June 22, 2023

mCDR and carbon sequestration in various macroalgae products: FY22 Seedling Report


Marine approaches to CDR (mCDR) are gaining recognition and substantial funding in the United States. Macroalgae farming has been identified by several highly recognized organizations as a potential carbon capture strategy, and significant research investments have been made in this area. However, much of the existing literature on the potential of macroalgae cultivation and product development as an mCDR strategy has not adequately considered the permanence of carbon captured, due to the status of the industry. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been interested in exploring the potential connections between macroalgae farming, mCDR, and marine energy. In October 2021, PNNL conducted a literature review of life cycle analyses (LCAs) from macroalgae products to assess the carbon capture potential and permanence. This project leverages the previous work done based on LCA for carbon sequestration and permanence in macroalgae and expands it to include additional approaches to monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV), and opportunities for marine energy. This report provides a collection of the findings throughout this FY22 Seedling for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technology Office, structured by the following tasks as defined by the initial proposal: Task 1: Update rankings of macroalgae products based on expanded literature review of carbon sequestration and value of temporary storage. Task 2: Assess potential changes to net climate impacts measured in LCAs of kelp products if marine energy was integrated in processing / harvesting. Task 3: Develop recommendations for standardized assessment of carbon capture potential of biological products and define data collection requirements.

Published: June 22, 2023


Rose D.J., and E.W. Ertsgaard. 2023. mCDR and carbon sequestration in various macroalgae products: FY22 Seedling Report Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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