There has been, over recent decades, a growing imperative to find alternatives in the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. This has taken the form of renewable systems "green"(e.g wind, solar,tidal, nuclear etc.) or the use of biofuels where there is a lower net contribution to atmospheric CO2 than in the conventional use of fossil fuels. This project aims to afford the possibility of a local contribution to "green" energy generation as well as producing a useful source of protein, efficient local waste management and carbon sequestration.
Duckweed has been used historically in some parts as a protein source for human consumption and stock feeding, most commonly in fish farming. The ability of duckweed to remove organic and mineral constituents in waste water is well established and used both in developed and non industrialised countries. There is an established body of research and development concerning the harvestable uses of duckweed in several parts of the world although in the UK it is perceived more as a problem than useful resource. All the topics included in the proposal are based on published data and do not include the speculative development of novel technologies. The project will require the collaboration of a number of actors to contribute a wide spectrum of expertise and facilities.
This proposed project is to explore and develop the use of duckweed for the treatment of local organic waste (e.g. dairy farms.) To create a production module that maximises efficient growth and harvesting for local deployment and to explore the production and marketing for a variety of potential uses to include the following:
- biomass generation
- alcohol fuel production
- fish and animal feed stock
- carbon generation and sequestration
- fertiliser reclamation
- organic waste recycling