Biofuels from Algae and Seagrass, and Electricity from Eels


 

Seeking methods of fuel production that are in sync with nature is one of today’s biggest challenges. Not surprisingly, several solutions can be found beneath the sea. Global Seawater, a company that studies possibilities of renewable, ocean-based agriculture, is testing a common sea plant called Salicornia that can provide more high quality vegetable oil per plant than soybeans. Global Seawater claims one underwater acre of Salicornia would yield 90-100 gallons of biodiesel.   University of Arizona researchers are experimenting with the technology and other projects are underway worldwide… Simple algae are getting the biggest buzz for biofuels. Algae, grown in big ponds, are a favorite because it takes few resources to grow, and it doesn’t compete with food production, a major drawback of other biofuels, like ethanol from corn. In Britain serious efforts are underway to commercialize algae biofuel by 2020 and have it provide a major portion of the country’s fuel needs.. Finally, the biggest eels can produce charges up to 600 watts of electricity, enough to power your computer, monitor, printer and office lighting simultaneously…at least for a moment. Scientists at Yale say electric eels   generate electricity better than many manmade devices. They hope to replicate the eel cells to act as a power source for medical implants.

Alaska Fish Radio-Laine Welch


 

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