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Kelp Energy Products and Marine Renewable Energy for Coastal Alaska Communities

March 2021


This document summarizes the results of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project conducted to understand, evaluate, and address the challenges related to kelp processing and alternative off-season use of the seafood industry capacity in Alaska, and address the potential use of marine renewable energy (MRE) systems to provide the necessary power for potential unit operations associated with kelp processing. The report describes potential energy conversion processes for kelp and fish waste followed by a techno-economic and life cycle analyses for these processes. An initial aquatic ecological assessment for Southwest Alaska that outlines location-specific aquatic ecologic assessments that will be required to address the influence of kelp farming on the marine ecosystem. A kelp compositional analysis was conducted on samples of several commercial food-grade kelp as well as local samples of Alaskan kelp. A world survey of kelp cultivation was included to provide information regarding the kelp industry around the world. Finally, an initial assessment of the co-development of marine renewable energy and kelp processing capabilities in Southwest Alaska.