[Video] The Takeaway looks inside algae bioeenergy startup Bionavitas

February 03 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: 2018   Rating: 6 Hot

Algae bioenergy is based on a powerful idea that is still just off the radar of mainstream conversations on the future of energy.  We can 'grow energy' by tapping 'carbon eating' algae that create usable forms of hydrocarbons for fuel or biomaterials.

The idea seems strange and futuristic, but it actually describes our past.  We already tap the power of bioenergy everyday. Coal is ancient plant life, and oil is (likely) ancient microbes that lived in shallow oceans.  Both plants and microbes fuse hydrogen and carbon bonds using the power of sunlight. But algae is a more efficient in that conversion and results in a higher hydrogen to carbon ratio. That means a cleaner burning fuel!

Everytime you turn on the light (via coal power plant) or drive a car you are capturing the energy released from carbon-hydrogen bonds form by ancient biology.  Now energy visionaries are looking at how we can tap the same processes today to 'grow energy' without relying on food crops like corn or soy.

This week The Takeaway has been running Power Trip a series of programs on the future of energy. Earlier this week, Host John Hockenberry visited algae biofuels company Bionavitas in Seattle, WA.

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