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Sargassum Inundations in Turks and Caicos: Methane Potential and Proximate, Ultimate, Lipid, Amino Acid, Metal and Metalloid Analyses

Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
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Energies 2020, 13(6), 1523; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061523
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 14 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biotechnology and Biofuels)
The Caribbean has been experiencing beach inundations of pelagic Sargassum, causing environmental, health and financial issues. This study showed variations in the composition and methane potential (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 mixed mats Sargassum composition 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 high levels of phenolics. There was a strong correlation between MP and phenolic 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 fully determine the risk to health and agriculture. Both protein and lipid levels were low. The ‘indispensable amino acid’ profile compares favourably with that recommended by the World Health Organisation. Lipids had a high proportion of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. The use of Sargassum for biogas production could be challenging, and further work is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sargassum; S. natans; S. fluitans; anaerobic digestion; biogas; Turks and Caicos; Caribbean; Golden tide; seaweed; arsenic; phenolics Sargassum; S. natans; S. fluitans; anaerobic digestion; biogas; Turks and Caicos; Caribbean; Golden tide; seaweed; arsenic; phenolics
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Milledge, J.J.; Maneein, S.; Arribas López, E.; Bartlett, D. Sargassum Inundations in Turks and Caicos: Methane Potential and Proximate, Ultimate, Lipid, Amino Acid, Metal and Metalloid Analyses. Energies 2020, 13, 1523.

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