Green and sometimes a bit on the smelly side, algae is usually no friend to the coastal communities of Andalucía, who want clean, golden beaches to keep the tourists happy.
Yet Chiclana de la Frontera, on Andalucía’s western Costa de la Luz, has embraced algae as not only a means to solve a smelly problem, (the town’s sewage), but also as a way to create a ‘green’ biofuel, using a cutting edge technology.
Reuter’s reporter Tracy Rucinski and photographer Jon Nazca brought this fascinating story into the mainstream last month.
The small Spanish resort town is using its waste water, and its abundant sunshine to create a biofuel that can run cars. The project is still in its early days and the technology has its critics, but it is heartening to see a Spanish construction firm using its resources to invest in a private project that could possibly be far more beneficial to the Spanish coast than more holiday apartment blocks.
The waste water is held in large pools, where the algae, using the sun’s energy (remember your science class at school on photosynthesis?) creates a gas that can captured and use as a fuel.
Andalucía undoubtedly has a major problem it its waste water, with coastal communities creating far more sewage than the very limited and sometimes non-existent infrastructure can cope with, meaning that raw waste is often pumped out in the Mediterranean – ridiculous really when one thinks that the sea and the beaches are so crucial to the tourist industry in southern Spain.
(Featured image by Jon Nazca, taken from www.algaeindustrymagazine.com)
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