Saturday , November 28 2020
Source: https://techaeris.com/2015/05/17/nasa-exploring-algae-oxygen-supply-mars/

Algae: The Oxygen Factory

In the very beginning of the article, let’s have a flashback of few interesting information about algae:

  • The Algae does 60% of the total Photosynthesis.
  • BGA (Blue-Green Algae) started photosynthesis and produced free oxygen for the first time.
  • About 40-50% of the total oxygen in the atmosphere comes from algae.

Now, the question is, what if there would be no other plants except algae?? Can they alone provide us with sufficient oxygen?


About 2.7 to 2.8 B years ago, oxygen was first produced by algae. By the means of their production of free oxygen for millions of years, the atmosphere  gonna be fit for oxygen dependent life. After something like a Billion of years (called as ‘Boring Billion’), oxygen dependent lives evolved.

Till then algae is providing us with sufficient oxygen. So it can be thought very easily that they can somehow provide us in the same way alone too.

There are few factors also that will make you to believe that ‘yes, they can do it’ –

1. Algae has shown few examples of being fit for the earth. Even at the time of late Permian extinction, they didn’t got vanished. It proves their capability of being fit at any sorts of environment.

2. With the upgrowing movement of time, the environment of earth is getting polluted. Algae has evolved themselves and keep pace with the change of environment. Evolution of toxic algae can be mentioned here as a strong evidence.

3. Merely algae from ocean can manage here about 30% or more of total oxygen demand. With the upgrowth of pollution, the ozone layer is getting damaged, temperature is growing up and the sun mrays are becoming acute enough to reach the bottom of the oceans where there are a huge amount of algae with photosynthetic capability. 

As in 30-35 degree Celsius temperature and Red-Blue ray of sunlight, the rate of photosynthesis reach at the top mark, there will be better photosynthesis in the upcoming years.


If we think of clearing all other plants as they are unnecessary when algae cen provide us with desired oxygen, let’s imagine what will happen....

1. The food chain will be damaged and that will hamper the development  of algae.

2. Though algae is surviving here about so long time, it will be so lame to think that there won’t be any factors that may dismiss such a longlive plant fully.

3. In the absense of other plants (those are providing free oxygen too), it will be sharply algae’s duty to extinguish most of the toxic particles alone. In that case, algae may get extincted or evolved in fully toxic plant to stay fit with the change of environment. Both of these perspectives will be suicidal to human beings.

In overall, it will be impossible for the algae to stay in earth as the single type of oxygen producing plant.

So, before we think about the debate can they provide us with sufficient oxygen alone or not‘ , we should set attention in – ‘ can they survive alone or not ‘….

If somebody are  still thinking of having desired demand of oxygen merely from algae, there would nothing more to say.  Let’s see what’s waiting in future…




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About Tarek Siddiki Taki

Currently studying at Department of Botany, University of Dhaka.

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