The Algae Will Save Us...

Every so often, in the slew of environmental news I try to keep up on day-to-day, something really strikes me as being a light at the end of the tunnel. With the world in economic recession and the ecosystem a total shambles, it's sometimes hard to keep hope that we'll start finding some legitimate answers to these self-created problems. Then I read something like this, and my hopes are reignited, even just a little.

Everybody knows that green plants help to clean up the atmosphere by converting CO2, yeah? Well how about this: ALGAE. Infinitely renewable, easy to grow, and after some time, it decomposes into vegetable oil that can be used to create biodiesel, jet fuel and plastic products.

Companies all over the world are jumping on this initiative, including American groups Sapphire Energy, OriginOil, BioCentric Energy and PetroAlgae, Japan Airlines, and Brazil's MPX Energia, which plans to trap anywhere between 10 and 15% of the carbon emissions from a coal plant by feeding them to algae.

We're a long way from having this idea become commercially viable, but it's a step in the right direction. Who would have thought that pond scum you avoided like the plague at the watering hole as a child might hold the key to cleaning up our act?

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