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Energy Production from Marine Biomass: Fuel Cell Power Generation Driven by Methane Produced from Seaweed

Authors: Shinya Yokoyama, Katsunari Jonouchi, Kenji Imou


This paper discusses the utilization of marine biomass as an energy resource in Japan. A marine biomass energy system in Japan was proposed consisting of seaweed cultivation (Laminaria japonica) at offshore marine farms, biogas production via methane fermentation of the seaweeds, and fuel cell power generation driven by the generated biogas. We estimated energy output, energy supply potential, and CO2 mitigation in Japan on the basis of the proposed system. As a result, annual energy production was estimated to be 1.02-109 kWh/yr at nine available sites. Total CO2 mitigation was estimated to be 1.04-106 tonnes per annum at the nine sites. However, the CO2 emission for the construction of relevant facilities is not taken into account in this paper. The estimated CO2 mitigation is equivalent to about 0.9% of the required CO2 mitigation for Japan per annum under the Kyoto Protocol framework.

Keywords: CO2 mitigation, Fuel cell power generation, Laminaria japonica, Marine biomass, Seaweed.

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