Seaweed Bio Plastics
This ongoing material research aims to develop bioplastics from macro seaweeds. The fast growing biomass receives increasing interest as a healthy and planet friendly food source. But if we start farming seaweed on a larger scale, how can we prevent introducing a new wasteful food system? Can we design this system in such a way that no material remains unused, so that waste is designed out of the system already before implementing it? What if we can valorise food surplus and residual streams by creating valuable materials and their applications? The central questions for this material research were:
What if we start to farm seaweed on a large scale for food?
How can we valorise surplus and residual material by using it for bioplastics and their applications??
In the research, different macro seaweeds are used to extract their thickening agents to serve as a basis for bioplastics. The plant matter that remains after extraction processes, is used to develop other valuable seaweed fibre materials.
Part of the research was done in collaboration with students Process and Food Technology of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Besides working with a lab process to extract the thickening agent for seaweed based bioplastics, they also were tasked to handle the waste materials coming from this process.
The Seaweed Bioplastics research is part of the overarching research Seaweed Web.