Bioplastics from Algae – SPLASH project kicks-off

The Sustainable Polymers from Algae Sugars and Hydrocarbons (SPLASH) project with its 20 partners kicked off on 19 November. Research and business join forces in SPLASH to produce plastic from algae. The algae are little factories that produce the building blocks of plastic products, such as food packaging and fibres for rope and nets. The project is led by Wageningen Food & Biobased Research.

In SPLASH, research institutions and the business community cooperate to develop Botryococcus braunii algae into an industrial production platform, the best production circumstances for the desired sugars and hydrocarbons, in situ extraction methods and isolation. This collaboration also includes the development of new polymers and plastic products.

The green alga Botryococcus braunii and microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produce the required sugars. These sugars are converted into building blocks, such as apidic acid from galactose, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid from glucose, rhamnose and fucose. These building blocks will be converted through polymer condensation into polyethylene 2,5-furandioate (PEF) and (poly) 1,4-penthylene adipate-co-2,5-furandioate.

A number of companies and knowledge institutes participate in the project coordinated by Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research: Plant Research International, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute, Organic Waste Systems N.V., Paques, BioTopic, Value for Technology, Avantium, LifeWIZZ LDA, Pursuit Dynamics, PDX, Nova-Institut, Cambridge University, PNO Consultants, University of Huelva, Universitaet Bielefeld, Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, Ege University, Lankhorst Yarns, Rhodia and Fraunhofer.

Source: University of Wageningen