kw: observations, biofuels, alternative energy
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This illustration from the November, 2011 issue of Discover deserves a wider audience. It is part of an article showing that it makes great sense to develop biofuel production using algae rather than "large plants" such as corn.
At present, algae can produce 5,000 gallons of biofuel per acre, ten times as much as making ethanol from corn. And we should not be turning food into gasoline anyway! There is little doubt that in the next decade or so the efficiency of algae can be improved, and also that effective methods for large-scale cultivation of the best algal species will be developed.