New research shows that algae carbon capture technology might help solve the world’s beer shortage, in addition to fighting climate change.
Researchers Peter Ralph and Mathieu Pernice from the University of Technology Sydney explain that algae-captured carbon could be of great use in the production of commercial products, helping various industries become more sustainable, while keeping the harmful emissions out of the atmosphere.
In their paper, published in the latest issue of PLOS Biology, the two researchers focus on the problem of CO2 pollution and lay out their idea for a multi-leveled solution.
According to them, algae-based carbon capture and manufacture (CCM) technologies can help protect the environment and at the same time help manufacturing companies become more climate-aware and adopt greener production practices.
To prove the practical side of algae carbon capture on the example of beer production, they teamed up with Young Henrys brewery, where the researchers captured emitted carbon from the brewery’s fermentation process and used it to create algal biomass.
Having a clean origin, the algal biomass can then be used to create commercial consumer products, making the whole process a promising example of carbon recycling.
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As Ralph explains it, “Algae-based CCM has great potential to help mitigate climate change by capturing atmospheric carbon and using it to create long-lasting bioproducts to store carbon. Additionally, CCM offers numerous industrial benefits, such as reducing the cost of chemical processes and enabling the use of advanced manufacturing, potentially transforming many industries into climate-positive biomanufacturing.”
Another field in which photosynthesis has been used successfully for production is the plant-based meat industry, where the results in reducing carbon emissions were significant, especially when compared to the conventional meat industry.
Algae-based CCM practices may have the potential to convert many more industries from emission generators to CO2 neutral leaders.