are not expected to replace the world’s oil supply by more than 25%. In fact, many people fear that using food products for fuels could drive the prices of these products up, which ultimately saves no one money. On the other side of that argument is the fact that the world can support both food and fuel, with lands for these crops available. Because of this hotly fueled debate, supporters of biodiesel are looking into new ways to make biofuel from plants which are not used as a food source.

The main focus for this purpose is algae. Algae is the world’s fastest growing plant, which makes it ideal for producing biofuel. The problem with producing algae for production into biofuel is the same as having enough space to grow crops for food and fuel alike. However, many companies are taking the challenge and investing time and money into figuring out how to grow the massive quantities needed for biofuel production, as well as where to produce it.

Because algae processes sunlight in one of the most efficient ways on earth, this means its far more efficient to make biodiesel from algae, rather than an alternative source like sugar cane or corn. There are challenges which must be overcome though, including how to transport biodiesel once it is made, without the transportation cost leaving the production company in a rut.

Algae for biodiesel is still a relatively new concept and its full commercial capabilities are as of yet unknown, as there are many algae strains which must be tested, including ways to grow the algae at maximum efficiency.

Home brewers looking to use algae as a biodiesel fuel source aren’t faced with the same problems which confront a commercial brewer. Since efficiency is not on the scale of problems for home brewers, many are refining step by step processes which will become cost effective, as this is the only concern for the home brewer.

Knowing this, home brewers may very well hold the key to unlocking algae as a great biodiesel source, as they have the time and resources large companies don’t have to dedicate to finding the best way to grow and produce algae which is an efficient bio-diesel source. Already there are many home brewers dedicated to finding the right mixture of growth and production which leaves them paying less for their algae fueled biodiesel than what they would pay at the gasoline pump.

It is very likely within the next few decades, we’ll see more and more biodiesel stations in the United States being powered by algae.

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