Home » ARPA-E solicits technologies for nitrogen extraction from seawater using seaweed

ARPA-E solicits technologies for nitrogen extraction from seawater using seaweed

NEWS BRIEF: On Monday, May 13, the US Department of Energy ARPA-E will close its request for information (RFI) regarding Quantification of Effectiveness of Nutrient Bioextraction by Seaweed.

By using environmental remediation (nitrogen removal) as a mechanism for ammonia production (nitrogen recycling), this novel research area could connect together two phases of industry: production and end-of-life management. Rather than saying that this addresses both ends of a value chain, it might be more appropriate to say that this holds promise for the circular economy of ammonia energy.

Nitrogen migration from anthropogenic sources, such as agricultural runoff or wastewater discharge, is responsible for eutrophication of marine systems causing anoxia, ecological disruption and reduction in productivity of natural systems and fisheries. Eutrophication can result in widespread “dead zones” and contribute to proliferation of toxic microalgae and/or cyanobacteria, as recently seen on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

One potential solution is the large‐scale cultivation of nitrogen‐fixing seaweeds in these eutrophic marine systems. Seaweeds are non‐vascular macroalgae plants capable of rapid growth via carbon fixation and effective uptake of nitrogen, predominately in the form of nitrate. When deployed in eutrophic marine systems, cultivation of seaweeds on a large scale may provide local, and possibly regional, mitigation of excess nutrient concentration via bioextraction.
ARPA-E RFI: DE-FOA-0001953: SOLICITATION ON TOPICS INFORMING NEW PROGRAM AREAS

ARPA-E already runs the MARINER program, which supports technology innovation for large-scale seaweed production for bio-energy. This RFI seeks to validate the concept of environmental nitrogen removal and recycling (either as ammonia or in another form) as byproducts of biomass production.

In order to appropriately value the nutrient mitigation services provided by seaweed cultivation, appropriate methodologies are needed for accurate, low‐cost nitrogen monitoring within the context of seaweed farming systems to quantify the amount of nitrogen present and assimilated by seaweed cultivation. ARPA‐E seeks solutions that will add value to the MARINER program and provide technology‐to‐market (T2M) opportunities for large scale seaweed cultivation.
ARPA-E RFI: DE-FOA-0001953: SOLICITATION ON TOPICS INFORMING NEW PROGRAM AREAS

SOURCE: ARPA-E Funding Opportunity Announcements, DE-FOA-0001953: SOLICITATION ON TOPICS INFORMING NEW PROGRAM AREAS.

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