Algae has emerged as a popular element in industries like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, biofuels, and more. Most recently, the benefits of algae has been making waves in sustainable energy and environmental technology. Algae has numerous benefits that make it an ideal choice for creating a variety of interesting products. These are our top 10 surprising uses of algae.
#1: Algae Is Efficient to Create BioFuel
Algae is one of the most efficient sources for creating biofuels, which makes great fiscal sense for many companies looking to increase their biofuel production. In fact, algae has been known to produce as much as 5,000 biofuel gallons from a single acre in one year.
#2: Algae Can Use Land That Would Otherwise Go to Waste
Algae is remarkable in the way that it grows because it does not need to take away space from traditional plants such as corn, wheat or beans. Algae can be grown almost anywhere as long as the proper conditions are created. Algae uses water that is not suited for regular crops and facilities can be built on any type of land, making it easy for farmers to farm algae in areas where traditional crops would not do well.
#3: Algae Can Be Used for Animal Feed
Algae has a high protein content and can be grown to have an even higher protein content. This helps to make algae ideal as an animal feed. Algae also has numerous micronutrients that can enrich standard animal feed.
#4: Algae Can Function As An Energy Source
The goal to create a biofuel has never been closer with algae becoming a real possibility. By extracting oil from the algae, the rest of the algae product can be used to create biofuel that fuels power generation sources. This helps take the pressure off of coal, natural gas and nuclear power. It is a comparable biofuel to hydroelectric and geothermal energy sources.
#5: Algae Can Be Used To Create Vegetable Oil
Many people think of olives, safflowers and peanuts as ways to create vegetable oils, but algae can also be used to create vegetable oils. In fact, some predict that algae may produce even more vegetable oil than these plants when grown and harvested properly.
#6: Algae is a Great Human Food Supplement
Unlike other plant foods, algae actually has a complete amino acid profile meaning that it is a complete protein. This means that one of the most unexpected uses of algae is supporting human metabolic processes in ways that typical plants may not be able to. Algae also has numerous nutrients including minerals and trace elements essential for optimal health.
#7: Using Algae as Fertilizer
Algae fertilizer is especially useful because it is a living organism. When you use algae as a fertilizer, it quickly begins to break down releasing its abundant nitrogen source. As a result, algae can act as an excellent fertilizer that can be used to help grow crops efficiently.
#8: Algae Is A Productive CO2 Emissions Cleaner
Algae is able to absorb CO2, carbon dioxide, because it needs CO2 in order to grow. As algae grows, it will absorb CO2 at high rates while releasing O2, or oxygen, which can help clean emissions from nuclear power plants and other energy sources releasing CO2.
#9: Algae Uses for Plastics
Algae can be used to create plastics in a bio-friendly and environment friendly way. To grow algae, companies must find sunlight and waste water. In fact, some companies have begun creating environment friendly plastic products with algae such as water bottles and have coined the phrase "green plastics."
#10: Algae and Wastewater Treatment
Algae can be an efficient component when it comes to wastewater treatment. Microalgae culture is currently being used as a tertiary bio treatment step for wastewater treatments. Additionally it is also equipped with the unique ability to produce biomass, which can also be used in a multipurpose manner. Algae is fascinating due to its ability to utilize inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus in its growth process.