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Is algae the fuel of the gods? Well, on paper, it very well could be. Industry evangelists predict a bright future in which algae farms produce the equivalent of the entire amount of petroleum the United States' currently uses in a year. Even better: Algae could potentially do this using just one percent of the country's land mass and might actually remove carbon from the atmosphere in the process.
Sounds great, but there are some problems.Many analysts have serious doubts about algae's ability to produce fuel at scale. The young industry has had trouble developing a systematized process for producing the fuel and, so far, no company has been able to convert the fast-growing plants to something you could put in your tank for anything less than $8 per gallon.
Despite this, many people are holding out for a slimy green future powered by agitated pond scum.
Find out more at GOOD.is
Read more about algae:
15 Algae Biofuels Startups to Watch
New Algae Biofuel from Sapphire Energy "Chemically Identical to Gasoline"
Green Star Creates Breakthrough Micronutrient that Boosts Algae Growth