24 Oct 2008 05:10:03
Algae-based oil would save 160m tonnes CO2
Algae-based transportation fuel could reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by over 160 million tonnes, according to the Carbon Trust.
The organisation has set up a funding initiative to boost research and development into algae biofuels with the aim of creating an alternative to fossil fuels by 2020.
It has set up the Algae Biofuels Challenge, which it will fund with up to £6 million and will also have the backing and funding of the Department of Transport.
The challenge is to develop second generation biofuels, which do not use food as a feedstock, or raw material, cost effectively and at a commercial scale.
According to the Carbon Trust, algae could produce between six and ten times more energy per hectare than conventional biofuel feedstocks, while generating just 20 per cent of the carbon emissions of fossil fuels.
Dr Mark Williamson, innovations director at the Carbon Trust, said: "We must find a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to oil for our cars and planes if we are to deliver the deep cuts in carbon emissions necessary to tackle climate change. Algae could provide a significant part of the answer and represents a multi billion pound opportunity."
If the government can be convinced to include aviation and shipping sectors in its targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 in the Climate Change Bill, algae-based biofuels could help achieve the goal.http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/default.ct