Video: Using microbes to generate bioplastics

Mar 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.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

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: Enhanced photosynthesis is crucial for improving bioplastic yields from cyanobacteria

More information: phys.org/news313829267.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Waste cooking oil makes bioplastics cheaper

Sep 03, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Characterizing an important reactive intermediate

17 hours ago

An international group of researchers led by Dr. Warren E. Piers (University of Calgary) and Dr. Heikki M. Tuononen (University of Jyväskylä) has been able to isolate and characterize an important chemical ...

Surfaces that communicate in bio-chemical Braille

17 hours ago

A Braille-like method that enables medical implants to communicate with a patient's cells could help reduce biomedical and prosthetic device failure rates, according to University of Sydney researchers.

New material steals oxygen from the air

Sep 30, 2014

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. Just one spoon of the substance is enough to absorb all the ...

User comments : 0