Do you think that fuel does not grow on trees or plants? In the future, it might be!
Research has been done on fuels, and especially biofuels. Recently, an enzyme has been found that causes algae, the Botryococcus braunii, to produce fuel. The enzyme in the algae creates hydrocarbons. These can be used to produce different types of fuel. The algae can live in many circumstances and lives in six continents around the world. This makes it widely available, thus a good opportunity to use to produce biofuels.
The production and the use of this type of biofuel is a good alternative to fossil fuels. The biofuel still needs to get burned to release energy, so it is not as clean as wind or solar energy, but it is less stressful for the environment as there is no need to drill for oil.
One alga cannot produce much biofuel. Thus, it is necessary to add a lot of algae, or other organisms, to allow to produce the biofuel to be able to make real use of this technique of getting biofuel.
The techniques in the bio-industry are highly developed, which allows scientists to find the gene which causes the appropriate enzyme to be produced. It can also be isolated. Next, this gene can be put in a different organism. This ensures that the production of biofuels is not dependent on one type of algae which produces the proper enzyme to make biofuel. This type of algae reproduces very slowly, which is unfavorable. There are algae that can reproduce within a few hours. So, more biofuel can be produced by putting the gene in a fastly reproducing organism.
In addition, the gene can also be placed in plants. An experiment has been done with a tobacco plant. This plant produced biofuel when the right gene was inserted. Thus, it may be possible that fuel will grow in plants!
Read more about the research.