Ecology of farming algae for bioenergy
(2/4/2014) 10 minutes


Living plants and microbes produce the same compounds found in fossil fuels, therefore energy can in principal be farmed in the same way as food. Microscopic algae account for half of all photosynthesis on earth, and can double their biomass in hours rather than weeks or months as with terrestrial plants. Algae have attracted much attention as potential bioenergy crops, however the processes for domesticating and developing technologies typically takes decades to centuries. We apply principles from ecology and evolution to developing productive and sustainable systems for generating transportation energy from algae. These approaches work in concert with methods from modern molecular and synthetic biology with a common goal of fostering productive and robust bioenergy systems with minimal environmental impacts.

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