Algae Alchemy

Dutch Turn Seaweed into 3-D Household Items




FrameStockFootages/Shutterstock.com

Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have been cultivating live algae and processing it into material that can be used for 3-D printing. This algae polymer can be turned into everyday items from shampoo bottles to bowls and trash bins. They hope it could replace petroleum-based plastics to help alleviate our unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels. They have also experimented with other biopolymers such as mycelium (fungi), potato starch and cocoa bean shells.

The pair now operate a research and algae production lab at the Luma Foundation, in Arles, France. They point out that their creations do more than just replace plastic—algae can also suck up carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas driver of global climate change. They explain, “The algae grow by absorbing the carbon and producing a starch that can be used as a raw material for bioplastics or binding agents. The waste product is oxygen—clean air.”


This article appears in the July 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

In Vitro Corals

Frustrated by vanishing reefs, scientists are fertilizing coral sperm and eggs in labs and returning them to the wild.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

A Natural Solution to Sleep Apnea

Many people believe sleep apnea is caused by a sagging soft pallet in the throat. According to Master Herbalist Steven Frank, it actually results from a diminishing signal from the brain to the diaphragm during the transition from semi-wakefulness into the next stage of lighter sleep.

Steps for Seed Starting Success

Starting our own plants allows us to control what goes on with them and is a piece of the puzzle in truly knowing where our food comes from. There are therapeutic health benefits in starting our own seedlings indoors, and it’s a task that provides a welcome boost to a gardener’s spirits during the doldrums of winter.

Fall Specials at the Purple Sprout

The Purple Sprout Café and Juice Bar, in Wheeling, features only raw and cooked healthy organic vegan items. Pizza, including gluten-free options, is coming soon. Holiday catering and special orders are available for the home and office.

Tap Water that is Purified, Activated and Lead-Free

ProEcoLife makes one of the world’s best water filtration technologies.

Workshop to Explore How Digestion, Sleep and Hormones are Interrelated

Reneé Barasch, a digestive health specialist, and Amy Andrews, a health detective and functional hormone specialist, are presenting a transformative workshop.

Meditation

Everyone has heard about the benefits of meditation. But how on earth do those people sit still for so long?