Algae have diverse economic uses. They perform half of the total carbon dioxidefixation on earth by photosynthesis, acting as the primary producers in aquatic habitats.
(a) Food source: Many species of marine algae such as Porphyra, Sargassum, and Laminaria are edible. Chlorella and Spirulina are rich in proteins. Thus, they are used as food supplements.
(b) Commercial importance: Agar is used in the preparation of jellies and icecream. It is obtained from Gelidium and Gracilaria. Carrageenin is used as an emulsifier in chocolates, paints, and toothpastes. It is obtained from the red algae.
(c) Medicines: Many red algae such as Corallina are used in treating worm infections.