The Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav) is working on projects to give added value to the thousands of tons of sargassum that reach the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula every year, especially the Riviera Maya.
Víctor Manuel Vidal-Martínez, in charge of the Cinvestav office in Mérida, explained that the production of sargassum is due to the “nutrients” that reach the Atlantic Ocean, that is to say, pollutants that are food for the marine algae and this reproduces, in addition to the warming of the water.
However, Vidal-Martínez explained that the research institute works collectively in the nine oceanographic stations in the country, and they are focused on two projects, one in a more precise forecast of the arrival of sargassum and to give a utility to it.
“One, to see where the sargassum is going to go, in the case of the coast of Quintana Roo, that is, we have to generate a prediction mechanism, where the sargassum spots are going to go, for what, so that the Navy can put its ships in the right places to be able to catch the sargassum and be able to take it to the coast,” said Vidal-Martínez.
According to estimates by the Secretariat of the Mexican Navy, in March more than six thousand tons and 80 percent reach Cancun’s beaches.
The second is the approval of various projects, so that the sargassum can be used in different industries, such as chemicals and construction products.
“Generate block for construction, obtain chemical products that can be used for the industry, even work with graphene, is something we are working on with Applied Physics (from Cinvestav) cell phones have their lithium batteries, but they have a part of graphene, and the more graphene they have of a special molecular conformation, is that they will be able to acquire more energy.”
” We are also working on these issues, not only on where the sargassum is going to go, but also on the use we are going to give to this sargassum, where we are going to be able to extract the added value to this biomass”, explained Vidal-Martínez.
The official explained that, once the Mexican government approves the projects, they will be giving it another use: “the graphene is already being done, the chemical products, extracting from the sargassum is already being done, just on a laboratory scale, as soon as the projects arrive, we will immediately start a pilot scale or commercial pilot“.
Leave a Comment