Yesterday we wrote about the algae that's been appearing in the newly renovated Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, and how tourists have been complaining and the National Park Service has pledged to do something about it. One group doesn't see the algae as a problem, though, but rather as an opportunity—the algae lobby.
We received this tongue-in-cheek press release yesterday from the Algae Biomass Organization, the trade association for theU.S. algae industry, singing the praises of algae and its industrial uses:
The Algae Biomass Organization, the trade association for the U.S. algae industry, today urged the National Park Service to delay draining the algae in the Lincoln Memorial Pool. Algae contain oils, proteins and carbohydrates that can be converted into low-carbon fuels, chemicals, animal feed and health food. Based on estimates, the pool could produce more than 1.5 million gallons of low carbon, domestic fuel per year if it was used exclusively for algae production.
“While we would never advocate using the Pool to produce algae full time, it is a highly visual reminder that the attributes of algae which frustrate consumers are the very same that make algae ideal as an industrial raw material,” said Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization. “Algae grow in a variety of places, multiply fast, and need only sunlight and CO2 to grow. Best of all, fuels made from algae work in existing engines with no modification.”
Currently more than 200 companies, labs, research institutions and entrepreneurs across the country are developing technologies to convert algae into fuels, feed and food. This week more than 750 industry leaders are showcasing breakthroughs in additional products, including paper, plastics and carpet fiber at the group’s 6th Annual Algae Biomass Summit.
With new production facilities planned or operating from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and from Florida to Hawaii, and many other places, algae-based fuels and other products are emerging as a new opportunity to create jobs and alternatives to imported fuel.
“We’re hard at work showing the world that algae will have a significant impact across many sectors of our economy, from chemicals and plastics, to health foods and nutraceuticals, to animal feed and renewable fuels,” said Rosenthal.
In the grand scheme of groups jumping into a news cycle to pitch their cause, this was surprisingly well done.