Science - September 10, 2009

VHL to research seaweed

Van Hall Larenstein will be a partner in research into the scope for making use of seaweed. The project has nearly 1.3 million euros to spend over three years.

The EU and several governments and organizations are paying 1.3 million euros for research into the potential uses of seaweed. A lot of seaweed washes up on the Dutch and German coasts. And more problematically, floating seaweed gets caught up in fishing nets. 
The German company MaRenate and Oosterhof Holman Milieutechniek are involved in developing a trial fermentation plant for marine biomass. The Dutch company Bioclear will research pharmaceutical uses of substances obtained from seaweed.  
The Life Sciences course at Van Hall Larenstein can play a role in running student research and educational projects, says project leader Doede Binnenma of TechnologieCentrum Noord-Nederland. 'The university of applied sciences has relevant knowledge in the fields of biogas and utilization of raw materials.'
The grants needed are 95 percent in the bag. Once the rest of the money is sorted out, the three-year project will get off the ground. 'We'd really like to start straightaway because the research material washes ashore in autumn and spring', says Diedema.

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