Biochemical composition of red, green and brown seaweeds on the Swedish west coast
Journal article, 2020
Seaweed biomass has the potential to become an important raw material for bio-based production. The aim of this study was to screen the overall composition of several seaweed species on the Swedish west coast, including some scarcely studied species, to provide fundamentals for evaluation of biorefining potential and to benchmark with already potentially industrially relevant species and commercially important land-based biomasses. Twenty-two common seaweed species (green, red, brown) were collected and the carbohydrate, ash, protein, water and metal contents were measured. Carbohydrate content varied between 237 and 557 g kg−1 dry weight (dw), making it the largest constituent, on a dry weight basis, of most species in the study. Ash, which is considered unwanted in biorefining, ranged between 118 and 419 g kg−1 dw and was the largest constituent in several seaweeds, which were therefore considered unsuitable for biorefining. Protein content was most abundant in the red seaweeds but was generally low in all species (59–201 g kg−1 dw). High contents of several unwanted metals for processing or human consumption were found (e.g. aluminium, arsenic, copper, chromium and nickel), which need to be considered when utilizing seaweeds for certain applications. Potential targets for further biorefinery development mostly include species already known for their potential (Saccharina latissima, Laminaria digitata and Chondrus crispus) while some, such as Halidrys siliquosa and Dilsea carnosa, have not been previously noted. However, more detailed studies are required to explore biorefinery processes for these seaweeds, as well as how to potentially cultivate them.