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Are algae the next big trend in biofuel? We check out the potential of this green goo

Scientists in Japan have begun investigating the potential to use scenedesmus, a type of algae, as a source of biofuel for a more sustainable future.

The team of researchers in the Tokushima Prefecture have been studying the properties of this amazing plant and have hopes that it might prove a viable solution to the future of clean energy around the world.

According to the Asahi Shinbun,"Microalgae has the ability to produce oil by consuming carbon dioxide as long as it has constant sources of sunlight and water". It's also great at handling extreme temperatures, from below freezing to over 40 degrees Celsius".

At the moment scientists are still struggling to improve the productivity of the algae in order to make it a more efficient solution, so sadly you can't go and top up your car tonight with seaweed-scented slime, but watch this space!

According to heavy industry giant IHI Corp, just one hectare of algae can produce around 137,000 litres of oil every year.

Other Japanese companies are jumping on board the algae biofuel train, with the project attracting investments from big players in the energy sector.

Another challenge is reducing the cost of production, but with plans for expanding production facilities on the horizon, we're hopeful and excited for the seaweed-powered cars to hit the shelves in the near future.

Not convinced that algae are awesome? Check out this mesmerising video below of an algae farm that soaks up pollution from the highway below it:

If you want to know more about why algae are fabulous, check out this article.

Banner image: Bizmodo

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