Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer seaweed, a new feedstock?

Biofuels Digest
Jim Lane July 5, 2011

In the UK, researchers at Aberystwyth University claim seaweed may become a viable biofuel feedstock, especially if harvested in summer. Carbohydrate levels in kelp are at their highest in July, when harvesting would ensure optimal sugar release for biofuel production.Researchers collected monthly samples and used chemical analysis to assess the seasonal variability of kelp off the Welsh coast. Results indicated the best month for biofuel harvest was in July when the kelp contained the highest proportions of carbohydrate and the lowest metal content. Kelp can be converted to biofuels in different ways including fermentation or anaerobic digestion producing ethanol and methane or pyrolysis, which produces biodiesel.

Read more