And now, seaweed as fuel

  Seaweed being lifted out of top of algae scrubber/cultivator, to be discarded or used as food, fertilizer, or skin care.

Seaweed being lifted out of top of algae scrubber/cultivator, to be discarded or used as food, fertilizer, or skin care.

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:

The green-energy revolution goes on: As GoLocal24 has reported, the U.S. Energy Department has awarded  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers $5.7 million to advance technology leading to the mass  production of sugar kelp, a seaweed, to make biofuels and bio-based chemicals.

The grants are from the Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) Program (what a name!). A  biologist with the group, Scott Lindell, told GoLocal: “Seaweed farming avoids the growing competition for fertile land, energy-intensive fertilizers, and freshwater resources associated with traditional agriculture.’’

Many readers may have eaten seaweed salad in an Asian restaurant; it’s delicious.  Seaweed has some other uses, including cosmetics. It’s nice to know that New Englanders might soon grow it for food and fuel, anything to reduce our energy dependency on other regions.