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Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations in Turks & Caicos

Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations in Turks & Caicos

Milledge, John J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0252-6711 (2020) Sustainable solutions for Sargassum inundations in Turks & Caicos. In: Technical webinar on Atlantic Sargassum, 4th November 2020, Online.

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Turks and Caicos (T&C) have been experiencing environmental and economic impact from increasing inundations of it is beaches by pelagic Sargassum. This brief talk reviews the work at the University of Greenwich (UoG) on the composition and methane potential (MP) of S. muticum and the initial results of a Darwin Plus funded project on pelagic Sargassum from T&C. This study showed variations in the composition and MP between the species of Sargassum. The MPs for S. natans VIII, S. natans I, and S. fluitans (145, 66, and 113 mL CH4 g-1 Volatile Solids) were considerably below theoretical potentials, possibly due to the high levels of indigestible fibre and inhibitors. The composition of the mixed mats Sargassum was substantially different from the individual species; being higher in ash, calcium, iron, arsenic and phenolics. The mixed mats produced no methane, perhaps due to the higher levels of phenolics and arsenic. There was a strong correlation between MP and both phenolic and arsenic content. Heavy metals and metalloids were at levels that should not cause concern, except for arsenic (21-124 mg kg-1 dry weight). Further work on the speciation of arsenic in Sargassum is required to determine the risk to health and agriculture. The use of Sargassum for biogas production could be challenging, and further work is needed and is continuing at UoG.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sargassum; S. muticum; S. natans; S. fluitans; anaerobic digestion; biogas; Turks & Caicos; Caribbean; Golden tide; seaweed; arsenic; phenolics.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Algal Biotechnology Research Group
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2021 15:42

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