Large Scale Ocean Based Algae Production System by Robert Tulip
Industrial ocean based system for algae production, powered by wave, tide, current and sun, aim to fix more CO2 than total human emissions
Plastic tubes of fresh water floating at sea (waterbags) power an algae photobioreactor (PBR) using wave and tide energy to produce algae with a method that is ecologically friendly, commercially profitable and rapidly scalable to slow climate change and replace fossil fuel. Moving with the waves or tide, a waterbag can pump nutrient-rich water and CO2-enriched air into a PBR to suck carbon from the air at low cost. Bubbling CO2 up through the PBR will maximise algae growth to convert CO2 into fuel and food products. The algated soup produced by the PBR will be pumped into sealed bags and sunk to the ocean floor to settle, forming a carbon bank of oil and protein. Using nutrient-rich waste water in the pilot phase, use of salt water PBR input may be possible later. The eventual aim is to mine more carbon from the air than total human emissions.
This system can cool and clean the water in the Gulf of Mexico, reducing heat input to the Gulf Stream and therefore the Arctic, aiming to reduce hurricane intensity, polar ice melt and methane release. As a breakthrough method to drive CO2 levels down to a safe level and reverse local ocean heating and acidity, the big aim is to work out the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way to stabilise the global climate, as a Gaia Project.
Current trends will lead to catastrophic global warming in our lifetimes. CO2 is a primary security threat. Human ingenuity has to work with nature to remove excess CO2 from the air. First, governments and communities need to be confident that a proposed technology is beneficial and well regulated, and that all risks are understood.
Algae PBRs have already produced biomass yield double the fastest growing crops and could more than double this rate yet again. My proposal addresses problems of the cost of land, labour, materials and energy inputs. Algae farms at sea can be profitable to replicate around the world, while protecting the environment against climate change and habitat loss.
Category of the action
What actions do you propose?
Who will take these actions?
Where will these actions be taken?
What are other key benefits?
Operating on large scale to remove more CO2 than anthropogenic emissions, preventing climate change
Addresses "peak oil" and replaces harmful fossil fuel production.
Ocean cooling to reduce risk of Arctic ice melt and methane release and protect coral reefs
System at river mouths feeds nutrients into energy production instead of marine destruction
Reducing acidification - converting carbonic acid to algae reduces damage to the food chain caused by dissolving shells
Protection of terrestrial food production and biodiversity - algae reduces incentive for land clearing, competing with crops like palm oil and corn that are diverted to fuel
Improves food security by reducing market price of food oil and providing protein suitable for stock and fish feed
Controlled enhancement of ocean productivity through deployment under rigorous protocols
Biofuel suitable for internal combustion engines and coal fired power stations;
Major new industry providing sustainable economic growth and employment
What are the proposal’s costs?
Initial budget of $10,000 would fund proof of concept through production of peer reviewed journal article based on laboratory modelling. A critical path and budget for further steps would be determined as part of initial scoping. The aim is to achieve a system that will be commercially profitable through private investment, within a framework acceptable to public authorities.