The word “algae” refers to a large group of organisms, but typically account for plant-like aquatic organisms that generate energy through photosynthesis, but lack roots, stems, leaves and vascular tissue. It is an organism that exists worldwide, occurring in both fresh and salt waters; and is an essential part of many oceanic animal’s diet. Unicellular algae are known as microalgae and have an extraordinary potential for cultivation, “They can be cultivated under difficult agro-climatic conditions and are able to produce a wide range of commercially interesting byproducts such as fats, oils, sugars and functional bioactive compounds.”(http://www.oilgae.com/algae/algae.html). Today, experimentation and research is done mostly in the private sector, but small scale tests’ results have begun to raise the notion and idea that perhaps algae biofuel might be the alternate fuel that has the most potential to replace automobile diesel usage.

Algae Types(being studied for assessment of energy production)

Botryococcus braunii


Dunaliella tertiolecta


Pleurochrysis carterae


What types of fuel may be obtained from algae?





svo(straight vegetable oil): a simpler version of biodiesel(vegetable oil). it can be used as automobile fuel, but requires modifications to the engine.

jet fuel

Cultivating Algae

Algae can produce roughly 300 times more oil per acre than conventional crops. Some of the benefits of algae cultivation include: its harvesting cycle of 10 days, which allows farmers to produce multiple crops in little time; its ability to be grown in ares not fit for other crops, such as on arid climates with saline soils.

Proposed Rendering of Exxon Mobile $600 million Algae Farm

Proposed Rendering of Exxon Mobile $600 million Algae Farm

Algae Farm

I think it is important for us, as designers, to be familiar with these technologies because they can be implemented and integrated into our designs, which adds another level of social consideration and awareness to our creations.

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