Algae are termed as the green gold of the future as they became a valuable and sustainable feedstock for several industries. They are used in production of biofuels, novel food, animal nourish, chemicals, materials, cosmetics, bio-fertilizers or CO2 utilization. The market is promptly growing and it is still far from reaching its full potential. Scientists are working on new technologies and cost optimization to scale up pilot projects to industrial production.
Algae fuel or algal biofuel is a substitute for liquid fossil fuels that utilizes algae as its source of energy-rich oils. Also, algae fuels are a substitute for commonly known biofuel sources, such as corn and sugarcane. Various companies and government agencies are sponsoring efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially feasible. Like fossil fuel, algae fuel releases CO2 when burnt, but unlike fossil fuel, algae fuel and other biofuels only release CO2 recently withdrawn from the atmosphere via photosynthesis as the algae or plant grew. The energy crisis and the world food crisis have sparked interest in algaculture (farming algae) for making biodiesel and other biofuels utilizing land unbefitting for agriculture. Among algal fuels' attractive characteristics are that they can be cultivated with negligible impact on freshwater resources, can be generated using saline and wastewater, have a high flash point, and are biodegradable and comparatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae cost more per unit mass than other advanced biofuel crops due to high capital and operating costs but are declared to generate between 10 and 100 times more fuel per unit area.