What is Algae

Algae are aquatic form that has vast resources of bio chemicals, still remains instinct for not being explored in a right way. Algae were treated as diverse group of organisms in the past to match it into a single class of plants.  Initially, algae were also considered as mare plants without leaf, stem, root and reproductive system. However, in the later stages of investigation it was comprehended that algae have features of animals and certainly included in both animal and plant family. Consequently, algae are considered as oxygen producing, photosynthetic organisms that include macroalgae. Generally seaweeds and a varied group of microorganisms are identified as macroalgae. Macroalgae are photosynthetic and hence will absorb solar energy to digest water and carbon-di-oxide, discharging treasured oxygen to atmosphere allowing the entire food chain to sprout and prosper in all its rich diversity.

Micro algae are blessed with many special features which makes them classy of all other organisms. A lot of freshwater algae are microscopic in nature. Just like other plants, algae also need nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous to grow. But then these nutrients can be inadequate in aquatic environment. Consequently, richer the nutrients higher are the growth of algae. The reason for algae to blossom often is excess phosphorous. Phosphorous is rich in farms, cities and residential areas. Whenever big algae bloom, in due course a lot of algae will die. And the dying algae consumes a lot of oxygen and hence results in scarcity of oxygen for other marine organisms like fishes. At time algae can even put an end to lakes as they make it impossible for other organisms to survive.

Algae have clear prospective to be adapted for making renewable energy and most common systems for cultivating them are explored. Cultivating process for micro algae and macroalgae are different, as they differ in sizes.  One of the major pre required condition to grow algae commercially for energy production is the want for large scale systems that can vary from mere simple open air systems on – or offshore which interprets between algae and environment balancing economic optimized closed systems. The essential technology for developing money-spinning algae based fuel generation is still in varies stages of expansion and final design is however to be determined and verified at industrial scale. Some of the examples of open cultivation systems are small pond for Spirulina culture, Dunaliella salina ponds of Cognis, Centre-Pivot ponds for the culture of Chlorella, Open raceway-type culture ponds, Paddle wheel of a raceway pond etc.

Algae as a group can produce variety of products such as cell biomass, agricultural products, lipids and biodiesel, carbohydrates and ethanol, hydrocarbons, hydrogen.