ENP Newswire -
Release date- 20022014 - New research to turn seaweed into liquid biofuel aims to overcome two main barriers to the plant becoming a major source of renewable energy.
Ensilage - a method traditionally used by farmers to turn grass into hay for winter animal feed - has potential to stop the seaweed rotting. The research, backed by
There is a global race on to develop the technologies to make seaweed a viable source of green power. The plant, a macroalga, turns sunlight into chemical energy three times more efficiently than land plants.
'Current biofuels may not be sustainable,' says Dr
'Salt-water algae are therefore a very attractive proposition as an alternative biofuel if we can overcome the challenges.'
Dr Milledge is working closely with group coordinator Professor
The consortium, known as MacroBioCrude, received EPSRC funding to establish an integrated supply and processing pipeline for the sustainable manufacture of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from seaweed. MacroBioCrude brings together researchers from six universities: Greenwich, Durham, Aberystwyth,
Dr Milledge explains the importance of the 'energy return on energy investment' or EROI, in the research: 'EROI is the ratio of the energy produced compared to the amount of energy invested in its product, and this net energy gain is central to any evaluation of biofuels. A ratio of less than one indicates that more energy is used than produced. We are aiming for an EORI greater than one.'
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