A study conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that growing algae in choice United States regions can allow for the production of 21 billion gallons of algae oil.
The study is an in-depth assessment of the United States’ algal biofuel potential with respect to water and land availability.
“Algae has been a hot topic of biofuel discussion recently, but no one has taken such a detailed look at how much America could make, and how much water and land it would require until now,” said Mark Wigmosta, the study’s lead author.
Findings show that where one cultivates algae is a huge factor if the aim is to reduce water needed for algal biofuel.
Researchers suggested growing algae in sunny regions and those that have humid climates, such as the Gulf Coast, the Southeastern Seaboard and the Great Lakes.
Doing so gives the country potential to produce 17 percent of the nation’s imported oil used for transportation.
This can also help meet the country’s goal as set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 for biofuel production to reach 36 billion gallons by 2022.
Algae oil could replace as much as 48 percent of current transportation oil imports. However, higher production levels would also require significantly more water and land.