Intrigued by algae

I’m intrigued at the possibility of algae farming for oil.

Forget higher order hydrocarbons (note to self: revise organic chemistry), just in terms of producing a straight vegetable oil, with no spectacular properties. Is there a plant/microbe that could conceivably be farmed, in a small scale facility, as to produce a cost effective fuel?

Could this have an application as a developing world technology (same mode as the rugged laptop with a manual battery charger)?

What are the numbers?

My connotea reading list is at

It appears that the maximum possible energy yield possible using photosynthesis can’ possibly produce anywhere near enough fuel to be viable on a small scale. This is just my impression from reading a few discussions, I’ll get to the physics myself at some point.


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