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.
Billions of tonnes of water are swept up and down Europe’s estuaries and coastlines each and every day. Engineers have been working hard to develop the technologies to tap into this vast store of tidal energy and are now predicting a ramp-up in production from 2020 onwards.
The European Union has launched new plans to revolutionise how it trades and supplies energy, but to ensure its success EU funds need to support the frontiers of science and knowledge, according to Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
It is very, very difficult to predict when a big earthquake will hit. And we may never be able to forecast precisely the time, magnitude and location of destructive quakes such as those that tore through central Italy in August and October. But our understanding of how they happen is improving dramatically, says Giulio Di Toro, professor of geology in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, UK.
He says we should focus on building houses to withstand them.
Turbines capture the movement of the sea.
The Pacific region can serve as an exemplar of how science diplomacy could work, says Prof. Jean-François Marini.