Will the roads of the future be paved with microalgae?

15/04/2015 - 2 minutes

In contrast to first generation biofuels, where edible plants were suggested to be grown to obtain oil, microalgae raise as a very promising source alternative to fossil fuels. For the first time, they have been used to make bio-bitumen. Some French public institutes (Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueUniversité de NantesEcole des Mines de Nantes) in partnership with the company AlgoSource Technologies, developed this bio-bitumen, whose characteristics are very close to the “real” bitumen used for roads.  Their work is published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Microalgae have long been known for their applications as colorants in cosmetics or as a food supplement. Their refining to produce, for example, biofuels, is an idea that has emerged in recent years. Today, the microalgae are part of promising alternatives to oil. With the development of efficient and effective processes, many products of the refining industry would become accessible.

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