MEXICO CITY – Sargassum, a nutrient-rich algae which commonly washes up on the beaches of southeast Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, may serve as an environmentally friendly fertilizer alternative, researcher Daniel Gonzalez told EFE on Thursday.
Gonzalez, who works at Mexico’s Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) researching the uses of sargassum in agriculture, said that the algae infesting Mexican beaches “generates visual pollution, as well as emitting contaminating gases.”
Sargassum floats for long distances across the sea, picking up nutrients – the feedstock for the proposed fertilizer – along the way.
However, it also gathers a “large proportion of metals,” which must first be removed from the nutrients in the dehydrated algae so that the latter can be used.
The algae – which is usually brown, green or black – floats for miles on the Atlantic Ocean before reaching the shores of the Mexican Caribbean.