Biodiesel from Algae Oil

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Introduction

Electron micrograph of the Ebola Zaire virus. This was the first photo ever taken of the virus, on 10/13/1976. By Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, then at the CDC.


By Allison Vela-Mendoza

Algae are eukaryotes and conduct photosynthesis within membrane-bound organelles called chloroplasts. Chloroplasts contain circular DNA that is similar in structure to cyanobacteria. Algae are prominent in bodies of water, common in terrestrial environments. Algal organisms are photosynthetic macro-algae or microalgae growing in aquatic environments. Macro-algae or “seaweeds” are multicellular plants growing in salt or fresh water. They are classified into three broad groups based on their pigmentation: (1) brown seaweed (Phaeophyceae), (2) red seaweed (Rhodophyceae) and (3) green seaweed (Chlorophyceae) (Demirbas & Demirbas, 2010). Microalgae are unicellular photosynthetic microorganisms, living in saline or fresh water environments that convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to algal biomass. Microalgae can be used for bioenergy generation (biodiesel, biomethane, biohydrogen). The three most important classes of microalgae in terms of abundance are the diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), the green algae (Chlorophyceae), and the golden algae (Chrysophyceae)(Demirbas & Demirbas, 2010). Among the eukaryotic, green microalgae of the class Chlorophyceae, those most widely utilized belong to the genera Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, Haematococcus, and Dunaliella. As aquatic relatives of plants, microalgae thrive in aerated, liquid cultures where the cells have sufficient access to light, carbon dioxide, and other nutrients. Algae are primarily grown photoautotrophically; yet, some species are able to survive heterotrophically by degrading organic substances like sugars. Unlike terrestrial plants, microalgae do not require fertile land or irrigation. Because algae consume carbon dioxide, large-scale cultivation can be used to remediate the combustion exhaust of power plants (Rosenberg et al., 2008). Algae biomass can play an important role in solving the problem between the production of food and that of biofuels in the near future. Microalgae appear to be the only source of renewable biodiesel that is capable of meeting the global demand for transport fuels.




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Legend/credit: Electron micrograph of the Ebola Zaire virus. This was the first photo ever taken of the virus, on 10/13/1976. By Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, then at the CDC.
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Introduce the topic of your paper. What microorganisms are of interest? Habitat? Applications for medicine and/or environment?

Section 1


Include some current research, with at least one figure showing data.

Section 2


Include some current research, with at least one figure showing data.

Section 3


Include some current research, with at least one figure showing data.

Conclusion


Overall text length at least 3,000 words, with at least 3 figures.

References

[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Joan Slonczewski for BIOL 238 Microbiology, 2011, Kenyon College.