Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Innovations

Biodegradable Mardi Gras beads from algae

February 14, 2018
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

LSU Biological Sciences Professor Naohiro Kato developed biodegradable Mardi Gras beads and doubloons, pictured here, from algae. Photo Credit: Alison Satake, LSU.

Tens of thousands of pounds of plastic Mardi Gras beads enter the environment every year. After the parades, most of the discarded beads end up in the landfill. Now, a biologist at Louisiana State University (LSU) is developing an innovative way to solve this problem by creating biodegradable Mardi Gras beads.

“I believe we can change and do better. We have great resources to make our Mardi Gras celebrations more sustainable and to protect our environment and health,” said LSU Biological Sciences Professor Naohiro Kato.

One of his students at LSU accidentally discovered the basic ingredients Dr. Kato has refined to produce the biodegradable Mardi Gras beads. “My student was supposed to come into the lab three nights in a row to move our test tube samples of algae from the centrifuge to the freezer, but one night he forgot,” Dr. Kato said.

The next morning, Dr. Kato found a large glob of algae accumulating oils — one of the ingredients used for bioplastic production — on the bottom of the centrifuge. The professor immediately thought of using it to make Mardi Gras beads. Earlier, he had been at a party chatting with people who wanted to make Mardi Gras more “green.” He thought, this could be the biodegradable solution they were looking for. So he got to work growing a large quantity of microalgae in a six-foot kiddie pool outside.

Louisiana’s warm climate, sunshine, water and nutrients, make it an ideal environment to naturally mass-produce microalgae.

Dr. Kato plans to produce microalgae for nutraceutical companies to offset the relatively high cost to make biodegradable Mardi Gras beads, which can cost up to three times as much as plastic beads to produce. He has a patent pending to make beads entirely out of microalgae using the leftover biomass unused by the nutraceutical industry. He has launched a spinoff company called Microalgae LLC in Baton Rouge to support this business model.

One gallon of microalgae culture produces a few biodegradable beads. The beads disintegrate over time in soil. To make this concept commercially successful, Kato said he needs to manufacture microalgae at a large scale, such as in a pond the size of a football field.

This may not be so hard to come by in Louisiana. He sees the state’s rice, crawfish and aquaculture industries as existing infrastructure that could support this potentially lucrative new product.

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2018 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Algatech has announced the opening of Algatech Inc., a New York City-based subsidiary created to serve the North American market. The company has appointed Ken Seguine to...
Carlsbad-based Surftech, a stand-up paddle (SUP) and Surfboard manufacturing company has announced its collaboration with BLOOM, a materials development company, to devel...
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) reports that an international team has discovered an enzyme which allows microalgae to convert some of their fatty acid...
Cyanotech Corporation a leader in microalgae-based, high-value nutrition and health products, announced financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of f...
The recently signed US two-year budget deal – featuring bipartisan support for a $35 per ton tax incentive for carbon captured and recycled from power plants or industria...
Globally, an increase in water pollution is pushing scientists and environmental care specialists to seek best ways of preserving and maintaining sources of safe drinking...
Cody Nelson writes for MPRNews.org that a team of University of Minnesota-Duluth researchers wanted to know how shortening winters — and less ice cover on lakes — might i...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech) has become the major shareholder in Supreme Health New Zealand, Ltd. (Supreme) to supply the rapidly growing markets in Ch...
JapanNews.com reports that Euglena Co., a Tokyo-based maker of nutritional supplements, is spending ¥5.8 billion ($5.3 million USD) on building a test refinery that conve...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
Amy Thompson writes in Space.com that SpaceX successfully launched its 15th Space Station cargo-resupply mission on Friday, June 29; carrying a payload of experiments des...
Milenio.com reports that BiomiTech, a Mexican company, won a prestigious innovation award for its air purification system at the Contamination Expo Series 2018 held in Bi...