Corn ethanol curse strikes again? Algae fuels have large footprint

The article Corn ethanol curse strikes again?  Algae fuels have large footprint discusses the possibility of algae becoming the next potential biofuel to be discarded as a viable alternative to petroleum based fuels.  Algae as a fuel is grouped in the category of second-generation biofuel stocks, which include non-food crops like switchgrass, crop waste, and lumbar waste.  The potential in algae is that it can be grown in marginal areas that do not compete with food growing farmlands (the downside to corn ethanol).  However, according to a study conducted by the University of Virginia, “growing algae for fuel is more energy- and water-intensive than other biofuel crops.”  The plus side, however, is that feeding algae with phosphorus and nitrogen would clean up wastewater and would decrease algae’s fossil fuel footprint.  “If we decide to move forward with algae as a fuel source, it’s important we understand the ways we can produce it with the least impact.”


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