Thursday, July 17, 2014

Norway's Turning Power Plant Emissions Into Fish Oil


But there have been more creative and unusual uses. Like GreenGen in China, which sells its captured carbon to soft-drink companies. In that same spirit of making lemonade from lemons (or soda from carbon emissions), a consortium of Norwegian seafood companies wants to use captured carbon to make grow algae.

The project is centered at Mongstad, an industrial site in Norway that includes an oil refinery, a gas power plant, and a test facility for capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the aforementioned refinery and power plant. Algae, like plants, need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide captured at Monstad will be streamed through seawater to grow algae.

The project's backers say that a ton of carbon dioxide can grow a ton's worth of algae mass, which can then be fed to salmon and ultimately turned into as much as 800 pounds of oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids—what you might know as fish oil. All fish, farmed or wild, actually get their omega-3 fatty acids from eating algae.

Norway is one of the biggest producers of farmed salmon in the world, and in the past it has worried about a ready supply of omega-3-rich algae for its fish. If the plan works, it would potentially solve two problems in one fell swoop.

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