“Interesting...I think algae may have a strong future”
I take the opposite view. Interesting technology, yes. But moving from the laboratory to practical economical production is another matter. Think of the required infrastructure. Culturing algae in transparent tanks could be more expensive than solar farms. Culturing algae in open ponds in the Southwest would be impossible due to scare water and high evaporation rates. Anything that harvests solar energy, be it silicon or algae, would require too much real estate and is therefore too diffuse to be economically feasible.
The interesting thing about the tube growing algae was:
- the capture and reuse of water (no evap...just condensation)
- vertical growth reduced acreage requirements
With that being said, the devil is in the details. It is not cheap to extract oil and you need phosphorus / phosphates to grow it. With the looming phosphate shortage...well maybe bio fuels is not a very good option unless we can recycle the phosphate...essentially feed the algae back to itself after extracting the oil?