MacroSystems will use disruptive techniques to make macroalgae cultivation a commercially attractive business investment on a near-term basis – in this case less than 3 years! The main innovation components are to: use selective breeding to increase harvesting yield, and apply ground-breaking direct seeding on specially designed substrates to save time, energy and money in the hatchery phase. Furthermore, we plan to optimize macroalgae (Macrocystis pyrifera) cultivation in the open ocean through site-specific adaption and techno-economic modeling of a proven offshore cultivation system. MacroSystems will also develop a new harvesting machine that will enable large scale harvest using minimum cost and time, and ensure maximum quality of landed biomass through low-energy storage-stabilization techniques. MacroSystems’ goal is to demonstrate that the harvested macroalgae will contain five times the amount of energy relative to the amount of energy required to produce the biomass product. This net energy will be calculated from design and engineering techno-economics.
The project is funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Mariner program.