Could Cars of the Future Run on Algae?
These days, most cars run on traditional gasoline. There is diesel fuel and there are electrics but good old-fashioned gasoline is still the fuel of choice. Science has other ideas about how to fuel cars so someday you may be pumping your tank full of algae. That's right. Get ready to power your car with the sticky green scum you usually see floating in a pond. Microalgae is made up of a whole bunch of single-celled organisms that are capable of photosynthesis. This means that as they absorb sunlight they turn it into energy. Some kinds of microalgae produce oils to store that energy and those oils are what scientists hope to turn into fuel for our vehicles. RELATED: See Photos of the 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas
This fuel is better for the environment because it reduces pollution and because it's a renewable resource. Algae-based fuel is already in use so it's not just a pipe dream. It powered a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Houston back in 2011 and Japan's Euglena Co. will soon be using it to power a fleet of buses in that country.
Although a great idea for it's renewability and low pollution, there are still challenges. According to Gizmodo, there's only a very specific type of algae that will work for this fuel so scientists need to figure out how best to harvest this strain. Also, it is incredibly expensive. Once those hurdles are overcome, then algae stands a chance of becoming a widely accepted fuel source.
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