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Life Cycle Assessment of land-based seaweed cultivation for packaging material

The University of Latvia, Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, in collaboration with the Bremerhaven University and the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany, is pleased to announce a new research project titled Life Cycle Assessment of land-based seaweed cultivation for packaging material. This project, which will run from 1st June 2023 to 15th November 2023, aims to evaluate the environmental impact of macroalgae cultivation for sustainable packaging using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

Photo: Dr. Laurie Carol Hofmann

The primary objective of this project is to quantify the environmental footprint associated with the cultivation of Ulva in land-based cultivation ponds and assess its environmental viability for the production of packaging materials. The project will employ LCA methodologies to analyze the entire production chain, from cultivation to product development at the laboratory scale.

Key project activities will take place at various institutions, including the University of Latvia, the Alfred Wegener Institute, and the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences. These activities include:

  • co-mentoring a Master's student on macroalgae cultivation;

  • conducting environmental impact assessments;

  • knowledge exchange through visits between Latvian and German institutions;

  • data collection for LCA;

  • the utilization of project results for academic publications and Master's thesis development.

As part of the project, a Latvian representative, Karīna Bāliņa, will host a guest workshop at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research on 7th September 2023. This workshop will aim to disseminate project findings and foster discussions on sustainable packaging and biomaterials.

The LCA assessment of macroalgae cultivation for packaging production will provide vital data on the environmental impact of this study and contribute to understanding the sustainability of the cultivation process. Additionally, the project outcomes will be of interest to the sustainable packaging and biomaterials industry as well as macroalgae cultivation researchers across Europe.

For more information about this project or to request an interview with the project team, please contact the project manager:

PhD Karina Balina,

This Baltic-German University Liaison Office project is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.


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