Seaweed is one the fastest growing plant species in the world. When it grows it captures CO2 and at the same time it does not require scarce land, fresh water or harmful fertilizers. When handled responsibly, this abundant species offers huge opportunities as as regenerative source for food, feed, energy and bio based materials.
This ongoing research aims to develop biomaterials from locally sourced seaweed. A secondary research track involves the development of pressed board material from residual plant fibre that is left over after extraction of binding agents in the Seaweed Bioplastic Research project.
Material experiments were done with different seaweed species that grow in the Dutch waters. Red, green and brown seaweed were mixed with other fibres like hemp, paper and flax.
The materials are processed in different ways to explore material properties that can offer both functional and experiential benefits as a starting point for product design. The surface finishing of the materials is another focal point of development.
Besides functionality, the aesthetics of the materials are explored. Some of the natural dyes form the Bio Dye Research project are applied to the seaweed fibre. Other experiments include a variation in the processing techniques and intensity of the original plant material visible in the material.
Parts of this research projects were done in collaboration with The Hague University of Applied Sciences.