Green Technology

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



marine growth

Seaweed and algae dropped at shore throughout decommissioning used for fish and animal feeds

In what’s described as a worldwide first, marine development discovered on the legs, generally known as jackets, of decommissioned oil and gasoline platforms might type the idea of recent novel livestock and aquaculture feeds, as researchers take a look at methods to reuse the fabric, which may embody seaweed, mussels and corals.

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

Present European rules prohibit vitality firms 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, numerous forms of marine species are discovered on the underwater jacket. Algae, seaweed, mussels, anemones, and laborious and comfortable coral may be discovered at totally different depths, relying on environmental situations within the water. One of many goals of the challenge is to achieve a greater understanding of the matter that’s usually discovered, together with the composition of fatty acids and proteins which may very well be became 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 position to play in ensuring that the components of these installations that are now not in use and are required to be dropped at shore are disposed of safely and responsibly.

“Our course of is constructed round round financial system ideas and we have now set an formidable goal to achieve the purpose the place 100% of the decommissioned supplies introduced onshore are reused, reconditioned, refurbished or recycled. In the mean time, marine development is often despatched to landfill or incinerated, however we recognise the chance to do extra and use this waste to assist the availability chains of different sectors.

“There may be additionally ongoing debate as as to if the clear seabed coverage is in reality one of the simplest ways ahead, environmentally and financially. In different international markets, as an example, we have now 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, nonetheless, except given dispensation, infrastructure in European waters on the finish of its life should come out, and we intention to reuse and recycle the fabric in essentially the most environmentally aware approach.”

marine growth

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

Boon-Seang Chu, lecturer in meals science at Abertay College, stated: “Our earlier analysis has proven that the proteins and fatty acids, akin to Omega-3, contained in aquaculture waste can develop into priceless feed substances for agriculture and aquaculture. This research is about understanding the dietary composition of the marine development 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 challenge.”

Liz Fletcher, director of enterprise engagement at IBioIC, added: “The collaboration between CessCon and Abertay College is a good instance of an initiative that would see the waste from one trade became a priceless useful resource for an additional. Marine biomass is one among many inputs that can be utilized by the biotechnology sector to supply a spread of merchandise and supplies that may in the end assist Scotland to achieve its web zero targets.”

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