Algae – $1.9 Trillion Opportunity

Turning  algae into fuel, i.e. algal oil, on a commercial scale, could become one of the most significant technological and economic events of the early 21st century. If this feat is accomplished, and it’s not certain it will be, it will have dramatic, disruptive consequences to oil producers, oil refiners, ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels producers, biotechnology companies, agricultural producers, consumers, motor vehicle makers, regulators, R&D activities and investors, among others.

Since algal oil offers a direct potential replacement for petroleum and plant-derived oils, the market opportunity is tremendous.

This is according to a recent report from Amadee+Company: Algae For Fuel, Algal Oil, Biofuels, Biodiesel, Ethanol And The Future Of Petroleum And Green Energy: Global Markets, Technologies, And Opportunities: 2009-2020 Analysis and Forecasts.

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Algae to electricity.. Inhouse..

Though there is research into algae as an alternative energy source, no one had really explored the possibilities of developing this in a domestic setting.

Domestic setting makes it interesting for most of the third world countries and the quantum of electricity is large enough, it can attract developed world, which already have net metering in many countries.

Krugg and his team mates at The Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge it seemed to be possible to integrate the waste products of the inhabitants of the house, into the generative cycle of the algae’s growth.’ Each of the team stresses the symbiotic relationship between humans and algae at the heart of the structure.

Krug explains the process, ‘by depriving the algae of sulphur, it naturally produces hydrogen which you can then harness.’ There is a photovoltaic bioreactor, on the side of the building, algae is inserted inside this, almost like an aquarium as it were, in tube form. Algae needs moderate temperatures and they are shaded against excessive heat. Energy is also produced by processing algae bio-mass into hydrogen which is then converted to electricity using a hydrogen fuel cell. They also believe they can increase the energy available through genetic modification of the algae.