Bellona, a Norwegian NGO argued the case for making biofuels from seaweed. Seaweed is much faster growing than wood, does not use valuable land or fresh water, can absorb excess nutrients from local fish farms, help de-acidify seawater and gives a high yield of ethanol that can be upgraded to aviation fuel. Bellona proposes highly mechanised cultivation methods harvesting seaweeds growing on 10 metre ropes below the sea surface. Very compelling but Bellona says that seaweed-based fuel is probably currently 3 times as expensive as ethanol from maize. Substantial further research is necessary to pull down the price. The productivity of seaweed per unit of area is far higher than land-based crops so it should be possible to make aviation fuel cost-competitive with other biological sources.
Carbon Commentary Newsletter 12th March 2017 read more »
Bellona (accessed) 12th March 2017 read more »