From the sea to the plate, there is only one step, but seaweeds are far from having said their last word! What if they were to slip into your future clothes, roads or even the tank of your car? These living organisms are already known to be a carbon trap, but they hold many opportunities to fight against global warming. Tomorrow, algae will be everywhere and could also be found in medicines or even replace plastic.
And yes! Some people remember these plants that disturbed their discovery of the seabed, their walks on the seashore, without mentioning these living beings that proliferate during hot weather. But science reserves a completely different fate for algae as we know them today, with a booming business.
On the whole planet, scientists have counted more than 10,000 species of algae visible to the naked eye, which are not exploited as they should be. Indeed, for the climate, these organisms, if properly managed, could sequester more than 1,000 tons of CO2 per year per square kilometer, which represents a more efficient carbon trap than forest ecosystems, according to Ocean Wise. But that’s not all; while algae are currently mainly used in Asia, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations explains that the global market for these species is growing rapidly with production tripling between 2000 and 2018.
Apart from their contribution in the production of oxygen, these algae can surprise and enter our lives for their unexpected virtues.
Spirulina, already known by a large number of people, can be used as a food or supplement, but it can also be used in the field of cosmetics thanks to its beneficial contributions because it delays the effects of aging on skin while revitalizing it.
In the fight against global warming
A study conducted by an American team from the University of California shows that just 80 grams per day of red algae feed could reduce methane emissions from livestock farms by up to 82%, without affecting the growth of the animals.
They are also efficient because they do not consume fresh water and do not need chemicals to grow. They also produce oxygen while de-acidifying the water, reduce coastal erosion, provide resources for various marine organisms, and are excellent fertilizers.
In the field of fuels
After the proposal of algoroutes, a bio-bitumen project developed with microalgae, industries are thinking about biofuel for the mobility of tomorrow. This alternative fuel is promising and virtuous.
A project is being developed by Roya Aghighi, who proposes a fabric developed in collaboration with a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia. Also called “biogarmentry,” this fabric of the future will be able to breathe while capturing the CO2 present in the air. A first proposal is launched for a living fabric that is transparent and speckled.
The Irish-Canadian designer hopes to create a more intimate relationship between the owner and his or her garment with the fact that it is alive and should be treated as such. “You’re not going to throw your clothes in the corner of your closet or in the washing machine,” she says in an interview for CNN. “It’s going to change the way we think about our clothes.”
A proposal still far from mass production, but still promising for the society of tomorrow.
@Riccieri de Barros Maciel