Navigation Links
Is seaweed the future of biofuel?
Date:3/5/2012

As scientists continue the hunt for energy sources that are safer, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuel, an ever-increasing amount of valuable farmland is being used to produce bioethanol, a source of transportation fuel. And while land-bound sources are renewable, economists and ecologists fear that diverting crops to produce fuel will limit food resources and drive up costs.

Now, Prof. Avigdor Abelson of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology and the new Renewable Energy Center, and his colleagues Dr. Alvaro Israel of the Israel Oceanography Institute, Prof. Aharon Gedanken of Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Ariel Kushmaro of Ben-Gurion University, and their Ph.D. student Leor Korzen, have gone to the seas in the quest for a renewable energy source that doesn't endanger natural habitats, biodiversity, or human food sources.He says that marine macroalgae common seaweed can be grown more quickly than land-based crops and harvested as fuel without sacrificing usable land. It's a promising source of bioethanol that has remained virtually unexplored until now.

The researchers are now developing methods for growing and harvesting seaweed as a source of renewable energy. Not only can the macroalgae be grown unobtrusively along coastlines, Prof. Abelson notes, they can also clear the water of excessive nutrients caused by human waste or aquaculture which disturb the marine environment.

A man-made "ecosystem"

While biomasses grown on land have the potential to inflict damage on the environment, the researchers believe that producing biofuel from seaweed-based sources could even solve problems that already exist within the marine environment. Many coastal regions, including the Red Sea in the south of Israel, have suffered from eutrophication pollution caused by human waste and fish farming, which leads to excessive amounts of nutrients and detrimental algae, ultimately harming endangered coral reefs.

Encouraging the growth of seaweed for eventual conversion into biofuel could solve these environmental problems. The system that the researchers are developing, called the "Combined Aquaculture Multi-Use Systems" (CAMUS), takes into account the realities of the marine environment and human activity in it. Ultimately, all of these factors function together to create a synthetic "man-made ecosystem," explains Prof. Abelson.

Man-made fish feeders, which produce pollution in the form of excess nutrients and are generally considered harmful to the marine environment, would become a positive link in this chain. Used alongside an increased population of filter feeders such as oysters, which suck in extra particles and convert them food that the microalgae can consume, this"pollution" could be used to sustain a much greater yield of seaweed, which is needed for seaweed to become a sustainable source of fuel.

"By employing multiple species, CAMUS can turn waste into productive resources such as biofuel, at the same time reducing pollution's impact on the local ecosystem," he says.

Turning waste into opportunity

The researchers are now working to increase the carbohydrate and sugar contents of the seaweed for efficient fermentation into bioethanol, and they believe that macroalgae will be a major source for biofuel in the future. The CAMUS system could turn seaweed into a sustainable bioethanol source that is productive, efficient, and cost-effective.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Extra weight loss from dietary fibers extracted from seaweed
2. Seaweed hotspots, illegal logging, and discovering new species under the desert
3. Seaweed records show impact of ocean warming
4. Study identifies molecules used by certain species of seaweed to harm corals
5. Study in underwater laboratory may help manage seaweed-eating fish that protect coral
6. Illinois-UC Berkeley discovery turns seaweed into biofuel in half the time
7. Sea urchins cannot control invasive seaweeds
8. Oldest fossils of large seaweeds, worm-like animals tell story of ancient oxygen
9. Antifungal compound found on tropical seaweed has promising antimalarial properties
10. Seaweed as biofuel? Metabolic engineering makes it a viable option
11. Researchers offer first proof that chemicals from seaweeds damage coral on contact
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... Florida , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange ... potential users of its soon to be launched online ... ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential ... use of DNA technology to an industry that is ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 29, 2016 ... or the "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are ... DNA in ink used in a variety of writing ... theft. Buyers of originally created collectibles from athletes on ... through forensic analysis of the DNA. ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and development services to ... business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President and CEO, Tom ... of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” , Kablooe has ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016 ... will fully recover given the relentless pressures in pricing ... sure in the investors circle though - numerous opportunities ... Ahead of today,s session, ActiveWallSt.com,s presents four names in ... ), Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VTAE ), ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Shimadzu ... at The University of Toledo. This two-day camp will take place annually starting ... the field of pharmaceutical sciences in preparation for a university academic program. ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2016 , ... Ryan Benton ... a life expectancy in the late teens to early twenties. DMD is a relatively ... 2009, at the age of 22, Benton’s condition was critical. He met with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: