We would like to introduce the Biomass Shore Initiative (BSI). We human beings burn fossil fuel to obtain energy. Frankly put, high energy fossil fuels are like refined sugar and we are addicted. We must switch from a society expecting unlimited use of fossil fuels (high energy density) to a society which efficiently uses renewable energy (low energy density).
The purpose of this project is to formulate a model of a society which can carry out industrial activities while reducing carbon dioxide. This will be achieved by establishing a biomass industrial complex to replace the petroleum industrial complex, created in coastal desert regions that have not previously been utilized.
These are goals for creating a renewable society that does not increase carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere:
- Large scale (large enough to help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere)
- Has a positive economic balance (with economic sustainability acting as a driving force); and
- Feasible to be achieved in a short time (it is often said that we have already reached the point where the crisis cannot be averted, so the situation permits no delay)
This industrial complex will be composed of the following units: a temperature difference desalination system employing solar heat; a large-scale microalgae biomass production system using halophilic microalgae; a plant-derived chemical industry taking microalgae products as a starting point; and other industries such as fermentation industry and smart agriculture industry.
To describe the nature of the Biomass Shore Project (BSP) in simple terms: offshore from Peru and Chile, deep ocean water (DOW) wells up in large amounts. This will be collected and, through temperature difference desalinization technology, separated into concentrated DOW and fresh water (with the fresh water used for applications such as agriculture). The temperature difference technology will employ solar heat and the low temperature of DOW.
Ponds will be created on desert shores and filled with concentrated DOW (seawater containing fertilizer). These will be used to culture halophilic microalgae.
A variety of organic substances will be extracted from microalgae; using these as raw materials, a biomass industrial complex will be created by consolidating and linking the above industries.
The key point is BSP will be entirely powered by renewable energy (primarily solar heat). The carbon dioxide balance will be maintained, with strong competitiveness also achieved in each industry by using renewable energy and low-cost raw materials.
The large-scale microalgae ponds in deserts will likely absorb carbon dioxide as a replacement for shrinking tropical rainforests. My ardent hope is for BSP to be realized soon and become a model for a post-fossil-fuel society.