A proposal of ‘kelp’: Recycling marine waste from inactive oil platforms

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marine growth

Seaweed and algae delivered to shore throughout decommissioning used for fish and animal feeds

In what’s described as a worldwide first, marine progress discovered on the legs, often called jackets, of decommissioned oil and gasoline platforms may type the premise of latest novel livestock and aquaculture feeds, as researchers take a look at methods to reuse the fabric, which may embrace seaweed, mussels and corals.

Environmentally accountable decommissioning firm, CessCon Decom, has teamed up with researchers at Abertay College to discover how marine progress – a waste by-product of the decommissioning course of – might be recycled and reused. According to forecasts from Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) the feasibility examine, which is supported by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), may end in as much as 40,000 tonnes of marine progress discovered on platform jackets being recycled over the subsequent decade .

Present European laws prohibit power corporations from forsaking any a part of a disused platform, stating that operators should return websites to a clear seabed . CessCon’s decommissioning mannequin already sees over 99% of decommissioned supplies recycled, however the firm is working in direction of 100%.

On the finish of a platform’s lifecycle, varied varieties of marine species are discovered on the underwater jacket. Algae, seaweed, mussels, anemones, and arduous and gentle coral might be discovered at completely different depths, relying on environmental circumstances within the water. One of many goals of the undertaking is to realize a greater understanding of the matter that’s sometimes discovered, together with the composition of fatty acids and proteins which may very well be was feed substances for different sectors.

Karen Seath, surroundings and regulatory affairs director at CessCon, stated: “Because the North Sea oil and gasoline sector matures, the decommissioning sector has an extremely vital function to play in ensuring that the elements of these installations that are now not in use and are required to be delivered to shore are disposed of safely and responsibly.

“Our course of is constructed round round financial system ideas and we’ve got set an bold goal to succeed in the purpose the place 100% of the decommissioned supplies introduced onshore are reused, reconditioned, refurbished or recycled. In the mean time, marine progress is usually despatched to landfill or incinerated, however we recognise the chance to do extra and use this waste to help the provision chains of different sectors.

“There’s additionally ongoing debate as as to whether the clear seabed coverage is the truth is the easiest way ahead, environmentally and financially. In different world markets, as an example, we’ve got seen decommissioned infrastructure transformed to synthetic reefs and left within the sea, thereby sustaining the underwater ecosystem that’s created over the course of the platform’s life. At this time limit, nevertheless, until given dispensation, infrastructure in European waters on the finish of its life should come out, and we goal to reuse and recycle the fabric in probably the most environmentally acutely aware method.”

marine growth

The examine follows a 2018 collaboration between Abertay College and Scottish fishing web producer W&J Knox Ltd, which noticed waste materials collected on nets was livestock feed.

Boon-Seang Chu, lecturer in meals science at Abertay College, stated: “Our earlier analysis has proven that the proteins and fatty acids, similar to Omega-3, contained in aquaculture waste can grow to be helpful feed substances for agriculture and aquaculture. This examine is about understanding the dietary composition of the marine progress retrieved from decommissioned rigs, whether or not onshore or offshore, and the feasibility of recovering proteins and fatty acids from the waste supplies. The outcomes of this work will assist advise follow-on steps of the undertaking.”

Liz Fletcher, director of enterprise engagement at IBioIC, added: “The collaboration between CessCon and Abertay College is a superb instance of an initiative that might see the waste from one business was a helpful useful resource for one more. Marine biomass is one in every of many inputs that can be utilized by the biotechnology sector to supply a variety of merchandise and supplies that can finally assist Scotland to succeed in its web zero objectives.”

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