Researchers are developing textiles that could be used for large-scale seaweed farms off Europe’s coast.
Seaweed could be more commonly used as a source of chemicals and biofuel if researchers can work out how to grow it and process it efficiently.
Seaweed is normally grown on underwater ropes, but AT~SEA project researchers believe that textiles could be used to cultivate it more efficiently. They are experimenting with textures and surfaces that will produce the highest yields, and hope to grow 20 kilograms of seaweed per square metre, paving the way for large-scale sea farms in the future.
Horizon’s film crew travelled out to one of the project’s test sites off the coast of Galway, Ireland, to find out more from project coordinator Bert Groenendaal and fellow researcher Guy Buyle, from project partner Centexbel.
From fungal spore spray to insect egg dispensers, unleashing an army of living enemies on crops to keep pests and diseases in check may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s part of a more natural approach to agriculture, designed to decrease reliance on chemicals.
Recycling innovations such as plastic-eating microbes could sweeten the fortunes of the global plastic recycling industry which has suffered from cut-throat competition due to the low price of oil, one of the main ingredients of traditional plastic products.
Real-time data from smokers’ brains could help them re-programme their minds and stub out cigarettes for good.
The United Nation’s declaration on the future of the world’s cities, known as the Quito Declaration, will mean that citizens’ needs are placed at the heart of the urban development process, according to Dr Niki Frantzeskaki, an associate professor at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Researchers are exploring new ways to give up tobacco.
The UN’s Quito Declaration puts citizens at the heart of city planning.