Role for macroalgae in AD: part of the £100bn bioeconomy?

Two new research papers on use of macroalgae (seaweed) for use in AD have been published. 

The first of these, "Bio-methane potential test (BMP) using inert gas sampling bags with macroalgae feedstock", outlined the biogas potential from certain strands of algae and gave the following useful results: "Dried laminaria digitata (DD) with 68.14% VS (%TS) produced the highest BMP of 141 ± 5.77 L CH4/kg VS, with methane content increasing to about 70%, while the lowest BMP of 93.35 ± 5.03 L CH4/kg VS with methane content of about 65% was obtained for fresh laminaria digitata (FD) with 72.03% VS (%TS). Methane yields of 97.66 and 67.24 m3 CH4/t wet weight based on BMP results were obtained for DD and FD. Both DD and FD achieved within 28% and 38% of the theoretical BMP value based on the Buswell equation, respectively." See full results and conditions here.  

The second paper, available on request from ADBA, "Methanosarcina Play an Important Role in Anaerobic Co-Digestion of the Seaweed Ulva lactuca: Taxonomy and Predicted Metabolism of Functional Microbial Communities", is also an important contribution to the development of the algae economy. 

Algae could be part of the future bioeconomy: "The European Commission notes that the EU bioeconomy (not restricted to waste feedstocks) already has a turnover of nearly €2 trillion and employs more than 22 million people, 9% of total employment in the EU." ( )

Therefore these research papers are a small but important part of creating value from currently-undervalued resources, contributing to job creation.

Posted in: News for Members, R&D Updates

Tags: macroalgae, r&d dissemination, R&D, Ollie More, anaerobic digestion, biogas, seaweed