Sinking Seaweed

Seaweed is a well-known and promising climate solution. It captures CO quickly because it grows fast (~ 5x as fast as land plants). Moreover, it does not compete for fresh water and agricultural land. With proper processing (use as material, soil conditioner and/or sinking) it can clear up large amounts of CO . If 9% of the oceans were arranged as a seaweed nursery, the climate problem could be solved in a few decades ( N’Yeurt et al 2012 ).

Photo by Nikoline Arns

Why we work with Sargassum Seaweed

Sargassum seaweed specifically plays a major role in the natural CO cycle, namely in the Sargasso Sea (this is located to the north than the recently created Sargassum Belt). The seaweed that sinks naturally in the Sargassum Sea accounts for no less than 7% of the worldwide biological ocean carbon pump ( Sargasso Sea Commission[1] ).

In the Sargassum Sea, the seaweed stays together due to natural currents. The Sargassum has now been growing widely between Africa and the Caribbean for about ten years is now washing up in huge smothering mats. Briefly,  ​​this project aims to prevent the algae from further impacting Mexico vital nursery habitats and coral reefs and at the same time develop similar carbon pump just like in the Sargassum Sea.

There are now 20 million tonnes of Sargassum growing in the Atlantic Ocean every year (and this is increasing). If 50% of this biomass is sunk in the deep sea, potentially this will drown down an estimated 1 million tonnes of COannually.

Sargassum surplus on Skeetes Bay April 2020

Options for using seaweed as Carbon Sink

Sargassum is the ideal seaweed for developing innovative carbon storage solutions.
Options identified by us:

1)     Sinking it into the deep ocean, quite literally creating a substantial “Carbon Sink “

2)     Processing into a responsible biobased building material

3)     Processing into biomass or as a raw material for suitable applications.

Maritime Innovation Impulse Project

A first phase to start sinking seaweed on a large scale is feasibility.

Climate cleanup started the maritime innovation impulse project as a feasibility study in which Climate Cleanup verifies the scalable, multi-potent and holistic solution of sargassum seaweed. To double nature in the ocean.

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What is new about the project?

With this Maritime Innovation Impulse Project – feasibility study – partners will answer the following questions, which receive little attention, yet provide globally-significant ecological benefits and great opportunities:

1)     Which Marine Technological solutions are available to harvest the Sargassum seaweed, that are attainable, scalable, effective and environmentally friendly?

2)     Which Marine Technological solutions are available to process the Sargassum seaweed in such a way that it can actually serve as carbon sink?

3)     What are the real possibilities to use harvested Sargassum seaweed as a bio-based raw material or biomass ?      

4)     What effective infrastructure is needed to solve the Sargassum seaweed problem?

Join The 1500 Club

With 1500 people we aim to remove the 1500 gigaton of extra CO2 in our atmosphere, using nature based solutions. This 1500 Club is by and for parents, entrepreneurs, investors, children, decision makers and anyone who wants to suck CO2 with us. Take part in our plan to draw 1500 gigaton CO2 out of the atmosphere this century and restore the global carbon balance.