Canadian Packaging

Cereplast Looks To Transform Algae Into Bioplastics


November 11, 2009
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Hawthorne, Ca.-based Cereplast, Inc., has announced it has been developing a breakthrough technology to transform algae into bioplastics and intends to launch a new family of algae-based resins that will complement the company’s existing line of Compostables and Hybrid resins.

As a manufacturer of proprietary bio-based sustainable plastics, Cereplast believes algae-based resins could replace 50 per cent or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins. Currently, Cereplast is using renewable material such as starches from corn, tapioca, wheat and potatoes and Ingeo PLA.

“Based on our own efforts, as well as recent commitments by major players in the algae field, we believe that algae has the potential to become one of the most important “green” feedstocks for biofuels, as well as bioplastics,” stated Frederic Scheer the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Cereplast adding that Exxon has invested $600-million in Synthetic Genomics and BP has invested $10-million in Martek Biosciences.

Scheer continues:  “Algae-based resins represent an outstanding opportunity for companies across the plastic supply chain to become more environmentally sustainable and reduce the industry’s reliance on oil. We are still in the development phase, but we believe that this breakthrough technology could result in a significant new line of business in the years to come.”

Cereplast has initiated contact with several companies that plan to use algae to minimize the CO2 and NOX gases from polluting smoke-stack environments. Algae from a typical photo-bioreactor is harvested daily and may be treated as biomass, which can be used as biofuel or as a raw material source for biopolymer feed stock. The company is also in direct communication with potential chemical conversion companies that could convert the algae biomass into viable monomers for further conversion into potential biopolymers.

“Algae as biomass makes sense in that it helps close the loop on polluting gases and can be a significant renewable resource,” sums up Scheer.

For more information, visit www.cereplast.com.