Question by NFrancis: Will algae help us become energy independent?
-With our current biodiesel feedstocks, like soy and palm, there’s no way we could grow enough to supply all of our transportation needs. In fact, it would actually require twice the land area of the US devoted to soybean production to meet current heating and transportation needs.
-Algae, on the other hand, could supply all U.S. diesel power using a mere 0.2% of the nation’s land.
-Enough algae can be grown to replace all transportation fuels in the U.S. on only 15,000 square miles or 4.5 million acres of land.
– Algae is the highest yielding feedstock for biodiesel, producing 24 times more oil per acre, on average, than the next leading feedstock–palm oil at 635 gallons/acre/year.
-One company can produce 180,000 gallons of biodiesel every year from just one acre of algae. That comes to about 4,000 barrels, at a cost of $ 25 per barrel or $ .59 per gallon.
-To put that in perspective, it takes 3,750 acres of soy to make the same amount of biodiesel at a cost of about $ 2.50 per barrel for 4,000 barrels.
-It is possible to use human sewage and wastewater from agricultural endeavors to enhance the growth of algae. In fact, when done right, algae can double and even triple overnight with the addition of these fertilizers.
-Plus, as algae grows it absorbs C02 from the air.
-In addition, fertilizer for other food crops can be produced by using the leftover nutrients that aren’t used to make the biofuel.
Answer by littlerobbergirl
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