Macro Oceans, a new startup, is focusing on processing kelp by developing techniques to stabilize the plant and creating extracts for use in cosmetic products, biopolymers, fibers, and yarns. Kelp can sequester carbon as it grows and comes with the added benefit that it doesn’t compete with food crops and doesn’t require freshwater or fertilizers. The goal is to scale up the process to produce enough kelp to contribute gigaton-scale climate benefits while providing low-carbon alternatives to existing feedstocks. Currently, the cost of farming kelp is too high and there’s not enough demand to justify the high infrastructure costs to turn the plant into products consumers need. Macro Oceans aims to change that by narrowing its focus on processing kelp and turning it into low-carbon chemicals that can be used in a variety of industries. The company plans to scale up its pilot production system to meet demand from near-term customers and expand capacity in the future. While the potential environmental benefits from using kelp as a feedstock are promising, the seaweed economy needs a lot more growth in order to contribute significant climate benefits.
It is important that carbon credit schemes also benefit local communities.
The World Meteorological Organisation has stated that 193 countries have given unanimous backing to a scheme to monitor global greenhouse...