Glut of seaweed in Mexico seen as energy source


Dependent on beach tourism, Mexico’s state of Quintana Roo views seaweed removal as an economic necessity. (Photo courtesy of state of Quintana Roo)

Bad weather and world economic downturns aren’t the only events that can put a damper on tourism on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Sometimes, as this year and last, large quantities of sargassum seaweed float ashore, spoiling the appeal of a beachside vacation. Now, a business-development agency in the Yucatán Peninsula state of Quintana Roo aims to turn the unwanted algae into an asset. Quintana Roo’s Institute for Development and Financing (Idefin) is promoting two pilot projects aimed at using sargassum to produce electricity and, in the case of one of the initiatives, help process organic waste as well. Some two million tons of sargassum were removed last year from Quintana Roo’s coast, says Bernardo Cueto Riestra, Idefin’s director, and this year the state is struggling to handle what local studies estimate will amount to four million tons. “The massive accumulation of sargassum has created a lot of adversity along our... [Log in to read more]

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