Rum and Sargassum project shows promising updates after two-year research grant

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In October 2019, Dr. Henry’s project received a grant from Blue Chip Foundation to initiate 22 months of research to advance the Rum and Sargassum pilot project, overseen by The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

The grant was awarded after Dr. Legena Henry, a Renewable Energy Lecturer at UWI Cave Hill, presented on the potential of biofuels as an alternative to electric vehicles in Barbados, at a Caribbean Solutions Forum hosted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as a side meeting to the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.

Dr Henry’s project aimed to explore the potential of producing a fossil fuel free biofuel using Sargassum seaweed. From the experimental results, it was calculated and projected that one year of transportation in Barbados requires 685,304,000 liters of rum distillery waste and 105,759 tons of fresh sargassum.

At present, the goal is to determine how much biofuel can be reasonably produced and sold at refueling stations throughout the island. If implemented successfully, this alternative combustion method can avoid as much as 1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions every year in the country.

SDSN’s Global Solutions Forum (GSF) brings together sustainable development experts from around the world to showcase how they are implementing local initiatives that are advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

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