The study identified more than twenty species of local microalgae with the potential for economic exploitation.(Photo courtesy of AUB)
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Scientists from the American University of Beirut have released the results of a three-year study on the potential commercial uses of Lebanon's coastal microalgae, citing possible applications in medicine, agriculture, nutrition and as renewable source of biofuel.Dr. Yusuf Abou Jawdah, who led the study with professors Youssef Mouneimne and Kamal Bouhadir, pointed to the unique properties of microalgae, which could drive its adoption for use in a number of sectors.Though microalgae-sourced biofuel is not yet commercially viable, increased research and improved cultivation methods could make it so very soon. Abou Jawdah said one U.S. company already claims to be producing at a competitive price. Biofuel is just one byproduct of cultivation, and the costs of its production could be partially offset by other applications of the algae. Abou Jawdah added that it has the potential to be developed as an organic pesticide.
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