Skyrocketing gas prices have consumers scrambling to find alternatives and questioning the wisdom of depending on foreign oil. Could algae based fuels help the US wean itself off it’s 20,000,000 gallon a day foreign oil habit? In a press release form May 28th, Sapphire energy, a company that is leading the way in finding algae based fuel alternatives (Green Crude Production), announced that they have created the world’s first renewable gasoline. This 91 octane, ASTM certified, renewable gasoline, is created from a process that starts with algae and does not rely on the use of arable land or require the use of food products. Algae can be grown in conditions that most organisms cannot tolerate and because the algae converts carbon dioxide into oxygen during the process of photosynthesis, fuel derived from algae is carbon neutral.  This may not be the holy grail of green fuel, when it is burned it will release a similar amount of emissions to traditional fuels. Those emissions are offset by the process of creating it and it does not require destructive drilling practices, overseas investment, doesn’t require us to use land that should be producing crops to feed people, and could generate jobs through the creation of new industry. It may not be the free, emissionless, renewable ideal of staunch green advocates but it may be a viable and preferable alternative to what we have now.

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