Thursday, October 29, 2009

Replacing 50% of Petroleum Content in Plastics?

California researchers at Cereplast are developing a process of transforming algae into plastic resins. The company currently uses other vegetable stock for producing bioplastics -- but algae can be harvested as often as every 2 weeks.
In California, Cereplast announced that it is developing a technology to transform algae into bioplastics and intends to launch a new family of algae-based resins. According to the company, algae-based resins could replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.

Currently, Cereplast is using renewable material such as starches from corn, tapioca, wheat and potatoes and Ingeo PLA. “Our algae research has shown promising results and we believe that in the months to come we should be able to launch this new family of algae-based resins,” CEO Frederic Scheer said via a statement. Cereplast said that it has initiated contact with several companies that plan to use algae to minimize the CO2 and NOX gases from polluting smoke-stack environments. _BiofuelsDigest
The impact of algae and biomass on biofuels, chemicals, and plastics, will be incremental. But it will eventually grow exponential like an avalanche. Chemists, engineers, and technologists have to learn new ways of doing things.

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