Danish researchers want to replace petrol  

with algae


A group of Danish scientists are embarking on a research project that is to convert algae into biofuels. They hope to be able to replace petrol in 5-10 years.

Algea from the sea instead of polluting petrol is what car owners can expect in the future. 

A group of Danish scientists have launched a four-year-long research project funded by The Danish Council for Strategic Research, which aims at finding answers to how it is possible to use algea to produce biofuels.

Danish Technological Institute will together with a number of companies conduct the research project which is to use brown algea, a basic type of algea which contain a high level of sugar.

 - That is important in order to create bio-ethanol and butanol, which are both fluent fuels used in the transport sector, says Anne-Belinda Bjerre, Senior Scientist and Ph.D. in charge of the project in an interview with the Danish daily MetroXpress.

Using plants such as straw, corn or maize to create biofuels is a well-known process whereas using plants from the sea has a special advantage since there is much more sea than soil on Earth. Thus, the resources to pick from are much larger, explains Bjerre.

Furthermore, algea reproduce themselves in just one month in comparison to oil and gas which can take millions of years to form.

It is still uncertain when cars in Denmark can run on algea, but the Danish scientists hope that it will happen within 5-10 years.

Today, there are no cars in Denmark that can run on biofuels alone. Thus, another challenge needed to be solved is making sure that cars can handle biofuels.

Denmark - a leader in biofuel R&D

Denmark is already positioned at the front when it comes to research and development of biofuels, being home to world leading producers of enzymes and all kinds of bioenergy related technology and equipment.

Denmark´s background as a country with an industrialised agriculture and a long tradition for “waste to energy” solutions has shown as decisive factors in the development of core competences in this field.

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