The Paxtier Report: Microalgae for carbon sequestration

The Paxtier Report:A roundup of recent happenings at Paxtier

Happy Wednesday everyone and welcome to the Paxtier Report!

Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ve been up to in recent weeks.

Fireside chats

Our fireside chat series has produced a couple of cracking conversations.

For starters, we sat down with S2G Ventures Managing Director Larsen Mettler. S2G is a multi-stage venture fund which invests in entrepreneurs improving our food systems. In this conversation, Larsen spoke about his experience leading the Oceans and Seafood fund, his outlook on algae-tech, and the arrival of new funds in the oceans and seafood space.

Here are some of his thoughts on the role IoT and data will play in the development of the oceans and seafood sector:

“Firstly, we’ll be able to better study the relationship between climate change and the oceans. Secondly, data will help us deepen our understanding of weather patterns and this can help in many ways. Finally, data will play a role with carbon capture. “

Then came our chat with Varicon Aqua’s founder Joe McDonald. Varicon Aqua is the manufacturer of the Phyco-™ range of photobioreactors and Cell-Hi line of algal nutrients. His team has deployed over 290 photobioreactor systems across the globe and in this edited conversation, Joe spoke about his experience leading the company, his perspective on microalgae tech, and the future for Varicon Aqua.

Here are his thoughts on using microalgae for carbon sequestration:

“It’s very efficient. We once ran a trial with RWE npower and Dr. Chris Hulatt to trace the fate of carbon from industrial power plants. We proved that it’s very efficient from a mass transfer perspective, but it’s not scalable.”

Scientific paper reviews

Check out our recent reviews of scientific papers in climate-tech.

  1. Filbee-Dexter and Wernberg’s paper, “Substantial blue carbon in overlooked Australian kelp forests”, evaluates the potential for carbon sequestration in kelp forests down under. Their lengthy study, which involved mapping and obtaining biomass data from across the continent, calculated that kelp forests sequester more than 30% of the total blue carbon stored and sequestered around Australia.This paper commendably encourages the protection and restoration of kelp forests. While we’ve seen climate-tech start-ups jump to the idea of deep-ocean seaweed sinking, this article reinforces our need to preserve kelp habitats. I would prefer to see a higher investment go towards the restoration and monitoring of these declining ocean forests over deep ocean sinking. Such a focus could significantly benefit biodiversity.
  1. In “Can Seaweed Farming Play a Role in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation?”, Carlos Duarte and Dorte Krause-Jensen’s team look into seaweed aquaculture’s many climate-positive attributes. It’s a brilliant article, and a great place to start when reviewing seaweed’s potential. I can almost guarantee you’ll notice something new every time you pick this article up. For example, upon rereading, I was reminded that seaweed farming is a relatively CHEAP climate solution. While it may not be able to solve global warming due to scalability issues, many developing nations cannot afford high-cost solutions like wind turbines. Seaweed provides a cheap alternative.

Be sure to check out BTB for more updates and drop me a line if you’re interested in what we’re doing.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas.

Until next time!




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