Argument: Algae yields much more biofuel per acre than other fuels

Issue Report: Algae biofuel


“The pros and cons of biofuels”. Algal biofuel. CNN Money – Pluses: The fastest-growing plants, algae theoretically can produce 30 times more energy per acre than other biofuel options.

Michael Briggs. “Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae”. University of New Hampshire. August 2004 – We found that to replace all transportation fuels in theUS, we would need 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel (a year), or roughly 19 quads (one quad is roughly 7.5 billion gallons of biodiesel). To produce that amount would require a landmass of almost 15,000 square miles. To put that in perspective, considerthat the Sonora desert in the southwestern US comprises 120,000 square miles. Enough biodiesel to replace all petroleum transportation fuels (in the USA) could be grown in 15,000 square miles, or roughly 12.5 percent of the area of the Sonora desert (note for clarification – I am not advocating putting 15,000 square miles of algae ponds in the Sonora desert. This hypothetical example is used strictly for the purpose of showing the scale of land required). That 15,000 square miles works out to roughly 9.5 million acres – far less than the 450 million acres currently used for crop farming in the US, and the over 500 million acres used as grazing land for farm animals.