California-based company Cereplast has revealed that it is developing breakthrough technology to transform algae into bioplastics, and predicts that it could replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.
Cereplast already makes plastic from renewable material such as corn starch, tapioca, wheat and potatoes, but is keen to trumpet the advantages of the new approach.
According to Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, “Algae-based resins represent an outstanding opportunity for companies across the plastic supply chain to become more environmentally sustainable and reduce the industry’s reliance on oil.”
Cereplast is also seeking to use the revolutionary technology in other ways, by teaming up with several companies that plan to use algae to minimize the CO2 and NOX gases from polluting smoke-stack environments. Algae from a typical photo-bioreactor is harvested daily and may be treated as biomass, which can be used as biofuel or as a raw material source for biopolymer feed stock.
“Algae as biomass makes sense in that it helps close the loop on polluting gases and can be a significant renewable resource,” added Mr. Scheer.
Image Credit – oNicor on flickr
Andrew is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.