Algae bio-fuel from the Roman Baths

We bring you such an interesting variety of car news on this blog – flying cars, boat-cars, ghost cars – and here’s another.

Algae-fuelled cars.

Scientists are at this very moment growing seven different types of algae to determine which would be best as a bio-fuel.


Apparently, scientists have found that the Roman Baths, in Bath, have an array of algae growing in their waters and extracting oil from one of the cells in these plant-like organisms could result in a replacement for petrol and diesel.

The idea of running vehicles on algae has been around for years, but there have been two potential problems. One drawback is that algae “are usually happiest growing at temperatures around 25C and that can limit the places in which it can be cultivated on a large scale,” states a PhD student working on the project.

Hindrance number two is that, as researcher Professor Scott states, “One species might produce a lot of oil, but if we can't harvest the algae or break the cell walls easily then the production costs of the bio-diesel will rise and it will no longer be a suitable alternative to other fuels”.

What the scientists are trying to do now is find the best, and most easily mass-produced, algae for the job.

So far they’ve established and begun to grow seven types, but there are many more to be found.

Sounds difficult. We’ll leave them to it and wait for the results.

Photo by bongo vongo via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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