seaweed tagged posts

Seaweed: The food and fuel of the future?

Sunshine has given way to wind and rain, as the motorboat chugs through a fjord in the Faroe Islands.

“Its a bit windy here,” says Olavur Gregarsen. “We’ll see how far we can get to the harvesting boat.” 

We soon reach a sheltered spot where steep mountains are looking down on hundreds of buoys bobbing in the sea. 

“They are holding up a horizontal line,” explains Mr Gregarsen, the managing director of Ocean Rainforest, a seaweed producer. “At every metre another line hangs down, and that’s where the seaweed grows.”

Breaking waves

Anchored to the sea floor, the cultivation rig consists of 50,000m (164,000ft) of underwater lattice-like ropes, designed to withstand rough sea conditions. 

“The main structure is 10m down...

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Seaweed biofuel

Seaweed farming

Scientists are farming seaweed next to the tiny north-western island of Kerrera as part of an international project to produce seaweed-based biofuel.

This farm is one of three trials in the inshore waters off the coasts of Norway, Scotland and Ireland, which are growing sugar kelp on textile mats suspended in the water.

This experimental harvest will reveal which textile produces the best “carpet of seaweed”.

Some experts suggest that producing fuel from seaweed is too expensive to make it viable as a business, but these researchers say they could have commercial-scale farms within a decade. Selling the seaweed for other purposes – as a food or a cosmetic ingredient for example – could increase the value of the crop.

Local resident Duncan MacEachen explained to BBC News what this new techn...

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