Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Alfred Wegener Institute

New aquafarms for macroalgae


Companies have united to develop a unique value chain for seaweed and sequester one gigatonne of CO2 by 2050

Spotted: The global commercial seaweed market is projected to reach $24.92 billion (around €22.66 billion) in 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.51 per cent. This makes seaweed one of the most promising products in the seafood industry. This growth potential was one of the factors spurring the creation of the project ‘C-CAUSE’ (Chemical CARBON Utilization through Sargassum Economy).

C-Cause was founded by researchers from Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Carbonwave, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Seafields, and GEOMAR. In 2022, the project won a grant from the German Agency for Disruptive Innovation (SPRIND) to cultivate free-floating macroalgae in open-ocean aquafarms, to enable the manufacturing of algae-based biological and renewable carbon feedstocks.

This research has now been spun off into a company, Macrocarbon SL, which has received further funding of €2.3 million from SPRIND to develop its innovative ocean value chain. Macrocarbon will focus on developing integrated supply chains for the cultivation and processing of Sargassum seaweed.

The fully-grown seaweed will be harvested and processed into raw materials for the chemical industry (such as bio-naphtha). These will then replace products previously derived from fossil fuels. Sargassum is ideal for this because it grows quickly, thrives in many regions, and binds CO2 very efficiently through natural photosynthesis.

Seaweed is becoming a vital component in the fight against global warming. Springwise has spotted the versatile microalgae used in everything from batteries to biomaterials in the agricultural, fashion, and cosmetic industries.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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