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Harnessing the power of the sun through seaweed

Harnessing the power of the sun through seaweed

In addition to the benefits of seaweed for health, this plant has many other applications that could promote the prosperity of the global population. Previously on this blog, we've discussed ongoing efforts to create sustainable biofuel derived from seaweed, but that may not be the only way that the sea vegetable can be tapped for green energy. Recently, Dr. Zoe Schnepp of the University of Birmingham posited that seaweed could be harnessed in an "artificial photosynthesis" that may simplify and enhance the solar power industry.

"Generating fuels with sunlight is one of the biggest challenges in science at the moment. Chemical fuels [derived through photosynthesis] store much more energy than batteries and can be stored for use either in stationary power plants or in vehicles. The main problem is that 'copying nature' is not straightforward," Schnepp wrote in a piece for the U.K. Independent.

To truly harness the power of the sun efficiently and effectively, Schnepp argues that we must take inspiration from plant photosynthesis while improving upon this natural process – which she described as a rather inefficient one.

"This involves using simple and safe procedures based on readily-available starting materials and generating minimum waste," she explained, adding that her research efforts include "my group is transforming things like sawdust and seaweed into materials that perform one of the key chemical reactions in artificial photosynthesis."

Dr. Schnepp and her colleagues have shed light on a fascinating new capability of seaweed and its potential role as an energy source. This new endeavor is certainly promising, but in the meantime, you can harness the power of seaweed for yourself by incorporating this nutrient-rich plant into your diet. Brimming with vitamins, minerals and trace elements, Seagreens® seaweed is sustainably wild-harvested in Grade A pristine waters, and can enhance the flavor of your food as The Mineral Salt and the Culinary Ingredient, or be taken as daily Food Capsules.

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