Growing algae for biofuel production not only provides a sustainable source of alternative energy, but is also good for the environment.
Unlike row crops, algae growth is not dependent on a particular season. Algae crops can thrive wherever there’s plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures.
Naturally, algae grow in seawater. But algae can also thrive in desert ponds, using high-saline water from aquifers that can’t otherwise be used. Many species of algae can even grow in wastewater from treatment plants and water that contains nitrates, phosphates, and other contaminants.
Algae are inherently carbon neutral and can clean the environment by taking CO2 from the air as part of their growth process. Algae farms could be located near industrial pollution sources, such as carbon-producing refineries or power plants, and help clean the air by consuming CO2 as they grow.
Algae can feed off the nutrients in currently discharged wastewater or seawater, and the high-quality protein left over from algae harvests can be converted to bio-products, like livestock feed.