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Biomass energy from seaweed, with textiles

Industry News | September 1, 2014 | By:

Approximately 90 percent of total worldwide energy consumption relies on burning fossil fuels, and with finite resources of oil and gas, not to mention CO2 in the atmosphere accumulating at an alarming rate, the clock is ticking on finding renewable energy sources. The European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme provided a grant to a consortium of 11 partners from 7 European nations to develop advanced textiles that will allow open sea cultivation of seaweed for use as a sustainable biomass fuel. The AT~SEA project targets development of three types of textile materials: 3-D multilayer textile substrates for seaweed cultivation, textile-based cables for anchoring the substrates and coated textiles for flexible, lightweight flotation tubes, storage and transportation. Seaweed grows much faster than land-based biomass crops, and since 70 percent of the planet’s surface is ocean, sea cultivation is a wide-open frontier. The members of the EU signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, specifying that 20 percent of the EU’s energy should come from renewable sources by 2020.

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