Photo Thu, 04 Jul 2013 10:02:16
Algae Fights Pollution, is Biofuel Source
A hardy algae species is showing promise in both reducing power plant pollution and making biofuel, based on new research at the Univ. of Delaware.
The microscopic algae Heterosigma akashiwo grows rapidly on a gas mixture that has the same carbon dioxide and nitric oxide content as emissions released from a power plant. “The algae thrive on the gas,” says Kathryn Coyne, associate professor of marine biosciences in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “They grow twice as fast and the cells are much larger in size compared to when growing without gas treatment.”
This is some super cool research that could have implications for astrobiologists studying the future of life on our planet. Understanding how biology can affect a planet at global scales is also important for astronomers hunting the skies for habitable worlds around distant stars.