Algae As Car Fuel, from NPR's Morning Edition

Algae biofuels are were covered in a piece on NPR's Morning Edition last week. Richard Harris highlighted the potential, such as fueling 10 cars per acre of algae, as well as the challenges in finding the necessary water, nutrients (N/P/K, CO2), and energy required for algae biofuels to move towards "its promise of making the world a better place as it displaces fossil fuels".

Algae As Car Fuel: Possible, But Not Sustainable?
by Richard Harris
NPR, Morning Edition
October 25, 2012

Growing algae as a source of fuel could consume vast amounts of water and fertilizer, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences. There's also a risk that the energy required to produce these fuels would make them impractical. These daunting technical problems need to be overcome if the nation wants to turn to algae fuels as a substitute for gasoline.

Listen to the whole story here:

As a bit of a critique, the title (specifically the phrase "But Not Sustainable") doesn't actually reflect the content of the article, much less the actual state of science research regarding algae as a fuel source.

As Eric Williams pointed out, the story specifically addresses the issue of "energy balance", a concept which Mr. Harris succinctly describes as

"... how much energy it takes to make these fuels. Obviously you don't want to consume more energy than you're going to get back in the form of fuel."

Keep following progress in algae biofuels right here with the Omaha Biofuels Coop. I'll continue to add further supporting articles, both scientific and journalistic, to back up the claim that this field is further along than Mr. Harris's title might suggest, and moving forward in leaps and bounds.