Algae Biodiesel Organization (ABO) recently reaches a conclusion from the first-ever study that analyzed results from an existing algae-to-energy demonstration scale farm that Algae biodiesel burns cleaner than petroleum fuels and is less resource-intensive than first-generation biodiesel.
Algae biodiesel can reduce vehicle lifecycle CO2 emissions 50 to 70 percent compared to petroleum fuels. "With significant emissions reductions, a positive energy balance, nutrient recycling and CO2 reuse, algae biodiesel will be a long-term, sustainable source of fuels for our nation," Mary Rosenthal, ABO's executive director, told Hybrid Cars.
algae biodiesel vehicle
The study of algae biodiesel comes from a new peer-reviewed paper published in Bioresource Technology. Authors of the study did a lifecycle analysis of an algae cultivation and algae biodiesel production process currently used at pre-commercial scales by Sapphire Energy.
Field data for the study came from two of Sapphire's New Mexico facilities – one in Las Cruces and the other in Columbus – that grow and process algae into algae biodiesel. Sapphire's Green Crude can be refined into gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.
Once the algae biodiesel reaches commercial scale, it's expected to produce biodiesel with lower greenhouse gas emissions. First-gen biodiesel in the US are made up mostly by corn-based ethanol, which makes up to 10 percent of "normal" gasoline and, in some cases, up to 15 percent.