Seaweed

Seaweed

Waterweeds

There has been a lot of work over the years to harvest fresh and salt water weeds. These can be used as a source of biomass to make biofuels by a variety of methods.

Photo.

Water hyacinth blankets the upper reach of the Shuikou hydropower station on the Minjiang River in East China's Fujian province, August 2, 2011. The invasive plant, can double its area in 10 to 15 days. [Photo/Xinhua]​

 

Seaweed

A new organism has been engineered to break down the alignates locking up the sugar in seaweed, then converting it into ethanol. The process achieves 80% yield from the sugars present in the seaweed.

Details...

Why Seaweed?

Seaweed is a low cost, sustainable and scalable biomass feedstock. Seaweed is an ideal biomass because it:

  • has up to 60% fermentable carbohydrates
  • has no lignin
  • does not require arable land use for 

Growth

  • requires no freshwater to grow
  • can reduce marine pollution

Bio Architecture Lab BAL

“About 60 percent of the dry biomass of seaweed are sugars, and more than half of those are locked in a single sugar - alginate,” said Daniel Trunfio, Chief Executive Officer at Bio Architecture Lab. “Our scientists have developed a pathway to metabolize the alginate, allowing us to unlock all the sugars in seaweed, which therefore makes macroalgae an economical alternative feedstock for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals.”  

Fermentation using: Vibrio splendidus

An Engineered Microbial Platform for Direct Biofuel Production from Brown Macroalgae - Science 20 Jan 2012

Pilot plant in Chile

"using 3% of the world's coastal waters to grow seaweed would produce 60 bn gallons of ethanol – more than 40% of the fuel burned by US cars and trucks." 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/19/gm-microbe-seaweed-biofuels

Fermentation using genetically modified E. Coli :

Engineered Superbugs Boost Hopes of Turning Seaweed Into Fuel - Science 20 Jan 2012

 

Alignate in seaweed

Alginate is extracted from seaweeds, such as giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). The chemical constituents of alginate are random sequences of chains of β-D-mannuronic and α-L-guluronic acids attached with 1→4 linkages. Alginates are insoluble in water, but absorb water readily. They are useful as gelling and thickening agents. Alginates are used in the manufacture of textiles, paper, and cosmetics. The sodium salt of alginic acid, sodium alginate, is used in the food industry to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. Alginates are found in food products such as ice cream and in slimming aids where they serve as appetite suppresants. In dentistry, alginates are used to make dental impressions.

Alginic acid, Alginates 

From http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/carbohydrates2.html 

(I know, it doesn't look good, but their chemistry is very good)

Alginate is extracted from seaweeds, such as giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). The chemical constituents of alginate are random sequences of chains of β-D-mannuronic and α-L-guluronic acids attached with 1→4 linkages. Alginates are insoluble in water, but absorb water readily. They are useful as gelling and thickening agents. Alginates are used in the manufacture of textiles, paper, and cosmetics. The sodium salt of alginic acid, sodium alginate, is used in the food industry to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. Alginates are found in food products such as ice cream and in slimming aids where they serve as appetite suppresants. In dentistry, alginates are used to make dental impressions.

 

Alginic acid

Alignic acid