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Superalgae to yield green fuel in future
In a San Diego laboratory almost all the test tubes are green in colour as they are filled with pond scum containing algae. It is an endeavour to make an alternative green fuel by creating a superalgae.
IN A San Diego laboratory almost all the test tubes are green in colour as they are filled with pond scum containing algae. It is an endeavour to make an alternative green fuel by creating a superalgae.
 
As per the claims of the scientists there at the laboratory, foreign genes are being spliced into algae and native genes of the algae are being tweaked.
 
The test tubes contain algae of different strains which are in, a general term, fighting with each other which is an effort to accelerate the evolution of fast-growing, hardy strains.
 
Their goal is to create a kind of superalgae which will be highly efficient in converting the sunlight and carbon dioxide into lipids and oils which will be refined to make diesel or jet fuel.
 
“We’ve probably engineered over 4,000 strains,” said Mike Mendez, a co-founder and vice president for technology at Sapphire Energy, the owner of the laboratory. “My whole goal here at Sapphire is to domesticate algae, to make it a crop.”
 
It is not an endeavour, first of its kind; rather over 100 other foundations are trying for the same kind of green fuel by trying to utilise the algae as a source of green energy.
 
“There are probably well over 100 academic efforts to use genetic engineering to optimize biofuel production from algae,” said Matthew C. Posewitz, an assistant professor of chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines, who has written a review of the field. “There’s just intense interest globally.”
 
Algae has a potential to produce 10 or even more than 10 times of fuel per acre than the corn to make ethanol or soybeans to make bio-diesel.  
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