Algae has been the least-publicized source for biodiesel fuel, yet it may hold the greatest potential for simultaneously tackling the two problems of our dependence on fossil fuels and global climate change. Green Star Products, Inc. announced this week that a consortium of independent companies will begin constructing two demonstration "algae-to-biodiesel" production facilities…
By cultivating algae as the choice food stock for biodiesel we would not only produce up to 60 times more oil per acre than if we used traditional agricultural crops, like soybeans, corn, or canola, we’d also help cut the level of our most problematic global warming gas, CO2, as the algae devours it while emitting clean oxygen.
Joseph LaStella, president of GSPI, cites another reason to look to algae. A U.S. Department of Energy report states, "In a world of ever more limited natural resources, algae technology offers the opportunity to utilize land and water resources that are today unsuited for any other land use needs. For example, microalgae complements rather than competes with other biomass-based fuel technologies."
The report goes on to confirm that microalgae is one of the most efficient CO2/O2 exchangers on the planet. It is also one of the most varied ecological groups of organisms, at the same time as it is one of the least studied.
The two GSPI algae processing demonstration facilities will be in production by late summer 2007 in the U.S. and abroad.
A short Green Star video (2:00) describing the project will be viewed by more than five million people on Continental Airline flights during the months of April and May, according to the company Web site.