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A new dimension of seaweed farming

AT~SEA project researchers are aiming to grow seaweed in high yields using underwater textiles. © stevehullphotography
AT~SEA project researchers are aiming to grow seaweed in high yields using underwater textiles. © stevehullphotography

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.  

 

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