For those of us who had been looking at the biofuel industry for almost a decade, algae appeared (and still does) like the knight in the shining armour.
Here was a feedstock that had none of the problems that other feedstock had.
Algae did not compete with the food chain, as sugar ad corn and palm did.
Algae did not require a lot of land (especially arable land). In fact, algae grows actually grows in water!
Algae had oil yields that were 15-25 times as high as its nearest competitor (that is a 2000% higher yield.
And best of all, during its growth, algae could actually treat as well as sequester (at least partially) CO2 from power plants, which happen to be the single largest source of anthropogenic CO2.
Algae appeared like the best of all worlds
That was 2007.
Six years have gone by since then, and you could say reality has sunk in.
Algae have all the characteristics described above. So it is indeed the fuel source of the future. It is just that the technologies and processes to get biofuels from algae are far more challenging than what was assumed.
What are these challenges? And what are the emerging technologies/solutions to overcome these challenges? To know these, you might want to check out on the most comprehensive report/ guide for algae biofuels – the Comprehensive Algae Fuels Report by Oilgae