Although Sargassum species and types look superficially similar they have quite different biochemical and elemental constituents,”notes Prof Mona Webber, Professor of Marine Science at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica.
“Each type of Sargassum could produce completely different chemical compounds which is shown by colleagues (Davis et al. 2020) working here in Jamaica and at University of York. What is also interesting is that when combined (species and types together) the biomass can be used for different purposes (including agricultural applications), which augers well for community re-use.
I’m really interested in the biomethane potential of Sargassum. Colleagues have shown that the biomethane potential of Sargassum used alone is not great, but it becomes very productive when you combine it with food waste or other waste organic material. This means that to produce biogas, we do not need to pre-process Sargassum, it can be used directly in the biogas digesters, and it can be used with organic waste products. There is a whole chain of use to be explored so that communities can make use of the Sargassum.”