Over the subsequent 4 years, the SeaFree challenge will develop a closed, sustainable cycle on land that makes use of residual vitamins and CO2 from shrimp and fish farming – which in any other case pollute the ocean and contribute to world warming – to develop high-value seaweed for the meals and healthcare industries.
“The challenge goals to make use of seaweed manufacturing to soak up and convert emissions from land-based aquaculture right into a high-value product,” stated Professor Marianne Thomsen from the Division of Meals Science on the College of Copenhagen. “Amongst different issues, the seaweed might be used for dietary dietary supplements that may stop diabetes and sustainable foodstuffs improvements. Along with capturing emissions that will have in any other case been emitted into the environment and aquatic setting, the seaweed produced is each wholesome and wealthy in umami flavour.”
A single 40-foot container makes seaweed in every week
The challenge, funded by Innovation Fund Denmark with DKK 14.4 million (€1.9m), is being carried out in a collaboration among the many corporations Pure Algae, DryingMate, Meals Diagnostics, Sigrid Therapeutics, XOventure GmbH/Rigi Care, KOST, SOF Odden Caviar and HanseGarnelen.
The challenge’s start line is a 40ft container setup geared up with eight one-thousand-litre tanks. The container resolution is a Plug’n’Play resolution which may doubtlessly be exported to different international locations, in response to the researchers.
By combining salt water, CO2 and vitamins with LED lights, the unit can produce a full batch of seaweed in only one week, leading to a particularly quick harvest interval.
“SeaFree represents the most recent in recycling expertise for land-based shrimp and fish farming. Moreover capturing emissions, the system additionally recirculates surplus warmth from the vegetation to the Plug’n’Play expertise,” defined Thomsen. “The challenge contains the event of a brand new expertise that makes it doable to make use of surplus warmth to dry the seaweed which is then bought to the healthcare trade. On this method, SeaFree contributes to a extra sustainable and environment friendly manufacturing course of.”
A possible export enterprise
The ultimate product consists of climate-friendly fish, shrimp and sea lettuce – a wholesome, fibre and protein-rich seaweed species. Along with the manufacturing of varied dietary dietary supplements, sea lettuce can also be used as an edible accompaniment when folks purchase seafood.
“A part of the challenge can also be about growing recipes that enhance consciousness of seaweed as an ingredient for scrumptious home-cooked meals,” stated Thomsen.
There may be large potential in farming fish and seaweed within the method envisioned by SeaFree, she added, claiming that if the entire world’s land-based shrimp and fish farms carried out the tactic, it may considerably scale back the CO2 footprint of worldwide meals methods.
As such, the mix of aquaculture and seaweed cultivation in closed methods might nicely grow to be a brand new Danish export market.
On a worldwide degree, will probably be doable to implement the expertise, marketed as “SeaFree Synergy Options”, anyplace on the earth. As for the expertise’s environmental advantages, they’re unequivocal. “We’re already in touch with South Korea, which may be very within the expertise and the challenge’s growth,” she revealed.
The push to make algae an ‘on a regular basis commodity for future generations’
The SeaFeed challenge comes as efforts proceed to take advantage of algae’s well being and sustainability advantages. The ‘Seafood Alg-ternative’ challenge, with has acquired assist from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, is working to remodel algae into plant-based seafood substitutes. One other initiative known as North Sea Farm 1, might be situated in a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. It has acquired €1.5 million in funding from Amazon.com and also will analysis the potential of utilizing seaweed for carbon seize.
A €12 million EU-funded initiative was additionally introduced in Might 2023 to develop modern algae merchandise and can give attention to alternatives for Baltic and North Sea area.
The AlgaeProBANOS challenge, funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and a part of the SUBMARINER Community, will over 4 years look to leverage the distinctive properties of algae to create new, high-value services and products for quite a lot of purposes.
In line with the challenge, algae are an extremely versatile and sustainable useful resource which will be cultivated with out utilizing freshwater, arable land, or added fertilisers and pesticides.
By way of this challenge, the 26 companions and associates will construct acceleration networks and digital options to assist algae companies, whereas working six enterprise pilots throughout the Baltic and North Sea area, making use of each micro- and macroalgae for purposes in meals, feed, nutraceuticals, textiles, cosmetics and plant biostimulants. The challenge will carry eight modern algae-based merchandise to market, serving to to fulfill the rising demand for ecologically pleasant, prime quality round bio-based items.
Talking on the challenge launch occasion in Berlin, Angela Schultz-Zehden, Managing Director of the SUBMARINER Community, stated: “We’re tremendous excited to be embarking on this new Baltic and North Sea lighthouse challenge which is among the many largest EU-funded algae initiatives. Solely a decade in the past, the cultivation and use of algae in Europe was very a lot on the analysis stage. At this time, many large-scale trade gamers are extremely inquisitive about algae as a brand new bio-resource to enhance the environmental footprint of their merchandise. AlgaeProBANOS will make an enormous contribution to mainstreaming using algae in very totally different industries all through Europe, making it an on a regular basis commodity for future generations.”