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Fact or Fiction: Algae Biofuels
by Staff
While you can't pull up to the pump and fill up your car with fuel made from algae, researchers hold out hope that these common organisms will help reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels. Test your knowledge of one of the potential fuels of the future.

Algae can be grown in water that is unsuitable for food or plant production, such as saltwater and wastewater.

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As algae grow, they consume carbon dioxide, thus offering the additional benefit of lowering greenhouse gases.

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The molecular structure of algae biofuel is different from that of petroleum fuel.

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The Aquatic Species Program, created to explore algae as a potential fuel, was established in 1996.

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Algae may be able to yield more than 2,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year of production, which is much higher than other sources.

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Some species of algae have an oil content of up to 60 percent oil by weight.

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The algae used to produce biofuel takes a long time to grow.

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One million acres of land would be required to produce the algae necessary to replace fossil fuel use in the United States with algae biofuel.

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Algae can grow only in limited conditions.

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Algae-based fuels are carbon-neutral.

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Some biodiesel manufacturers are building algae biofuel facilities near power plants.

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Researchers are experimenting with altering the genetic structure of algae to produce more efficient crops.

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Algae biofuel has been used to fly a commercial plane in the United States.

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Algae's harvesting cycle lasts from one to 10 weeks.

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Most research on algae for fuel production focuses on macroalgae such as seaweed.

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Researchers have developed special nutrient solutions for aquatic environments to help algae grow there.

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The main problem with using chemicals to extract oil from algae is the high cost.

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Growing algae for biofuel in open ponds is challenging because of the possibility that it can become contaminated.

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There are tens of thousands of different strains of algae that could be used to produce fuel.

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Algae grow best in outdoor environments.

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