Thursday, October 11, 2007

Grow car fuel in the ocean? A very good idea

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north sea

Biofuels are often criticized for using too much land that could otherwise be used for farming food. Turns out, one of the better sources of biofuels, acre for acre, is algae and it grows great where real estate is a steal: the sea! There are also fresh water algae fuel projects and there have been tests conducted using iron to cause algae blooms in the ocean, a wacky solution to global warming. Researcher John Munford did some number crunching and an algae farm the size of the North Sea (pictured) could produce enough fuel to replace all the fossil fuels we use today. There are real questions of how to harvest algae in the sea but whoever cracks that nut will be rich. There is simply not enough land to spare to grow biofuel crops economically. But, wiht the Earth being 70 percent ocean, I think of that moment in The Graduate: if you are a smart, young, kid not sure where to focus your research, I got two words for you: saltwater algae. That's how it went, right?

[Source: The Economist]


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