Meet the farm of the future, where common seaweed is being upgraded from an environmental problem to a valuable natural resource and raw material
“The fact is that algae can absorb nitrogen from the water as effectively as a wastewater treatment plant,” says Gröndahl, a KTH Royal Institute of Technology researcher and head of the Seafarm project, which converts algae into eco-friendly food, medicine, plastic and energy.
The excessive fertilisation (eutrophication) of our seas results in an over-production of algae, commonly known as seaweed. Bathing beaches become unusable on account of algae blooms and entire ecosystems can be threatened.
“But, in our research, we turn the argument on its head and see algae as a resource. We collect excess algae along the coasts and cultivate new algae out at sea,” Gröndahl says.
Already, seaweed is getting scooped up from the Baltic Sea, along Sweden’s southern coast, in order to be converted to biogas. The coast is rich with the seaweed. The city of Trelleborg estimates that its beaches host an excess of algae that is equivalent to the energy from 2.8 million litres of diesel fuel.
Almost three quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by sea, and the seas possess as great a production capacity as the land. At the present time, humankind utilises 40 per cent of the production from land-based ecosystems whereas only 1 per cent of the seas’ ecosystems are currently utilised.
Unfortunately, this percentage at present consists largely of ruthless exploitation; where the fishing industry trawls up every living thing and hoovers the sea bottoms. “We really need new solutions, such as harvesting the excess algae for fuel and cultivating new, pure algae for special products and foodstuffs,” Gröndahl says.
Gröndahl points out that algae contain vitamins, amino acids and minerals, indeed the entire list of the periodic elements, including iron. Algae may be eaten directly or cooked; and in recent years an interest in algae products in foodstuffs has increased in Sweden, thanks in part to the popularity of Asian food culture. Even spices and cooking oil can be produced by algae.
The brown algae known as sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima), for example, contain up to three times as much sugar as sugar beet. “Of course, it’s unwise to burden the earth with oil palm and sugar beet cultivation when corresponding products can be produced in an ecologically sustainable way from algae,” explains Gröndahl.
Algae may, in the future, be an ingredient of animal feed to replace the environmentally damaging fish meal which is common in pig and poultry diets.
Furthermore, salmon today is fed with fishmeal from wild caught fish, and calculations show that no less than 5 kg of wild fish go to produce 1 kg of farmed fish.
“Clearly, it’s not a good idea to feed fish with fish. Algae feed, in this case, will be of great benefit for the environment,” he says. “What’s more, we’re counting on Seafarm’s cultivation of algae being able to favour the marine environment as a whole, since they form secondary reefs in free bodies of water. This sort of reef attracts fish and other animal species.
The Latest on: Seaweed farming
via Google News
The Latest on: Seaweed farming
- Little farm abundant with potentialon April 30, 2021 at 9:00 am
Kebun By Amboi — a vertical farm — nestled in the Taman Wawasan Recreational Park in Persiaran Wawasan, Taman Wawasan in Puchong, Selangor has been yielding fruitful results since November last year.
- Seaweed supplement claimed to quadruple immune response of farmed fishon April 29, 2021 at 2:07 pm
As is the case with other types of livestock farming, antibiotics are widely used in aquaculture to prevent disease. There may soon be a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative though, in the form ...
- Seaweed may solve red meat’s emissions problemon April 29, 2021 at 8:57 am
Or, more accurately, dangling from giant ropes strung beneath sub-surface artificial platforms previously used for mussel farming, where dense clumps of native asparagopsis armata seaweed are being ...
- Researchers say cultivated seaweed can soak up excess nutrients plaguing human health and marine lifeon April 27, 2021 at 10:17 am
It's easy to think that more nutrients—the stuff life needs to grow and thrive—would foster more vibrant ecosystems. Yet nutrient pollution has in fact wrought havoc on marine systems, contributing to ...
- Tassie business bags $34 million for seaweed helping curb the environmental impact of flatulent farm animalson April 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Sea Forest has raised $34 million in funding as it looks to capitalise on a global opportunity reducing the methane output of farm animals.
- Big guns pile into seaweed for green cattleon April 25, 2021 at 7:53 pm
Seaweed farmer Sea Forest’s new shareholders include Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and Rich Lister Peter Gunn after a $34 million raising.
- 3D Ocean Farm Off Martha’s Vineyard Produces Eco-Friendly Oysters, Clams And Seaweedon April 23, 2021 at 2:15 pm
So imagine a farm where you don’t need to water, you don’t need to fertilize, and don’t have any carbon emissions. That would be the farm of the future. That takes me to the Atlantic Ocean off the ...
- Seaweed Cultivation Market to Showcase Continued Growth in the Coming Yearson April 21, 2021 at 5:05 pm
MarketsandMarkets” The market size is estimated to be valued at USD 16.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 30.2 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR ...
- E. Samar farmers to venture into seaweed farmingon April 21, 2021 at 12:08 am
Some 343 seaweeds farmers of Eastern Samar stand to benefit from the proposed Eastern Samar Seaweed Production and Trading Enterprises where the products will be called Raw Dried Seaweeds.Ms. Helen O.
- A Seaweed Diet Could Reduce Cattle’s CO2 Emissionson April 19, 2021 at 10:55 pm
Green, red, or amber seaweed might turn to be the perfect new ingredient on the menu for cattle, while tackling the future of the environment, too.
via Bing News