June 29, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

Farm Algae for Energy

June 29, 2010 — Why manufacture fuels when microbes can do it faster, better and cheaper?  Researchers at the University of Cambridge are wiring electrodes to algae to produce “green energy” – solar-powered fuel that is carbon-neutral, “cheaper to produce, self-repairing, self-replicating, biodegradable and much more sustainable – real green energy.”
    The team has already connected a film of algae to run an electrical clock.  They did this by harvesting some of the electrons produced by algae’s photosynthetic machinery.  The University of Cambridge made an exhibit for the Royal Society’s Summer Exhibition called “Meet the Algae.”  In addition to a demo of the “biophotovoltaic device,” it features “other ways in which algae could be exploited, including for production of biodiesel and high-value products such as vitamins.”  The exhibit seeks to acquaint viewers with the “beauty and diversity” of these organisms, and the important roles they play.  A 3-minute video clip in the article explains how important algae are to the planet.  Algae produce half the oxygen we breathe, and are just as important as the rain forests. 
    The solution to the world’s energy crisis may be right around us.  Algae are found everywhere – at sea, on glaciers, in hot springs, and in moist soil.  “Algae offer considerable potential as a source of bioenergy,” the article said. 

Amazing facts, good science with applications that help humanity, and no mention of evolution.  Keep up the good work.

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