Biochemical composition of red, green and brown seaweeds common at the Swedish west coast
Conference poster, 2016
Fossil resources are still important to provide fuels and commodities in our society. However, a transition to bio-based fuels and chemicals are needed. In Sweden, e.g. biofuels still account for 4 % of the total petroleum consumption. About two thirds of our consumed biofuels are made using domestic rapeseed, wheat, barley and left-over wine as raw materials, while the rest is imported. All of these resources are from traditional agriculture and requires land, fertilizers, and freshwater. While these types of biomasses will surely play a role in a sustainable future, making not only transport fuels, but also fine and bulk chemicals as well as materials, other biomass alternatives are also needed. Macroalgae require no arable land and need no other fertilizer than what the sea provides naturally. However, to realise algae bio-products targeted technological research efforts regarding cultivation and refining processes are required.
To further explore the potential of the sea and the use of marine resources for biorefining, further knowledge on biochemical content of algal biomass is needed to be gathered. This is especially true for the Western coast of Sweden. Filling these knowledge gaps will give the opportunity to find novel utilizations of macroalgae, making it possible to find new species suitable for food, feed, chemical or biofuel production.
In this project, 23 seaweed and filamentous algae species of green, red and brown algae have been collected from and around the national park of Kosterhavet. The biochemical content of these has been determined to gain knowledge regarding the variation in biomass composition between algae species in Swedish waters. Analyses have been conducted for both elementals (C, H, N, S, P and metals) and macromolecular composition (total carbohydrates, total proteins, ash) as well as dry weight. Hopefully, our data can result in future research leading to novel applications and potential marine industries.