The strain of algae is filled with fatty acids. The more the number of fatty algae, the more fuel they can produce. But producing this biofuel on a large scale is not an easy task.
The research team drain the algae pools into large metal tanks and use chloroform and ethanol to break the algae into fatty acids. The oil produced is checked for quality and shipped to a nearby refinery to turn into jet fuel.
Without the government’s financial support, algae-based jet fuel costs about $2,500 to $3,000 per ton, which is about three times the price of conventional biofuel.
“Fuel is the cheapest product you can get from algae — and by cheapest, I mean the lowest-value product,” said Haznedaroğlu. “The other pigments [food-grade algae products] go for like, 2,000 euros [about $2,129] per kilogram.”