Algae can be used to extract carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plant emissions. Flue gases from power plants are percolated through tubes or tanks filled with water and algae. Photosynthetic algae can use the CO2 as a carbon source; converting it into biomass in the form of carbohydrates, oils and proteins. Heterotrophic algae use CO2 for carbon and energy. These algae do not need light and can be grown in large enclosed tanks.
So now you have a bunch of algae instead of CO2. What is it good for? Algae can be used in food, animal feed, or biofuels. It has great potential as feed for fish farming. Algae is at the very bottom of the marine food chain and is the original source of omega-3 fatty acids that make fish such a healthy protein.
Next week Alltech is hosting its first algae conference and unveiling its new algae production plant in Winchester, Kentucky. Algae production holds enormous potential for agriculture, nutrition and renewable fuels. In this short video, Dr. Lyons explains how algae can be used to extract carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and the work that Alltech is doing to explore the potential for algae.