There is no way to deny the fact that growing algae for food, nutrients, animal feed, biodiesel, or use in cosmetic products is proven extremely beneficial. Moreover, it has been around us for billions of years and has been constantly used by different tribes and cultures for a long time. In fact, this wonderful organism has so much to offer that it really impresses us in many ways. No doubt, algae offer a variety of uses, including:
A significant amount of carbohydrates, protein, enzymes, and fiber are present in algae. In addition, it is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, etc., as well as in minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, etc. As a result, algae are proven extremely fruitful to be used as a food and definitely good for health.
Since algae are rich in different types of nutrients and organic materials, they have been traditionally used as fertilizers for a long time. In fact, there are two ways of using algae as fertilizers:
Moreover, it is possible to extract algae oil from algae. This algae oil consists of rich omega3 fatty acids and can be used just like fish oil. No doubt, the organic fertilizers from algae are proven a considerable potential alternative to the mainstream synthetic fertilizers like ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, superphosphate, potassium sulfate, and many more.
Algal biofuels have all the efficiencies, just like carbon-neutral fuels or fossil fuels. In fact, there are many microalgae species that contain a significant amount of lipid content. So, they can be easily used for harvesting as well as transformed into biodiesel. In fact, algae can be easily grown on any non-arable ground as long as it has direct access to water.
In contrast, other biofuel sources like maize need a significant amount of deforestation to make a place for crop growth. Nowadays, scientists and researchers are constantly working on the changing algae growth conditions and algae genetic manipulation to increase biofuel yield. So, we can expect a great future ahead of them.
Algae are naturally capable of creating polymers like polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). So, this amazing organism has a lot of potential that can be proven extremely fruitful for bioplastic manufacturing industries. Nowadays, algae are used to create many biodegradable polymers like biodegradable water bottles. So, they are an ideal greener alternative to oil-based plastics, which are extremely hazardous to our environment.
Algae have played a major role in pollution control. In fact, they can help in pollution control in the following ways:
So, it is hard to ignore the importance of algae for developing sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives to balance our ecosystem,
By the way, there are lots of hypes about algae. However, many commercial bodies now acknowledge the importance of algae products.
For example, NASA has partnered with a company named “Seambiotic USA” under a Space Act Agreement to model the growth of microalgae for using them as aviation fuel. As another example, ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has already invested $600 million in a project on developing biofuels from algae. According to a recent report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global algae biofuel market is expected to reach the milestone of USD 10.73 billion by 2025. So, it is hard to ignore the growing algae market.