Algae creates up to 200 times more oil per acre than soy. These fast-growing aquatic organisms can be grown in salt water and in city wastewater lagoons.
The United State Department of Energy and many several oil companies in the world, have poured a hundreds of millions of dollars into scaling up algae fuel production. Exxon Mobil revealed an innovative leap forward that that guarantees to finally make algae fuel cost-effective-it does.
Hundreds of thousands of sections of land in the Southern U.S., from Florida to California, are infested with an exotic plant known as Carrizo Cane, or giant reed. A Carrizo cane is a relative of bamboo grows 20 to 30 feet tall in a year’s time, producing more biomass per acre than almost any other plant on earth. It has been expected as an even better candidate for cellulosic ethanol production than switch grass, and is now being utilized on a business scale in Europe, where it is a native species, for that purpose.
This tropical bush is poisonous to people and animals, but the seeds are 40 percent oil, which was generally used as lamp oil. Starting in mid-2000s, tens of thousands of acres of jatropha were planted for biofuel, for the most part in India and Africa. The plant was known to bloom on marginal land, but rich soil and irrigation are needed for maximum oil production. Researchers are proceeding to breed improved varieties.