Seagriculture EU
29 - 30 June 2022
Bremerhaven, Germany


The Algae Demo project: hectare scale seaweed cultivation and monitoring

Jaap van Hal, Innovation manager biorefinery, TNO, NL

About the speaker: Jaap W. van Hal, Ph.D. coordinates the biorefinery research in the Biobased and Circular Technologies expertise group at TNO. He has coordinated the "Seaweed Biorefinery" national research project. His research interests are the biomass fractionation, catalytic conversion of biomass (fractions) to renewable (bulk) chemicals. Prior to joining TNO in 2008, he has worked in the U.S. at SABIC Americas. Projects comprised the selective (ep)oxidation, catalytic epoxide hydrations and metathesis. Jaap obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Rice University in organometallic chemistry. His undergraduate degree from Leiden in chemistry is in coordination chemistry. Jaap has co-authored about twenty peer-reviewed papers and has about ten patent applications.

Company info:TNO, The Netherlands Organisation of Applied Scientific Research, is an independent not-for-profit research organization in the Netherlands. TNO has about 3800 employees. Energy Transition is one of the 9 units, and BCT is one of the 12 expertise groups within this unit. Biomass conversion is a major R&D topic withing the Energy Transition Unit,  recognising that sustainable biomass has to play a major role in the transition to a sustainable circular economy, as biobased materials and chemicals, but also in energy sectors that are difficult to cover from other sustainable sources, like aviation, shipping heavy duty transport and high-temperature industrial heat. Moreover, biomass may have a role in residential heating and power supply (e.g., cover intermittency problems). Furthermore, the usage of robotic solutions as a means to improve the safety and efficiency of operations in the maritime space is a key focus area for TNO and has been utilised in this project for the monitoring of the seaweed cultivation as well as a site baseline inspection.


AlgaeDemo project is an EASME/EMFF funded European project that targeted the advanced, mechanized hectare scale seaweed cultivation and harvesting in the Oosterschelde (NL), remote monitoring with AUV’s (autonomous underwater vehicles) and accurate determination of the environmental impact of the demonstration farm on its surrounding. For the AUV work scope the goal is more on the experimental evaluation of the value of robotic underwater platforms for the monitoring of seaweed, environmental impact and farm structural integrity During this presentation we will present the project results comprising the demonstration of the hectare scale mechanised seaweed farming, the proof of principle of monitoring seaweed growth with autonomous vehicles and an initial assessment of the impact of the seaweed cultivation on the environment. 


Mechanised, hectare, scale, seaweed, cultivation, environmental remediation, seaweed cultivation monitoring with autonomous underwater vehicles.