Just got this news from Cereplast talking about their plans to commercially introduce the first-ever algae-based resins in the market by the end of 2010.
Their proprietary resins could contain 50% or more algae biomass based resins (the rest are petroleum-based). I am not sure who they source their algae biomass from but since research on algae have exploded recently (including from big chemical companies such as Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, DuPont, Honeywell’s UOP), there’s probably plenty of company with algae byproducts to sell.
As I recall from my previous Q&A with Cereplast CEO Frederic Scheer, he noted that algae companies are selling their biomass byproducts to the cattle industry. He also noted during the interview that they expect commercialization within 5 years time so I was actually caught by surprise with this announcement.
This is what Mr. Scheer said in today’s press release:
“The properties of hybrid materials that we have developed with algae are now very close to meeting our expectations, and are on target to introduce a new family algae-based plastics by the end of the year. In the not so distant future, we believe that algae will become one of the most important ‘green’ feedstocks in bioplastics as well as biofuels.”
Cereplast said it is in direct communication with potential chemical conversion companies that could convert the algae biomass into viable monomers for further conversion into potential biopolymers.