The Development of a Sand-Seaweed Separator for Use in Reducing Sand Losses When Removing Large Quantities of Sargassum from a Beach
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Sargassum landings on the beach can affect tourism activity as large mounds of Sargassum restrict access to the beach and water. As the Sargassum decomposes it produces foul smelling gases which can further reduce the attractiveness of the beach. Research was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a device designed to minimize sand content when removing Sargassum from a beach. Currently a State law prevents the removal of Sargassum from beaches in Texas. The basis of the ordinance is to prevent sand that may be contained in the Sargassum from being removed as well, thus contributing to beach erosion. This is the first research attempt to develop a device that minimizes the sand content when removing large quantities of Sargassum from a beach. The Sand-Seaweed Separator device was designed, constructed and tested to determine its efficiency and feasibility of separating sand from Sargassum. To test the device’s efficiency, experiments were conducted in which sediment was mixed with Sargassum and put through the separator; the separated sediment and Sargassum were then collected, weighed, and analyzed. In 10 controlled experiments, it was shown that the Sand-Seaweed Separator is 96.8 ± 1.42 % efficient at separating sediment from Sargassum when the mixture is 90% sediment and 10% Sargassum.
Mullen, Paul (2018). The Development of a Sand-Seaweed Separator for Use in Reducing Sand Losses When Removing Large Quantities of Sargassum from a Beach. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from