Use of macroalgae for marine biomass production and CO2 remediation: a review
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- Gao, K. & McKinley, K.R. J Appl Phycol (1994) 6: 45. doi:10.1007/BF02185904
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Biomass production from macroalgae has been viewed as important mainly because of the need for pollution abatement. Environmental considerations will increasingly determine product and process acceptability and drive the next generation of economic opportunity. Some countries, including Japan, are actively promoting "green" technologies that will be in demand worldwide in the coming decades. Should an international agreement on CO2-reduction be ratified, its effective use for energy production would be of high priority. This report shows that macroalgae have great potential for biomass production and CO2 bioremediation. Macroalgae have high productivity, as great or greater than the most productive land plants, and do not compete with terrestrial crops for farm land. The review focuses on recent data on productivity, photosynthesis, nutrient dynamics, optimization and economics. Biomass from macroalgae promises to provide environmentally and economically feasible alternatives to fossil fuels. Nevertheless, the techniques and technologies for growing macroalgae on a large-scale and for converting feedstocks to energy carriers must be more fully developed.