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Fuels from algae

Fuels from Algae?

WHOI marine chemist Chris Reddy samples algae from the ocean for his research on biofuels. Like terrestrial plants, algae and other phytoplankton produce sugars and fats to store energy and then burn them to fuel their growth and metabolic activities. These chemical compounds in plants are often used by humans, as well: Cooking oils are made of fats extracted from all sorts of plants (sunflower, safflower, and olive), and ethanol is produced from corn sugars and blended with gasoline. Reddy and his colleagues are exploring chemical compounds extracted from algae that might be used to make biodiesel, jet fuel, and other useful products.  (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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