A consortium led by Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has initiated a project to develop a process to generate bio-methane from the marine algae through anaerobic digestion.
TheThe three-year SeaGas project has received £2.78m funding from the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.
The project aims to produce sustainable energy by processing seaweed as an alternative to the traditional agricultural and food wastes. This spares the use of agricultural land for food crops.
In order to counter availability and variability of seaweed, the consortium will build a storage system to support operation of the AD for a period of one year.
The project partners include The Crown Estate, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Queen’s University Belfast and Newcastle University.
CPI AD business and projects head Steve Broome said: "This project brings together a powerful consortium that, for the first time ever, joins up the expertise and facilities needed to develop a methodology and commercial rationale for exploiting the UK’s seabed as a source of sustainable biomass and renewable energy."
The project is expected to further exploit the use of seaweed in other applications.
The Crown Estate chief scientist Mike Cowling said: "It is particularly gratifying to see that the results of the initial pilot study have led to this exciting next stage investigation of the commercial viability of the production of bio-methane from seaweeds."
Image: Seaweed will replace the traditional food waste as feedstock in the AD process.Photo: courtesy of Centre for Process Innovation Limited.