Dried algae

Dried algae

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This image is part of the feature Superfuel From Superbugs

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dried algae on finger produced by Greenfuel Technologies, USA. Algae are photosynthesising microorganisms that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and sunlight into lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. GreenFuel Technologies has built a system that feeds waste CO2 from industrial smokestacks into an algae bioreactor. By using strains of algae that produce high concentrations of proteins, the algae can be dried and used as fertiliser, animal feed or burned as biomass. High lipid producing algae strains could also be used in the system. The lipids can be harvested for use as vegetable oil or biodiesel. Algae grow rapidly and are simple to cultivate. Unlike fossil fuels, algae products are bio-degradable and non-toxic. Photographed in 2007.

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