seaweed bio fuel

We already know that Bio Fuels can be made from Seaweed, the problem is that it is not cost effective at the moment. However, in the not too distant future scientists will find a way of producing cheap bio fuels; and that's where the problems begin.

At the moment Seaweeds are used either for food, mainly in Asia, or as ingredients and additives for the food industry and cosmetics industry. When the bio-fuel breakthrough happens, the world will wake up to the fact that there isn't enough Seaweed grown to meet demand. 

Between fifteen hundred and two thousand gallons of ethanol can be made from an acre of seaweed, whereas an acre of sugar cane can make just shy of a thousand gallons and an acre of corn can make just over four hundred gallons. Seaweed has the advantage of not having lignin, which is a chemical compound that makes up many of the secondary walls of some organisms. Because there’s no lignin, the seaweed can be broken down into sugar more easily.

Not only will the bio fuel industry need millions of tonnes of seaweed but close on its heels is the bio plastic industry, again stalling at the moment due to production costs. They will need similar amounts of seaweed to meet demand.

seaweed bio plastic

In an attempt to lower the use of single-use plastics in takeaway packaging, online delivery service Just Eat has announced a new UK six-week trial of seaweed-based sauce sachets for ketchup and garlic herb sauces. The Seaweed Sauce sachets, created in partnership with sustainable packaging development company, decompose in a matter of weeks. 

In March 2020, Just Eat also announced a package of measures to reduce excess plastics included in UK takeaway deliveries. One of the commitments the business made was to work with key industry experts to invest in the research and development of innovative and practical alternatives for single-use plastics.

What about us?

So where does that leave seaweeds grown for food and medicinal purposes?

Well the answer is simple, plan ahead and get the seaweed farms established. Let's start utilising sea space around our coast, for example the protected space between offshore wind farms are ideal for seaweed aquaculture and other aquaculture farms. It's also time to look at deep sea seaweed farms, away from the coast and farmed in much deeper water where it won't be affected by the winter storms.  

Also floating seaweed farms, to grow different types of native seaweeds without the need to fix them to a permanent location and without the longwinded licensing processes. Floating farms are ideal for for farming of Wrack, particularly Bladderwrack, Knotted Wrack and Red Seaweeds. If you are interested in a floating seaweed farm please contact us.                                                                                          

Floating seaweed farm image

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