A Korean research team has developed a technology to manufacture eco-friendly bioplastics using green algae in the ocean for the first time in the world.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced on November 29 that the research paper on bioplastic production technology released by a research team led by Ewha Womans University Professor Park Jin-byung, who belongs to the Marine Biomaterials Research Center, was published in world’s prestigious scientific journals – ACS Catalysis and Scientific Reports.
The research team succeeded in environmentally friendly producing a carboxylic acid, a material used to manufacture high-performance engineering plastics using fat and fatty acid that can be easily extracted from green algae or microalgae.
The material doesn’t exist naturally so it is used to be manufactured using toxic materials at the high temperatures over 200 to 300 degree Celcius. Moreover, it emits lots of environmental pollutants after the production, continuously raising concerns over environmental damages.
However, the new technology uses the compositing technology based on enzymes that organic cells have at the room temperature so it creates relatively less harmful byproducts. In addition, marine green algae which is the raw material is cheap.
The research team expects that the new technology can be used to manufacture high-performance engineering plastics that are used in electronic equipment, parts of clocks and watches, structural materials for aircrafts.