NASA has managed to tick all the green boxes with their latest effort to link algae-based fuel production with a cheap method of sewage treatment – growing algae for biofuel in plastic bags full of shite floating in the ocean.
The effort which comes out of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, has three goals: produce biofuels with few resources in a confined area, help cleanse wastewater, and capture carbon dioxide.
As Scientific American reports, the process starts with algae being placed in sewage-filled semipermeable membranes specially developed by NASA to recycle astronauts’ wastewater on space missions.
The membranes let freshwater leave but prevent saltwater from moving in. The algae then feast on nutrients in the sewage bag, cleansing the water and producing lipids used later as fuel.
And apparently even if the bags leak, the saltwater would kill the freshwater algae, preventing the escape of an invasive species.