Video: Using microbes to generate bioplastics

March 12, 2014

European scientists are experimenting with bacteria and algae and turn them into bioplastic factories. Their vision: these microorganisms should produce a large portion of our plastic materials without any petroleum.

Scientists in Spain are growing bacteria that can transform into polymers inside their cells. And in Holland researchers are experimenting with algae which can also produce bioplastic components. Are these microorganisms the source of the plastic materials of the future?

As oil becomes scarcer and more expensive, the European Commission is funding a number of initiatives that could lead to the production of without the usage of . But equally important for a sustainable new product is the prevention of any additional strain on agricultural land resources. Therefore, in both these initiatives, bioplastics are not coming from the field, but produced in the laboratory or in a bio-chemical unit.

The video will load shortly

The aim of the scientists is to produce bioplastics on scale, and both the project on bacteria (called SYNPOL) and on the algae (named SPLASH) are working with candidates that could revolutionize the production of plastics in the near future.

Explore further: UF develops method to make plastic from discarded plant material

More information: phys.org/news313829267.html

Related Stories

Waste cooking oil makes bioplastics cheaper

September 3, 2012

"Bioplastics" that are naturally synthesized by microbes could be made commercially viable by using waste cooking oil as a starting material. This would reduce environmental contamination and also give high-quality plastics ...

Can plastic be made from algae?

May 27, 2013

Algae are an interesting natural resource because they proliferate quickly. They are not impinging on food production. And they need nothing but sunlight and a bit of waste water to grow on. Scientists working for theSPLASH ...

Recommended for you

New method developed for producing some metals

August 25, 2016

The MIT researchers were trying to develop a new battery, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, thanks to an unexpected finding in their lab tests, what they discovered was a whole new way of producing the metal antimony—and ...

New electrical energy storage material shows its power

August 24, 2016

A powerful new material developed by Northwestern University chemist William Dichtel and his research team could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range.

Bio-inspired tire design: Where the rubber meets the road

August 24, 2016

The fascination with the ability of geckos to scamper up smooth walls and hang upside down from improbable surfaces has entranced scientists at least as far back as Aristotle, who noted the reptile's remarkable feats in his ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.