Laminaria digitata is a highly prevalent kelp growing off the coast of the UK but has rarely been considered as a source of biomass to date. This study shows it can be used as a feedstock in both ethanol fermentation and anaerobic digestion for methane production. The study optimised several parameters in the fermentation of L. digitata and investigated the suitability of the macroalgae through the year using samples harvested every month. For both methane and ethanol production, minimum yields were seen in material harvested in March when the carbohydrates laminarin and mannitol were lowest. July material contained the highest combined laminarin and mannitol content and maximum yields of 167 mL ethanol and 0.219 m3 kg−1L. digitata.
- Anaerobic digestion, Ethanol, Methane, Seaweed, Theoretical yield calculation