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Science in Africa
Moderated by  Khalil A. Cassimally
Posted on: May 20, 2013
Posted By: Doaa Tawfik

The Pink Lake in Senegal

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Everybody knows our energy shortage problem; also the awareness to seek a solution is quite high. Interestingly, since so long ago, we have been seeking alternatives. To begin with, we used to burn wood, then we resorted to coal as an alternative after that we used petroleum products and finally everybody agreed that we should not just seek an alternative for now but rather an alternative that we will not need to change again. Thus, the scientists coined a new term "Renewable energy".

Africa is very rich when it comes to renewable energy sources; plenty of sun especially in the North, also wave and wind power in both the north and south, also algae based energy source!

Lake Retba or "Lac Rosa" in Senegal is one of the rich-algae sources in Africa. Lac Rosa, as it is understood from the name, is rose or pink in color because of the abundant halophilic archaea and "Dunaliella salina" micro-algae concentrations. I will only focus on Dunaliella Salina algae, these algea are attracted to this lake because of it is high salt concentration. These algea produce β-carotene to protect themselves from ionizng radiation and they are also major source of Glycerol as they produce it to protect themselves from high salt content around it. The only energy source these algea use is sunlight, and scientists have been trying to use this biofuel as another renewable source of energy.

As you can see, Africa don't lack renewable energy sources, but we lack the finances to use such sources. However, I am sure, that even if we start on a small scale with steady steps, we will soon be able to benefit from our land's richness.


Image by Bernard bill5 Via Wikimedia Commons.

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