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Most efficient source of fuel may be tiniest organism

Algae often gets a bad rap — for creating dead zones in the ocean and toxic pond scum when the “wrong” algae blooms. But it also has a talent that may help people around the world.


The tiny single-celled, plantlike organisms known as algae are more efficient than other organisms at converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into the raw materials needed for foods, products and fuels. And not just a few specialized fuels.

At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, scientist Lieve Laurens said algae biofuels can do almost everything that’s done by fossil fuels, including powering anything from trucks to cargo ships.

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Photo by Reuters

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