SINTEF scientists are being financed by the Research Council of Norway’s “Nature and Industry” programme to continue their efforts to produce biofuel from kelp (seaweed). Part of the funding will be put into developing Norwegian expertise in kelp cultivation. Two species, sugar kelp and the oriental kelp, will be studied. Both species grow rapidly and have a high carbohydrate content, which makes them good candidates for cultivation and conversion to biofuel. The research team envisages co-location of kelp cultivation and fish-farming, since kelp forests make excellent nursery grounds for fish fry.
Climate change and the debate over biodiesel taxes are raising the profile of microalga production and use, as the product will be bioethanol, which is not subject to “green” taxation.