A new strain of yellow-green algae, heterococcus sp. DN1, which may prove to be an efficient source for biodiesel, has been discovered in the snow fields of the Rocky Mountains. Research examining this new alga, published in Biotechnology Progress, reveals that H. sp. DN1 was found to grow at temperatures approaching freezing and to accumulate large intracellular stores of lipids. H. sp. DN1 produces the highest quantity of lipids when grown undisturbed with high light in low temperatures.
This algae, however, only has uses within biofuel and small amounts of live cultures cost upwards of $100 from specialty sources that collect samples in Antarctica and the Rockies.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa, may not have the ability to grow in below-freezing temperatures, but has many functions. Not only is it a preferred species for biofuel production, but the species is also commonly used in nutritional supplements and cosmetics. Further, it’s affordable (large samples cost about $17 and are widely available) and is know for its ease in growing.