The rich biodiversity of Northeast India can be a veritable treasure house of algal species. Many of these species can be rich sources of bio-fuel. The worldwide search for sources of oil other than the fast-exhausting fossil fuels has found a new hope in algal species. Algae can produce more oil per hectare than most other bio-fuels and can be cultivated on non-arable land – reducing the competition with food crops for land.
With this in mind, TERI has launched an initial two-year search for bio-diesel-yielding algae in the Northeast in collaboration with three other institutes. Initial investigations have indicated the existence of oil-generating algae. The challenge now is to confirm how many of them actually exist and to quantify the abundance of their occurrence.