UAE is using, on a trial basis, salt-tolerant algae — also known as halophytic algae — as a natural and sustainable method to decrease salinity in seawater. “Once proved cost-effective, this cutting-edge technology will make the UAE the first country in the world to use salt-tolerant algae to desalinate water,” the minister said. Some species of salt-tolerant algae can absorb up to 50 times more salt than the concentration of salt in the water they inhabit, making them a natural way to desalinate water for portable use. In addition, the growing algae can be used to mitigate carbon dioxide from point source emissions. Once the algae has been used for desalination, it can then be harvested and used as a raw material for biofuel production to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Al Mazroui said while complete desalination can’t be achieved with algae alone, this method can serve as a pre-treatment to other desalination technologies, reducing the energy footprint and financial costs of desalination while making the process more sustainable, reported Gulf News