MNN Galleries

10 surprisingly easy sources of alternative energy

By: Bryan Nelson on Nov. 30, 2009, 11:27 a.m.

Photo: Joule Biotechnologies

3 of 12


This revolutionary process called helioculture was pioneered by Joule Biotechnologies and generates hydrocarbon-based fuel by combining brackish water, nutrients, photosynthetic organisms, carbon dioxide and sunlight. Unlike oils made from algae, helioculture produces fuel directly — in the form of ethanol or hydrocarbons — that does not need to be refined. The method essentially utilizes the natural process of photosynthesis to produce a ready-to-use fuel.