Algae Association Jokes, But Not Really

The Algae Biomass Organization, a.k.a. the algae trade association, had fun last week while defending the honor of a plant that gets no respect.

Taking advantage of a prime opportunity to promote the value of its industry, the Algae Biomass Organization issued a tongue-in-cheek press release last week urging the National Park Service not to drain the seemingly pesky plant from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

After reports that algae was covering the pool, which recently reopened after a two-year, multimillion-dollar renovation, ABO took creative license in highlighting the value and various uses of algae.

An excerpt from the release:

The Algae Biomass Organization, the trade association for the U.S. algae industry, today urged the National Park Service to delay draining the algae in the Lincoln Memorial Pool. Algae contain oils, proteins, and carbohydrates that can be converted into low-carbon fuels, chemicals, animal feed, and health food. Based on estimates, the pool could produce more than 1.5 million gallons of low-carbon, domestic fuel per year if it was used exclusively for algae production.

“While we would never advocate using the pool to produce algae full time, it is a highly visual reminder that the attributes of algae which frustrate consumers are the very same that make algae ideal as an industrial raw material,” said Mary Rosenthal, executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization. “Algae grow in a variety of places, multiply fast, and need only sunlight and CO2 to grow. Best of all, fuels made from algae work in existing engines with no modification.”

Currently more than 200 companies, labs, research institutions, and entrepreneurs across the country are developing technologies to convert algae into fuels, feed, and food.

The Lincoln Memorial pool. (photo by dctim1 on Flickr)

ABO spokesman John Williams said the statement was meant to be a fun way to illustrate the benefits of a plant usually considered a nuisance.

“Of course, we hope the pool is cleaned up and returned to its spectacular typical state,” he said. “But we also hope people will realize that algae can be a job-creating source of domestic fuel and food, helping increase our economy, energy diversification, and national security.”

(photo by qf8 on Flickr)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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