Third generation technologies [1]  

Third generation technologies: algae and cyanobacteria for biofuel production Algae in ponds can be far more efficient than higher plants in capturing solar energy, more so in bioreactors. The US Department of Energy funded a large international project on microalgae for biofuel production that ceased operations a decade ago. The project achieved sporadic maximum yields of more than one hundred times greater than oil palm (per unit area) and oil palm is among the most efficient of conventional crops. If algal production could be scaled up industrially, less than 6 million hectares would be necessary worldwide to meet current fuel demands, amounting to less than 0.4% of arable land, an achievable goal for global agriculture. Additionally, many of the very efficient oil producer organisms are marine. Thus ponds near the world’s seas could conceivably produce sufficient biofuels, without eding or affecting fresh water supplies, which are becoming limiting.

                   [1] Jonathan Gressel, Transgenics are imperative for biofuel crops, Plant Science 174 (2008) 246–263