Mass-cultivation of carbohydrate rich macroalgae, a possible solution for sustainable biofuel production

  • Stefan KraanEmail author
Original Article


Global demand for bio-fuels continues unabated. Rising concerns over environmental pollution and global warming have encouraged the movement to alternate fuels, the world ethanol market is projected to reach 86 billion litres this year. Bioethanol is currently produced from land-based crops such as corn and sugar cane. A continued use of these crops drives the food versus fuel debate. An alternate feed-stock which is abundant and carbohydrate-rich is necessary. The production of such a crop should be sustainable, and, reduce competition with production of food, feed, and industrial crops, and not be dependent on agricultural inputs (pesticides, fertilizer, farmable land, water). Marine biomass could meet these challenges, being an abundant and carbon neutral renewable resource with potential to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions and the man-made impact on climate change. Here we examine the current cultivation technologies for marine biomass and the environmental and economic aspects of using brown seaweeds for bio-ethanol production.


Biofuel Bioethanol CO2 uptake Fermentation Large-scale cultivation Macroalgae Seaweed 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd.GalwayIreland

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