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Algae bio-plastics 1

This is just another article on algae bio plastics for the novice.
It is looked at from the plastics industry.
Worth a look, tho.
Petroleum drying up will lead to a sharp crisis requiring to find new sources for the plastics industry. Moreover, environmental requirements and the green trends lead to a broad use of renewable raw materials.


Currently, bioplastic industry is using renewable material such as starches from corn, tapioca, wheat and potatoes in the manufacture of bio-based resins sometimes entering in competition with food uses.

Algae have some main potential advantages related to the growing speed and the cultivation conditions. They can rapidly grow, producing fifteen times more vegetable oil per hectare than other feedstocks and can be cultivated in seawater, saving fertile land and fresh water for food cultivation. Marine algae only require sunlight, seawater, carbon dioxide (CO2) and nutrients to grow converting overabundant CO2 into useful biomass.

Major companies such as Dow, Chevron, Shell, BP, Exxon collaborate with research centres, state organizations and small businesses to develop algal raw materials for bioplastics and biofuels production.

Obviously, there are some issues concerning cultivation, harvesting and treatments leading to some uncertainty for the breakthrough of this promising way. Alginic acid and alginate polymer derivatives are well-known as hydroswelling, gelling and thickening additives but they also have uses as material for dental impression and moulding for soft or delicate objects or, in combination with other polymers, for specific applications.

The true innovative breakthrough can come from algae-based plastic grades, the ethanol and other alcohol routes leading to biopolyethylene, bio-PVC or bio-EVA.

The biofuel way is of a great interest because of the huge amounts of targeted productions, several times the tonnage of conventional plastics, the use of processing methods of the petroleum industry and polymerization processes of the chemical industry.

Many other pathways are investigated, for example the use of dried algae fibres as polymeric reinforcement, the combination of sugar from green algae and clay to obtain nanomaterials, the use of Natural Oil Polyols (NOP) to produce foam cores for composites?
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Tue September 28 2010 12:18:31 AM by Nicole algae bio plastics  |  algae plastics  |  bio plastics 1615 views

Comments - 1

  • AlgaeNova wrote:
    Tue September 28 2010 12:31:05 PM

    In sense to this post a little reminder to this news given 4 month ago which shows that development in this field are in continious progress:

    Analytical chemists from the University in Konstanz, Germany found a method to produce synthetics from plant oil loss free

    So far the methods of producing synthetics from renewable feedstock used fatty acids incomplete, thus squandering crucial parts of basic material, - or became as a result soft polymer with arborescent, treelike molecular structures.
    A new method, found by Dorothee Quinzler, makes it possible to gain a lossless usage of the basic herbal or algal material in its specific molecular structure which now can be transferred into the synthetic to be produced. Long molecule, regular structures that are not ramified anymore and have the same quality characteristics comparable to Polyethylene can now be produced from plant, or algal oils.

    Links:
    http://idw-online.de/pages/de/news370401
    (in German!)

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123424698/sm001.pdf?PLACEBO=IE.pdf

    VIP: Linear Semicrystalline Polyesters from Fatty Acids by Complete Feedstock Molecule Utilization

    Dorothee Quinzler and Stefan Mecking*

    In view of the limited range of fossil feedstocks, alternative renewable resources are desirable in the long term. Polymer production from a renewable resource ideally allows for complete molecular utilization of the feedstock. Complete and linear molecular incorporation of fatty acid esters, namely erucic? and oleic acid ester from plant oils, into polyesters is achieved by isomerizing carbonylation to polymerization?quality diesters and their polycondensation with the corresponding diols obtained by reduction. The strictly linear and long?chain?hydrocarbon nature of the novel polyesters affords a high degree of crystallinity and melting behaviour akin to common thermoplastics like polyethylene.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

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