Algae biofuel surpasses petroleum fuel in environmental quality by reducing CO2 emissions by 50 to 70 percent. It is also on par with petroleum in terms of efficiency, which makes it a top contender for our next fuel of choice.
A study based on real-world data analyzed two algae biofuel facility sites owned by Sapphire Energy. Their examination of Sapphire Energy showed their green crude biofuel can be refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Their goal was to observe the benefits of this biofuel as well as see the implications on a commercial scale.
The study showed estimates of the life cycle energy of algae and produced an emissions profile using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). This process was found to be beneficial due to its ability to recycle nutrients and accept algae with 90 percent water. This gives them an in depth analysis of what is happening at pre-commercial scales.
The study projected this process can be used at commercial scales with low amounts of CO2 emissions, and if produced using the HTL method, can have high energy investment returns.
The implications of this study are profound. For a long time we have struggled to find a biofuel that works as well as petroleum. In addition to proving the environmental benefits over petroleum, this study has shown that algae biofuel can perform as well and can still be as
profitable as petroleum.
The results of scale in this study are important too. This biofuel needs to be able to be produced on a commercial scale so it can be as accessible as petroleum. With the environment and efficiency in mind, it seems algae biofuel meets all if not most of our needs, making it a serious candidate for worldwide consumption.