Exploring geotextiles as a new substrate for macroalgae production

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Macroalgae (seaweeds) are increasingly cultured for food and useful bioproducts –wild harvests account for on 5% of production, the rest is cultured. While the industry has grown to over $6 billion worldwide, cultivation techniques for growing seaweeds in the field remain remarkably simple and rely on old technology – most outplanted seaweed is grown on cotton string, the string is then wound onto rope and outplanted into the field. Such an approach restricts amount of area upon which the seaweed can grow to a single linear dimension, limiting yields drastically. The industry is ripe for technological innovation.
Geotextiles could provide an essential innovation to this burgeoning industry and revolutionise it. Because the texture and strength of material should allow more efficient production – by outplanting algal spores directly onto the geotextile and using wider sheets, rather than ropes, much higher biomasses should be achievable for the same effort. This project will compare geotextiles to traditional approaches of macroalgal culture as a first step for assessing the applicability of this technology.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date13/03/1729/09/17

Funding

  • Geofabrics Australasia Pty Ltd: AUD10,000.00