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Aussie algae fuel green oil hope

Despite the claims of some, commercially viable fuels from algae have not yet been developed. But newly trialled native algae species provide real hope, a Queensland scientist has found.

Dr Evan Stephens and the team at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, in collaboration with Germany’s Bielefeld University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, have identified fast-growing and hardy microscopic algae that could prove the key to cheaper and more efficient production of the alternative fuel.

With the help of these native species, Australia could potentially become an oil exporter like Middle East by devoting just 1% of its land to algae farms.

“Previously, the main focus has been looking for oil-rich algae, but usually these are not fast-growing and they are tastier to predators – like microscopic scoops of icecream,” said Evan, manager of the Solar Biofuels Research Centre at the University of Queensland.

Read the full article at Fresh Science. stories of discovery from early-career researchers around Australia.

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