Jargon Watch: Mari-fuel

Seaweed As Mari-fuel Image

Possible Mari-fuel feedstock? Getty Images

Lloyd reported on the Japanese innovation of using seaweed to produce electricity way back in '06. And John wrote about the potential of mariculture, the practice of cultivating seaweed, for fuel feedstock instead of harvesting wild seaweed.

Now, our favorite word watcher, Michael Quinon, has spotted a new phrase that has "burst upon the world" to define seaweed based fuel. Read on for his take on Mari-fuel.

So far as online records show, this word burst upon the world for the first time on 17 December 2008, in a press release announcing that European Union funding of EUR6m (£5m or $8.5m) had been won for the BioMara project. This is a cross-border project involving researchers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The aim is to find ways to convert seaweeds and marine algae into fuels. One hope is that it will help rural communities in these countries, who may be able to use fast-growing seaweeds such as kelp to make a locally produced and cheap fuel that won't take up valuable agricultural land. "Mari-fuel" is an obvious parallel to the better-known "agri-fuel", for fuels derived from agricultural products.

While it remains to be seen if mari-fuel will be a viable source of energy, and if marine and coastal environments would sustain a fuel-based harvest, the term mari-fuel seems a decent enough phrase to describe fuel from seaweed.

via World Wide Words

More on Mari-fuel
Adiamo Alghe! Italian Biodiesel Producers Turn to Seaweed as a Feedstock
Farmed Scottish Seaweed Should Be Be Turned Into Biogas: UK's Crown Estate

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