Bioplastic factories from microbes

Friday, 14 March, 2014

What if bacteria and algae could produce our plastics for us with no need for petroleum? European scientists believe this could be possible and are experimenting with bacteria and algae to turn them into ‘bioplastic factories’.

In Spain, scientists are culturing bacteria that can transform organic waste into polymers inside their cells. In Holland, researchers are experimenting with algae that can produce bioplastic components. These microorganisms could be the source of plastic materials in the future.

The European Commission is funding a number of initiatives working towards the production of plastic material without the use of crude oil.

The aim of these projects is to produce bioplastics on a large scale, and both the Spanish bacteria project (SYNPOL) and the Dutch algae project (SPLASH) are working with candidates that could revolutionise the production of plastics in the near future.

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