Can seaweed power a plane?

Jet off on holiday in a plane powered by seaweed: it might sound like a scene from SpongeBob SquarePants, but it’s now technically possible. Algae kerosene, extracted from the oil of marine plants, is considered the fuel of the future. However, at the moment, the annual harvest from 1,500 square metres of the stuff would only keep a passenger plane in the air for a measly six minutes. Scientists at Germany’s Jülich Research Centre have, therefore, been working on growing a more productive species of algae in their greenhouse (above). They hope to cultivate a plant that grows quickly and can store lots of solar energy. They may be spoilt for choice: there are approximately 100,000 different species of algae…

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