Home Green Tech Experiments

Bio-Plastic Made Out of Freshwater-Loving Euglena

Freshwater Microorganism Euglena
Freshwater Microorganism Euglena

Most plastics start out from organic compounds, many of which are petrochemicals, that is, petroleum-based. In order to reduce the demand on petroleum reserves, and the pollution associated with them, there are many synthetic plastics being produced today.

Japanese researchers recently developed a synthetic plastic based on an extract from the freshwater microorganism, Euglena, that is nearly indistinguishable from other synthetic or petroleum-based plastics.

The process starts by raising colonies of Euglena in a polysaccharide solution. The resulting waste products, long-chain natural polymers, are used to synthesize plastic. The new synthetic plastic contains as much as 70% plant material, and is comparable to other bioplastics, including polylactic acid, Nylon 11, and petroleum-based ABS [acrylonitrile butadiene styrene], but much more heat-resistant.

Euglena-based synthetic plastic could be even more efficient than other bioplastics because underwater photosynthetic organisms use solar energy much more efficiently than land-based photosynthetic plants.

Additionally, Euglena thrive in carbon dioxide [CO2]-saturated conditions that other plants find toxic, such as food factory waste water, which could significantly reduce the energy requirements of raising Euglena feedstocks for synthetic plastic production.

(Visited 207 times, 1 visits today)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.