Researchers at College of California, San Diego hope to make future seashore visits each environmentally and fashion-friendly, with a brand new system for biodegradable flip flops.
Mike Burkart, professor of chemistry and biochemistry on the public analysis college in San Diego, California, has developed a polymer from algae, which decomposes naturally.
“We start by rising algae and we develop them in raceway ponds the place we are able to develop them as much as very excessive density,” mentioned Burkart throughout a tour of the a lab for Reuters. “At that time when they’re absolutely grown, we take the water out of them…and principally we’re capable of get the algae all the way down to a really viscous paste.”
UC San Diego chemistry professor Michael Burkart seems over algae as it’s grown in a inexperienced home earlier than being was renewable and biodegradable polyurethanes on campus at UC San Diego, in San Diego, California, U.S., August 12, 2020.
“Then what we do is extract all of the lipids out of that algae and it’s these lipids that we’re making our supplies out of,” he mentioned.
The laboratory initially made gasoline from algae earlier than turning its consideration to surfboards, and now the common-or-garden flip flop. “Virtually each main shoe producer has come to speak to us about the opportunity of utilizing our supplies of their merchandise,” Burkart mentioned.
The straightforward footwear is inexpensive and in style world wide, and subsequently makes up a good portion of discarded plastics polluting oceans and seas. However Burkart is hoping his algae-based shoe-wear will change that.
A renewable and biodegradable polyurethane made out of algae is proven at a lab on campus at UC San Diego, in San Diego, California, U.S., August 12, 2020.
In a 2017 video uploaded by the college on YouTube, Stephen Mayfield, Professor of Biology and Director, Cal-CAB, UC San Diego explains, “About three billion of those (flip flops) are made yearly, it’s the primary shoe in India, the primary shoe in China and the primary shoe in Africa. And actually, a whole lot of the air pollution that is available in our ocean are issues similar to this. that get discarded, circulation down the rivers and into the ocean, the place they turn out to be part of the rubbish patch.”
He went on, “So if we are able to make one that’s sustainable and biodegradeable, we’ve got an opportunity to impression not solely San Diego, however each seashore group, in reality your complete planet by growing these. Our plan in the long run is that you could throw this in a compost pile and it will likely be eaten by organisms.”
Renewable and biodegradable polyurethane made out of algae and was a flip-flop is proven at a lab on campus at UC San Diego, in San Diego, California, U.S., August 12, 2020.
“We’re additionally speaking to different firms, for instance, for issues like meals packaging or different varieties of supplies that we don’t wish to stay ceaselessly within the atmosphere,” Burkart mentioned.
“We actually need these to have the ability to decompose or be capable of be recycled,” he mentioned.