We need to support this technology and start selling the algae from our tanks.
Forget that! I'll start driving my car with algae! ;D
Hopefully it'll take cyanobacteria too
I have to play devil's advocate and provocateur on this article. Much like the other "biofuels" I question the source of energy the algae use. We all know that algae thrive when nutrients are abundant. What are they using for nutrient? I know that jet fuels have a very large octane level and therefore need a lot of organic carbon sources to be rendered. The article mentions it doesn't use a source that is competitive with food, but where does it come from.
Reason I am so skeptical is I don't want to see another problem arise from a solution.
Sirdarksol, db was just telling me about it this morning. I couldn't believe it.
I agree we should be looking at things like that, KyWildFish, but it should also be mentioned that nothing is free. There's a tradeoff for everything. Solar power takes silica that could be used for other products, and mining the silica harms the land. Petroleum-based products are similarly damaging, and we are at the end of their usefulness. Nuclear power requires similar mining, and then there's the concern about the remaining waste. Wind energy requires land and minerals to make the turbines. Geothermal is spotty in efficacy (a collapsed vent can throw a generator offline).
Back to the algae.
Yes, this is, ultimately, competing with food, but no long-term source of energy doesn't in one way or another. We've all seen, however, just how quickly algae can grow and how well it can grow under minimally advantageous conditions (give it some light, some phosphorous, and some nitrogen, and it's happy.)
In fact, due to human action, there are numerous places where algae is overgrowing, because our fertilizers are dumping excess phosphorous and nitrogen into waterways. In MN, for example, there is an excess of algae in most of our lakes, to the point that it's killing our fish off. It would be advantageous to set up a sustainable farming system in some of the larger MN lakes, if a use for this algae could be found.
Algae farms could be set up that could turn waste products into fuel. It's not a matter of finding a free fuel, because you're right, it just can't happen. It's a matter of how can we create the most energy with the least drain on our other resources.