CO2 Utilization in Algae Farming for Sustainable Food Production

Plate of green algae noodles

by | Mar 16, 2023

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As our world expands, the need for food increases due to our population growth. However, with limited resources for farming, including land and water, concerns about food growth have been on the minds of scientists for years.

Algae and Climate Change

The potential of algae as a sustainable source of nutrition lies in its ability to grow on non-arable land using non-potable water. This is particularly significant as cropland shortages are on the rise. Erin Stokes, medical director of MegaFood, emphasized that our current agriculture systems are facing stress from climate change and growing populations. Algae’s ability to use CO2 greatly increases its long-term sustainability in the food sector, making it an extremely nutritious food with a minimal environmental impact when grown properly.

Current Obstacles to Overcome

While the use of algae for food is promising, significant challenges remain, particularly regarding scalability. As larger economies get involved, the cost of production should drop, but getting them involved is currently the dilemma. Algae can absorb contaminants in the water, such as heavy metals, so this means that the growth source must be verified for quality.

Algae can be grown using wastewater or seawater, reducing the need for freshwater resources. It can be grown in areas unsuitable for traditional crops, such as deserts; And can be grown using carbon dioxide, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Algama, Triton Algae Innovations, and Corbion are just a few of the companies currently using algae in food production.

Although algae production is a relatively new field in agriculture, it is often viewed as a potential solution to various food security issues including land scarcity, climate change, ineffective and unsustainable fertilizer use, and the resulting nutrient leakage and water pollution.

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