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The Impact of Sargassum Inundations on the Turks and Caicos Islands
Article

Chemical Characterisation of Sargassum Inundation from the Turks and Caicos: Seasonal and Post Stranding Changes

1
Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
2
Centre for Marine Resource Studies, The School for Field Studies, South Caicos TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos Islands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer Schenk
Phycology 2021, 1(2), 143-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/phycology1020011
Received: 11 November 2021 / Revised: 3 December 2021 / Accepted: 8 December 2021 / Published: 13 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Sargassum Golden Tides, a Global Problem)
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) have been affected by sargassum inundations, with impacts on the economy and environment. Sargassum removal can be costly, but sargassum use and valorisation may generate income and offset environmental damage. A significant barrier to the valorisation of sargassum is insufficient knowledge of its chemical makeup, as well as its seasonal variation and decay after stranding. The chemical characterisation of mixed sargassum and its constituent species and morphotypes (S. natans I, S.natans VIII and S. fluitans) collected from TCI between September 2020 and May 2021 and changes in the composition of sargassum decaying (over 147 days) were studied. High ash (24.61–51.10% dry weight (DW)) and arsenic (49–217 mg kg−1) could severely hamper the use of this seaweed for food or feed purposes. Although there was some reduction in arsenic levels in decaying sargassum, levels remained high (>49 mg kg−1). Biomethane production by anaerobic digestion (AD) is a potential option. Nevertheless, the exploitation of sargassum for biogas, either fresh or as it decays on the beach, is challenging due to low methane yields (<42% of theoretical potential). Pre-treatment or co-digestion with other waste may be options to improve yield. The metal sorption ability of sargassum, which can be problematic, makes biosorption of pollutants an option for further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sargassum spp.; S. natans; S. fluitans; anaerobic digestion; biogas; Turks and Caicos Islands; Caribbean; golden tide; seaweed; arsenic; phenolics Sargassum spp.; S. natans; S. fluitans; anaerobic digestion; biogas; Turks and Caicos Islands; Caribbean; golden tide; seaweed; arsenic; phenolics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nielsen, B.V.; Milledge, J.J.; Hertler, H.; Maneein, S.; Al Farid, M.M.; Bartlett, D. Chemical Characterisation of Sargassum Inundation from the Turks and Caicos: Seasonal and Post Stranding Changes. Phycology 2021, 1, 143-162. https://doi.org/10.3390/phycology1020011

AMA Style

Nielsen BV, Milledge JJ, Hertler H, Maneein S, Al Farid MM, Bartlett D. Chemical Characterisation of Sargassum Inundation from the Turks and Caicos: Seasonal and Post Stranding Changes. Phycology. 2021; 1(2):143-162. https://doi.org/10.3390/phycology1020011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nielsen, Birthe V., John J. Milledge, Heidi Hertler, Supattra Maneein, Md M. Al Farid, and Debbie Bartlett. 2021. "Chemical Characterisation of Sargassum Inundation from the Turks and Caicos: Seasonal and Post Stranding Changes" Phycology 1, no. 2: 143-162. https://doi.org/10.3390/phycology1020011

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