The process of extracting ethanol from seaweed was developed by the Korean Institute for Industrial Technology last 2008. Ethanol is known to be more cost-efficient and advantageous than other sources of biofuel. Seaweed can be harvested 6 times a year . It grows faster than other bio-fuel sources like sugar cane and wood. Pre treatment is no longer required in the conversion of seaweeds to fuel because seaweeds already have lining. It is cheaper to produce seaweed ethanol than other bio-fuels. Invasion of land used for food-crop production will not happen when planting seaweeds. The ethanol content of seaweed can absorb seven times more carbon in the atmosphere; this means that it supports climate-change improvement. The Philippines is the largest producers of seaweed and our country is known as the world’s top exporter and producer of processed seaweed. This resulted to the merging of the Philippine producers with South Korean tycoons. Through Green Growth Initiative the regional network of cooperation in Asia and the Pacific was established. The Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (Comste) and the Department of Science and Technology are presently planning to have a partnership with the South Korean government to enhance the production of ethanol. The project which covers the green-growth ideal (sustainable economic development is achieved without damage to the environment) will be implemented in Aurora, Quirino, Isabela, Northern Luzon and Bohol. The Korean government and Bohol have established a facility to jump-start the said project.
The following are the other useful byproducts of seaweed:
- animal feed
- soil conditioner