R&D and Innovations Seaweed and Algae

Will Israel Disrupt the Blue Bioplastics Industry?

A new Tel Aviv University study describes a process to make bioplastic derived from microorganisms that feed on seaweed.

The microorganisms were fed on seaweed and produced polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). It is biodegradable, produces zero toxic waste and recycles into organic waste.

The invention was done by Dr. Alexander Golberg of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental and Earth Sciences and Prof. Michael Gozin of TAU’s School of Chemistry.

The researchers are now conducting research to find the best bacteria and algae for the production.

Dr. Golberg said

“Our raw material was multicellular seaweed, cultivated in the sea. These algae were eaten by single-celled microorganisms, which also grow in very salty water and produce a polymer that can be used to make bioplastic. The process we propose will enable countries with a shortage of fresh water, such as Israel, China and India, to switch from petroleum-derived plastics to biodegradable plastics.”

CLOSING REMARKS

  • Seaweed and algae bioplastics are considered to be the third generation feedstock and are called blue bioplastics
  • France is one of the leaders in blue bioplastics as they have a kind of industrial microcosmos in the algae industry located in Bretagne. Some of the blue bioplastics are actually bio-composites.
  • The Israeli seem to be claiming the invention of a production process that is a real blue bioplastics.

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