If you have ever been to Venice, you sure have noticed the green algae swimming atop the gorgeous canals. Back in 2006, Asian Kelp (aka Undaria pinnatifida) became the unlikely vedette in this article .
In a prime example on how to turn apparent obstacles into advantages, the folks over in Italy are proposing to transform this algae (as well as growing new ones in laboratories) into an emission-free fuel, enough to power half the city center (40 megawatts of electricity).
The power plant would function as such: The algae will be cultivated in laboratories and put in plastic cylinders where water, carbon dioxide, and sunshine can trigger photosynthesis. The resulting biomass will be treated further to produce a fuel to turn turbines. The carbon dioxide produced in the process will be fed back to the algae, resulting in zero emissions from the plant.
The project is slotted to cost about $200 million euros (about $270 million dollars). It is a collaboration between Enalg Srl and l’Autorita Portuale di Venezia, using the technology from Solena Group.
More details for those who read Italian on this great blog Progetto Nuova Energia.
Credits: Reuters, Progetto Nuova Energia, Buzzle, Ecowordly, Photo: Courtesy of Flickr