Biotech Updates

Halophytic Micro-algae: New Source of Biofuel

September 18, 2009

Halophytic (salt-loving) micro-algae is being considered as a feedstock in biofuel production, reported Professor John Cushman of the University of Nevada during the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. "Salt-loving algae could be the key to the successful development of biofuels as well as being an efficient means of recycling atmospheric carbon dioxide."

The micro-algae can be grown on marginal lands with wide range of water sources including brackish and municipal waste water. They can grow all year round in warm, tropical and sub-tropical climates, thus more productive than terrestrial crops. In colder climates, Prof. Cushman has extended the algae production from three to nine months. Their current research is now focused in finding suitable algal strains and in identifying the key components in the oil biosynthetic pathway that will lead to an immediate and significant impact in biofuels industry.

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