New Method to Produce Biofuel System
at Michigan State University have revealed a way to enhance oil production and harvest using ‘sea sludge’. This platform lowers the costs of cultivation and harvesting whilst increasing productivity. The biofuel production platform uses two species of marine algae and soil fungi.
Both the organisms, Nannochloropsis oceanic (algae), and Mortierella elongate (soil fungi), when placed in the same environment, create big masses that are visible to the naked eye. This aggregation method is called bio-flocculation.
The oil produced is capable of being harvested for human use. For example, it can power cars, other components in the oil like, omega-3 fatty acids which can benefit the health of a person’s heart.
Other advantages to the biofuel system discovery include sustainability, cost-savings, as the big masses of algae and fungi are easily captured with simple tools and an easier scalability, as the organisms are wild strains that have not been genetically modified.
This discovery also solves the two issues that impede biofuel production. The first is that this bio-floc- culationculation approach differs from previous biofuels syssystems as it does not rely on only one species of algae. The second issue is the high cost of harvesting oil due to algae being so small and difficult to collect.
In the future, this method could be used to mass produce biofuels with the new bio-flocculation system, as the scientists feel that they could implement genetic engineering tools as to further advance the method.