If you require support accessing the website, please contact [email protected]

Forgot password
Growing Kent & Medway logo

Reducing the environmental impact of commercial seaweed cultivation

University of Kent

Project objectives

Nutri-San is working with the Zanzibar Government on a large-scale commercial project extracting carrageenan, a natural additive used by the food industry that comes from red seaweed. The seaweed will be grown on cables made from polypropylene plastic, suspended in marine waters. The cables are exposed to sun, salt, and agitation. These combined stresses limit the ecologically safe lifetime of the cables, which then need to be discarded. They can’t currently be recycled. The University of Kent has an extensive library of yeast species. This project will explore the development of a yeast strain which can form a biofilm on the cable. The yeast secretes enzymes to break down and destroy polypropylene plastic as it sheds. This could be a game-changing biotechnology for removing plastics across industries.

Lead Researcher: Tobias von der Haar
Industry: Alternative proteins/meat & dairy substitutes
Industry partners: Nutri-San
Topic: Packaging, Alternative proteins
Funded by: Growing Kent & Medway
Project start date: Sep-2024
Project end date: Nov-2024