Promising Biofuel Found From Algae


Researchers at SAMS believe that they have figured out North Atlantic Ocean-based algae as an “ideal sources” for biofuel.


The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) have discovered “super-algae” a new biofuel sourced from North Atlantic Ocean-based algae.

To produce biofuels from microalgae, high yields must be generated.  Using a newly devised technique, scientists examined microalgae strains in the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), an internationally important algal store based at SAMS in Oban, to find out which ocean-based strains had the highest oil content.

The results reveal that two types of algae contains dry-weight oil content of more than 50 percent.  “This work paves the way for large-scale trials of these strains to uncover their true biotechnological utility in the years to come”, Says Dr. Stephen Slocombe, from the Scottish Association for Marine Science.

Micro-algae synthesise high levels of oil, carbohydrates and proteins from sunlight but only a few species are currently grown commercially for medicinal purpose, such as Omega-3 oils and pro-Vitamin A. Currently over 10,000 researchers across the world  are trying to identify the best performing strains to produce high yield.

Dr Michele Stanley, Centre Lead for Marine Biotechnology at SAMS, said: “There has been a great deal of interest in the last few years surrounding biofuels from microalgae linked to a very limited number of species.  This research generated by the Biomara project not only highlights the potential of marine algae as sources of biofuels but also for a wider set of biotechnology applications.”

source: ForArgyll