Sargablock Harvests Sargassum for Building Bricks

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Sargablock Harvests Sargassum for Building Bricks

Sargablock, based in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, creates stunning houses out of a harmful strain of seaweed.

by Jeremiah Budin/Yahoo! News

Omar Vazquez has created a business out of a substance that most people consider to be just a nuisance. “I wanted to mold something good out of something bad,” says Vazquez, AKA “Mr. Sargassum.” So, he created a company called Sargablock.

Based in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Sargablock harvests sargassum that has washed up on beaches and turns it into sturdy, durable bricks that are then used for construction projects.

While sargassum can decompose and dissipate into ocean water with no adverse human impacts, when it washes up on land, it begins to rot, producing hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. These gases result in a rotten egg smell that can drive away tourists and beachgoers as well as also can cause breathing problems for people with asthma.

Researchers have been observing abnormally large sargassum blooms since 2011, with the problem essentially getting worse each year. Some beaches have experienced sargassum pileups that grow to six feet tall. Scientists have speculated that the increased blooms are a result of pollution.

Vazquez has been able to take that problem and turn it into an opportunity. Hotels pay him and his crew to remove the sargassum from their beaches. They then mix the dried seaweed with dirt that has been repurposed from construction sites and mix the combination with water to form a paste. The process results in bricks that are about 40% sargassum.

Seagriculture USA 2024
AlgaeMetrics

Subscribe

Breaking-News

  • February 26, 2024: The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture is revitalizing the country’s seaweed industry by beefing up the government support to local seaweed producers and boosting the potential of the second biggest export earner in Philippine aquaculture. Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel expressed optimism about the Philippine seaweed industry’s potential to regain its status as the world’s biggest exporter. READ MORE...
  • February 23, 2024: Ben & Jerry’s new limited batch Marshmallow Sky flavor, inspired by the brand’s cloud scene, is made with a marshmallow ice cream base, marshmallow swirls and chocolate-chocolate chip cookie dough. It gets its electric blue color from spirulina extract. READ MORE...
  • February 19, 2024: Microalgae producer Phycom, based in Veenendaal, The Netherlands, has received a €1.75 million investment from ROM Utrecht Region, together with a private investor. This follows its recent Series A investment, bringing the total raised funding to more than €10.5 million in six months. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide