Biofuel : Third Generation Biofuels

Algae fuel, also called oilgae or third generation biofuel, is a biofuel from algae. Algae are low-input, high-yield feedstocks to produce biofuels. It produces 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans. With the higher prices of fossil fuels (petroleum), there is much interest in algaculture (farming algae). One advantage of many biofuels over most other fuel types is that they are biodegradable, and so relatively harmless to the environment if spilled.

The United States Department of Energy estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (38,849 square kilometers), which is roughly the size of Maryland.

Second and third generation biofuels are also called advanced biofuels.

Algae, such as Botryococcus braunii and Chlorella vulgaris, are relatively easy to grow, but the algal oil is hard to extract. There are several approaches, some of which work better than others. Macroalage (seaweed) also have a great potential for bioethanol and biogas production.

Most biofuel production comes from harvesting organic matter and then converting it to fuel but an alternative approach relies on the fact that some algae naturally produce ethanol and this can be collected without killing the algae. The ethanol evaporates and then can be condensed and collected. The company Algenol is trying to commercialize this process.

Related post :

  1. Biofuel : Second Generation Biofuels
  2. Biofuel : First Generation Biofuels
  3. Biofuel
  4. Making Biodiesel From Waste Vegetable Oil

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