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Carbon dioxide utilization and seaweed production

By V. R. P. Sinha and Bs Chowdhry

Abstract

Stronger growth in many plants stimulated by increased CO 2 concentration should lead to greater biological productivity with an expected increase in the photosynthetic storage of carbon. Thus, the biosphere will serve as a sink for CO2, though it will also act as a source too, because of respiration. Normally net photosynthesis dominates in summer and removes CO2 from the atmosphere, whereas respiration dominates in winter and releases CO2 in the atmosphere. However in the tropics where day length is quite long with about 10+ or –2 hours throughout the year, net photosynthesis is expected to dominate. In this background utilization of CO2 as an industrial by-product for seaweed production holds great promise not only in acting as a significant sink, but also in meeting to some extent global food, fodder, fuel and pharmaceutical requirements, particularly in the tropics. It is interesting to note that 3.5 tons of alga production utilizes 1.27 tons of carbon and about 0.22 tons of nitrogen and 0.03 tons of phosphorus. CO2 can be utilized for stimulating the wild growth of seaweed in the sea or in culture on the shore and also possibilities exist for promoting growth of freshwater algae, fern and other submerged weed particularly Hydrilla, which is a choice feed for many fast growing fish. However, no such scientific studies have been done to evaluate this and quantify the degree of stimulation of growth and enhanced productivity through anthropogenic CO2. Culture and wild harvest of seaweed is commonly practiced in many countries in Japan

Year: 2011
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