Study Examines Ability of Macroalga To Produce Green Hydrogen

This paper examines the performance of the macroalga Macrocystis pyrifera in thermal conversion through pyrolysis as a potential biomass for hydrogen production.

This photo was taken deep in a Central California Kelp forest on a crystal clear day. Huge columns of Giant Kelp reach for the sunlight on the surface
Getty Images.

The macroalga Macrocystis pyrifera is a giant brown seaweed characterized by its fast growth rate and photosynthetic metabolism that generates carbon sources from atmospheric CO2. This alga is a potential biomass to be applied in bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which enables carbon-negative biofuels to avoid greenhouse emissions from biomass processing and use. The study described in the complete paper is related to the thermal conversion of this alga and serves as an opening to the study of the thermal conversion of biomass commonly found in desertic or semidesertic climates.

BECCS and M. pyrifera

The relevance of BECCS and carbon-negative fuels is in the ability of plants and algae to capture atmospheric CO2 and simultaneously be a source of carbon. Second-generation biofuels—fuels derived from nonedible terrestrial crops or waste such as miscanthus, wheat straw, or paper waste—are a promising alternative. The disadvantages of their generation, however, include the high cost of related technologies and the risk of compromising food security in some areas because of the amount of land devoted to energy crops.

Algae are classified as microalgae or macroalgae (also called seaweed). The harvesting methods of macroalgae are less energy-intensive and expensive than the methods used for microalgae.

M. pyrifera, a brown macroalgae, presented several advantages because of its large size (12–22 m long), fast growth rate (7–30 cm/day), its high gas yield, and its potential sustainable cultivation.

Restricted Content
We're sorry, but this content is reserved for SPE Members. If you are a member, please sign in at the top of the page for access. If you are not a member and you find JPT content valuable, we encourage you to become a part of the SPE member community.