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  • We all need fuel to get around. And as America takes steps to improve our energy security,

  • homegrown fuel sources are more important than ever.

  • The Energy Department is researching one of the fuel sources of the future found here:

  • in algae. Have a look at this algae farm. These large, man-made ponds are called raceways,

  • and they cultivate a new crop of algae every few weeks.

  • You see, algae, or more correctly, microalgae, are very small aquatic organisms that convert

  • sunlight into energy. Some of these algae store energy in the form of natural oils.

  • Under the right conditions, algae can make a lot of oil that can be converted into biofuels.

  • Algae could potentially produce up to 60 times more oil per acre than land-based plants.

  • Extract that oil, and you have the raw materials to make fuel for cars, trucks, trains, and

  • planes. In the future, anything that runs on gasoline and diesel could also use biofuel

  • from algae. The oil is extracted by breaking down the

  • cell structure of the algae. This can be done by using solvents, or sound

  • waves. After the oil is extracted, then it is further

  • processed at an integrated biorefinery or, in the future, at a traditional oil refinery.

  • Another great benefit of algae? Consider this: like plants, algae needs carbon dioxide

  • to grow and that's good for the environment, since it takes CO2 out of the atmosphere,

  • making it a nearly carbon-neutral fuel source. There may even be opportunities to build algae

  • farms next to power plants that use fossil fuels actually using CO2 exhaust to feed

  • algae ponds. There are over 100,000 different strains of

  • algae. Some grow better in different climates, or in freshwater, saltwater, or even wastewater.

  • So, scientists are testing different algae under many different conditions to find the

  • best strains and develop the most efficient farming practices.

  • While commercial production is still a ways off, algae holds great promise to become a

  • reliable, homegrown fuel source to reduce our nation's reliance on foreign oil.

We all need fuel to get around. And as America takes steps to improve our energy security,

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B2 中高級

能源101|藻類轉化為燃料 (Energy 101 | Algae-to-Fuels)

  • 112 10
    Cheng-Hong Liu 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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