The ancient art of seaweed farming could provide a solution to a 21st-centuryenergydilemma, with the creation of a genetically engineered microbe that turns the algae into low-carbon biofuel, scientists said on Thursday.
Biofuelshave been touted as low-carbon replacements for petrol and diesel, but those made from crops like corn and sugar have beenblamed for increasing global food pricesand delivering only modest benefits.
Earlier studies have indicated that large-scale use of seaweed as an energy source could in theorysupply the world's needs several times overand the UK government envisages between 560 and 4700 km sq ofseaweed farms in its long-term energy planning.
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GM microbe breakthrough paves way for large-scale seaweed farming for biofuels