Ethnobotany of Sargassum spp. in the Philippines

Source: OAI


A survey of folk uses of Sargassum spp. in the 20 year period (1977-1996) showed that different regions in the tropical country of Philippines utilize the brown seaweed differently. Common to the entire country was the use of Sargassum spp. as cover or wrapper of fish and other marine animals to maintain their freshness. In the Ilocos Region in the North, most folk consider it as a vegetable. Whereas in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao, natives utilize Sargassum as fertilizer, flower inducer and insect repellant. Cebuano and Boholano communities in the area also use the seaweed as animal feed in addition to those mentioned previously. In certain parts of the island of Bohol, a Sargassum drink is made and is reported to have health benefits. However, there is a declining trend of the folk uses of Sargassum due to Western and modern influences.

66 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006 mandates domestic gasoline blending with bioethanol at a rate of 5% by 2009 and 2010, and 10% by 2011 (by volume). Akin to most biofuel policies, the Act aims to increase fuel supply security, reduce emissions, and stimulate regional development. However, the majority of biofuels blended are imported due to conventional food market demand for biofuel feedstocks, and limited domestic biofuel production capacity. A promising alternative domestic bioethanol feedstock is macroalgae (seaweed) species, of which the Philippines is already a major global commercial producer. The advantages of using particular non-food macroalgae as a bioethanol feedstock include zero competition with agricultural food production, no freshwater requirement, high yields per area, zero fertilizer applications, and the pre-existing markets for bioethanol macroalgae wastes. Adaptation of existing macroalgae farming methods, customized to high-yielding non-food bioethanol precursor species, can enable rapid expansion into industrial-scale biofuel production, far exceeding terrestrial bioethanol yields in terms of per unit area. This work identifies the regional availability and supply of appropriate macroalgae species suitable for bioethanol production, and explores integrated production synergies and challenges for an environmentally sustainable macroalgae bioethanol industry suitable for a number of Pacific island nations. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
    Biofuels Bioproducts and Biorefining 11/2011; 5(6):599-608. DOI:10.1002/bbb.310 · 4.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increasing biofuel production on agricultural lands in tropical island nations will likely result in increased deforestation [1], and also inflate food prices, especially in net food importing countries like the Philippines [0010], [0015] and [0020]. Compounding problems associated with promotion of biofuels in southeast Asian countries are the technical efficiencies of bioethanol production, including poor energy balances from terrestrial crops that are close to, or less than unity, unless bagasse is used as the distillation heat source [1]. As the increase in terrestrial biofuel production in Pacific island nations is potentially less sustainable than is publically stated, alternative feedstocks are required which retain the regional development benefits, while reducing the negative ecological and food security impacts [0005] and [0025]. This work presents the potential of farmed macroalgae chemical substrates as a bioethanol feedstock supply, explores macroalgae-to-bioethanol yields, and details prospective non-food macroalgae species, specific to the Philippine coastal region. Leveraging off the existing capability of the macroalgae farming industry (producing 1.7 million wet tonnes annually in the Philippines alone), a significant new market for non-food macroalgae stimulated by bioethanol producers can be developed to avoid problems related to food/feed grade ethanol feedstocks.
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12/2011; 15(9):4432-4435. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.109 · 5.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Archipelagic and island countries are among the most affected by the worsening climate change. To mitigate global warming, the Philippines mandated the use of biofuel through the Biofuel Act of 2006. However, coping with the increasing biomass demand for biofuel production is challenging because of the country׳s limited freshwater and land resources. On the other hand, the Philippines has rich but untapped marine biomass resources. Hence, the potential of seaweed resources as the most accessible energy source for coastal and island communities of the Philippines was explored for methane fermentation. The seaweed species, Sargassum spp., Turbinaria spp., Hydroclathrus spp., Caulerpa spp., and Ulva spp., which can allow sustainable biomass supply either through managed harvesting of natural stocks or through cultivation, have been identified. Information on the geographical distribution and seasonal productivity of these species were laid out. The proximate and elemental components of the biomass were presented for viability assessment as feedstock. Challenges on biogas technology in the Philippines and anaerobic digestion of seaweed biomass were also evaluated. Research on the development of culture technologies for the Sargassum spp., Turbinaria spp., Hydroclathrus spp, and Ulva spp. is recommended to avoid the adverse impacts of harvesting on natural stocks. Further studies on anaerobic digestion conditions of the selected seaweeds that are suitable for utilization by island communities should also be conducted.
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 10/2014; 38. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.056 · 5.90 Impact Factor


66 Reads
Available from