Algae-based biofuels are considered environmentally friendly alternative to traditional liquid fossil fuels or diesel fuels, which produce high levels of greenhouse gases when they burn. Also, algae hold the potential to produce billions of gallons per year of renewable diesel, gasoline and jet fuels. It uses algae as its main source of production of energy-rich oils which are alternatives to commonly known biofuel sources, such as corn, cassava and sugarcane. Like fossil fuel, algae fuel releases carbon monoxide (CO) when burnt, however, unlike fossil fuel, algae fuel and other biofuels only release CO that has been removed from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. Also, algae consume CO2 thus helping to reduce Carbon footprints.
Algae can be grown with minimal impact on freshwater resources and can be produced using saline and wastewater, they are biodegradable and harmless to the environment if spilled. Although initial production setup cost per unit mass is relatively higher than other second-generation biofuel crops due to high capital and operating costs, algae oil yields between 10 and 100 times more fuel per unit area.