March 5, 2012
Future Of Energy Source Is Seaweed, Researchers Say
Researchers are looking to the sea in their search for safer and cleaner future alternative energy sources.
The team from various institutions and organizations is developing methods for growing and harvesting seaweed as a source of renewable energy.
Professor Avigdor Abelson of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology believes that not only can the macroalgae be grown unobtrusively along coastlines, they can also help clear the water of excessive nutrients.
Pollution caused by human waste and fish farming have lead to excessive amounts of nutrients and detrimental algae, harming endangered coral reefs.
The researchers believe producing biofuel from seaweed-based sources could solve problems that already exist within the marine environment.
They are developing a system called the Combined Aquaculture Multi-Use Systems (CAMUS) to help take into account the realities of the marine environment and human activity in it.
The system will encourage the growth of seaweed for eventual conversion into biofuel to help solve environmental problems.
"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," Abelson said in a press release.
Currently, the team is working to increase the carbohydrate and sugar contents of the seaweed for efficient fermentation into bioethanol.
The researchers said the CAMUS system could turn seaweed into a sustainable bioethanol source that is productive, efficient, and cost-effective.
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