Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Asia Looks to Algae for CO2 Sequestration

Covered at Wired.com, and reported by the Associated Press.

Asian scientists are looking at seaweed farming as a potent tool for carbon sequestration. The article covers the basics. Seaweed grows fast, seaweed is already used in food production, seaweed has a good deal of potential as a next generation biofuel feedstock, and seaweed may take a lot of energy to harvest.

What makes this proposed algae use different than the others I've posted? This is done in the ocean and not in a closed system. So instead of a pure, scientifically controlled strains of algae they would just go for whatever takes off in the Ocean. Not exactly a measurable sure bet beyond the fact that CO2 will be used in the growth of the algae strain that takes off.

Not mentioned. The fact that large stands of algae could cure dead zones effected at the mouth of large rivers (the Mississippi and gulf of Mexico). This same use of algae could have longterm effects on the ecosystems they are grown in (meaning potential longterm environmental concerns).

Something about algae always reminds me of nuke power. Easy to understand, a great deal of potential, but for some reason the true commercial projects never seem to happen. Something about this proposal just looks like a litigation magnet.

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