Production of crude bioplastic-beads with microalgae: Proof-of-concept

Naohiro Kato, Louisiana State University


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd The demand for plastics that are produced from biological resources, easily recyclable and biodegradable, has increased in recent years. However, their application in plastic-bead industries, such as recreational shooting sports, fishing, and disposable ornaments, has been limited due to high cost of the production. One of reasons for the high cost is involvement of extraction and purification processes of biopolymers, the raw materials produced in organisms for bioplastic production. It was previously found that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii produces a large amount of triacylglycerol, the ingredient of biopolymers, following centrifugation (Kato et al., Biteb, doi: This article reports that the triacylglycerol produced in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can be directly molded, without extraction and purification, into a 7 mm bead that withstands compressive stress to 1.7 megapascals. With further research and development, the method developed in this study may help to produce disposable bioplastic-beads economically in industry.