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Fossil Fuels

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Fossil fuels are dominating the planet and sooner or later will kill it and the people living on it. Algae are a group of aquatic organisms that have the ability to perform photosynthesis. Most algae can grow on their own in various forms. There are seven types of organisms that make up the algae. They are grouped according to the types of pigments they use for photosynthesis, the formation of their cell walls, the types of carbohydrate compounds they store for energy, and the types of flagella (whiplike structures) they use for movement. The colors of the algae types are due to the mixtures of photosynthetic pigments, which is a combination of one or more of the green-colored chlorophylls as their main pigments. Certain algae are familiar to most people, such as, seaweeds( kelp or phytoplankton), pond scum or the algal blooms in lakes.

There exists various types of algae that are helpful to us and our planet. Most Algae grow through photosynthesis by converting sunlight, CO2 and nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, into biomass. This is called “autotrophic” growth. Other algae can grow in the dark using sugar or starch called “heterotrophic” growth, or even combine both growth techniques called “mixotrophic” growth. The majority of algae live in aquatic habitats. They can survive in freshwater lakes or in salt water oceans. They can also sustain a range of temperatures, oxygen or carbon dioxide concentrations. Algae are able to survive on land and grow on tree trunks, animal fur, snow banks, hot springs, and in soil. Probably the most important contribution of algae to our environment and well-being is the generation of oxygen through photosynthesis. They play an important role in many ecosystems, by providing for the aquatic food chains, supporting all fisheries in the oceans and inland, as well as producing about 70 percent of all the air we breathe. Algae help to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide levels stable by storing in organic materials such as oil deposits and inorganic carbonate rocks. All algae have the ability to produce energy-rich oils and several microalgal species naturally accumulate high levels of oil in their dry mass.

With the recent rise in oil prices and the concern about global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, biofuels have been re gaining popularity. There are three main types of biofuel; Ethanol, biodiesel, and biojet fuel. Ethanol is used in engines that burn gasoline. Biodiesel is used in engines that burn diesel fuel, like in large trucks and tractors. Biojet fuel is used in planes. Biofuel is a great alternative to fossil fuels. There are many ways of making biofuels, but they usually use chemical reactions, fermentation, and heat to break down the starches, sugars, and other molecules in plants. The leftover products are then refined to produce a fuel that cars can use. Gasoline and diesel are ancient biofuels. Gasoline and diesel are fossil fuels because they are made from decomposed plants and animals that have been buried under the ground for millions of years. Biofuels are similar except they are made from plants grown today. since plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, crops grown for biofuels should suck up about as much carbon dioxide as comes out of the tailpipes of cars that burn these fuels. And unlike underground oil reserves, biofuels are a renewable resource since we can always grow more crops to turn into fuel.

One major use of biofuel is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because they remove carbon dioxide from the air and to control the effects of global warming produced by fossil fuels. Biofuels aren’t perfect like fossil fuels. Nitrous oxide that is released from fertilizers that are be put on the ground to help the crops grow will have 300 times more global warming effect than carbon dioxide. emissionsFossil fuels release bi products in which are the main cause of global warming. Fossil fuels and biofuels are different from one another and both affect the environment in various ways. Fossil fuels take many years to form and they are non renewable, compared to algae which can be grown fairly quickly and biofuel will be created faster. The creation of algae into biofuels is a renewable source of energy. Fossil fuels are very pollutant while algae is carbon neutral. Biofuel is a fuel produced from living matter and fossil fuels is a natural fuel formed from geological processes. A little amount of fossil fuels can produce a large amount of energy. Biofuel produces a little amount of energy per unit biomass. Biofuels emits a low amount of gases when burnt while fossil fuels emit a high amount of gases when burnt which leads to polluting the planet. Lastly, biofuels can be produced in safe methods and fossil fuels are obtained from unsafe methods such as drilling and mining.

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