Algae farms to extract CO2 from the atmosphere

SPRIND Carbon to Value Challenge of the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIND funds AWI project
[17. May 2022] 

The idea of growing sargassum in huge algae farms is one of five projects that the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation is funding in the coming year. The aim is to find new solutions that make the long-term storage of large amounts of CO2 sustainable and economical.

A team led by Dr Mar Fernandez-Mendez from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), in which the companies Carbonwave and Seafields as well as other research institutions are involved, is investigating how huge sargassum farms can develop in the oceans. Sargassum is an algae that grows very quickly and constantly extracts CO2 from the seawater. Through the natural ocean-atmosphere exchange, this deficit is compensated and the atmospheric CO2 concentration is lowered. In further processing, ethanol is extracted from the sargassum for plastic production. The advantage is that the CO2 sequestration potential of the algae is many times higher than that of trees, for example, and also that there are no conflicts in land use, such as for food security. The C-Cause team is in regular contact with researchers from BASF on the possible integration of products derived from algal farming into future chemical industry value chains.

Further information is available in this SPRIND press release.


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