That is a great question and yes, there have been studies on environmental impacts of algae biofuel. University of Virginia’s Dr. Clarens has shown that the life cycle of algae biofuel produces high levels of GHG (greenhouse gases) which are widely known to be one of the causes of global warming. He claims that it takes much more energy to produce algae biofuel than crop biofuels. This study was published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology. It claims that the main reason is that fertilizers have to be directly delivered to the pool of water that algae is growing in, and fertilizers are very energy intensive to produce. The paper suggests that one way to reduce the environmental impact of algae is to draw municipal wastewater into algae plantations, as a source of nitrogen and phosphorus which could reduce the amount of fertilizer required. To read the entire study, please refer to the link below.
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