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Algae is a credible source for biofuel, according to a professor in the University of Illinois, with many benefits. Professor Lance Schideman in U of I’s Agriculture and Biological Engineering department says among the various biomass feedstocks being researched for alternative fuel, algae has important advantages. Schideman says its fast rate of growth, its ability to clean up water resources and grow on lands not useful for agricultural purposes make it a front runner among other biomass sources. And, he says the latest research suggests algae could produce far more gallons per acre than soy biodiesel or corn ethanol.
Schideman estimates producing biofuels from algae will be economically feasible within 10 years but predicts decades longer before it or any other biofuel could replace petroleum.
The University of Illinois is studying the harvesting of algae as a solution to the hypoxia problem created by algae growth in the Gulf of Mexico. And, it’s looking at carbon sequestration through algae biodiesel production.
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