A green algae native to the UAE has shown great biotechnical potential that might help combat devastating rainforest degradation in the future.
This is the theory of a group of researchers, including representatives from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), following a thorough study on the algae.
Particular interest among experts is the algae’s ability to survive in harsh desert conditions.
But more fascinating are its unique attributes like the ability to consume a wide range of carbon sources and store large amounts of palmitate, which produces a similar composition of Chloroidium oil to that of palm oil.
This discovery convinced researchers that the algae can serve as a potential substitute to palm oil, which is harvested in rainforests with devastating effects, resulting in habitat loss and critically endangering species at threat of extinction.
Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani, associate professor of biology at NYUAD, explained: “We believe this algae may provide an environmentally sound alternative to the cultivation of palm oil once it is further developed, and can be of both commercial and environmental benefit to pursue with extensive investigations.”