This week's cartoon describes algae-based energy -- one of the possibilities for plant-based fuels that many people think is very promising. In fact, some experts think that it might even beat out corn, sugar cane or even switchgrass as an environmentally friendly biofuel feedstock. As an added benefit, algae thrives on common water pollutants like phosphorous, so farming it in a controlled way can be a profitable strategy for cleaning up spoiled waterways near power plants and industrial sites. But there are still hurdles to overcome before algae biofuel can become a viable energy alternative (Jamais Cascio discussed some challenges in this 2006 article). Many new solutions for growing algae are emerging around the world -- including this innovative Light Immersion Technology from Redmond, Washington-based Bionavitas, which allows light to penetrate deep layers of the plant so that farms can produce larger quantities. Keep looking to Worldchanging for more news of the best alternative energy breakthroughs.
Editor's note: This post is part of a series featuring Worldchanging ally Andy Lubershane's original graphics. While many of the issues covered in the comics have been discussed on Worldchanging in the past, we hope that you'll be able to use this new medium in a different way … whether it's in your classroom, on your office wall, or to help explain ideas to friends and family.
Andy Lubershane researches, writes and cartoons about sustainability from his home in Boston. Check out more of his illustrations here