Algae has to grow in water because it is a water based plant. In the future, all that would be needed to grow algae would be water, nutrients, and sunlight all in a bin that could be put anywhere, even in the middle of the desert. The hard part is how to extract the oil after it has been grown. There is an enzymatic extraction in which enzymes break open the cell wall with water as a solvent to make fractionation of the oil. There is an osmotic shock process which is a sudden reduction in pressure to cause the cell wall to rupture and excrete all the oil from the cell. There is also a process called ultrasonic-assisted extraction in which ultrasonic waves rupture the cell walls.
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