Israel tests artificial reefs made from PLA

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In Israel, researchers at University of Technion University, University of Ben Gurion of the Negev and Bar Ilan University claim they have created 3D-printed coral reefs using polylactic acid, a biodegradable bioplastic made from corn, cassava, or sugarcane.

Coral reefs—key ecosystems for marine life—are being decimated by pollution and climate change. The technology is being deployed on the coast of Eilat, where the researchers hope columns of the material will become artificial reefs, attracting aquatic life.

“A successful implementation of this study may enhance our understanding of coral interactions with their surrounding environment, provide design tools for public displays such as large-scale aquariums and hence reduce their dependence on live corals, and provide a valuable design guidelines and tools when approaching the matter of active coral reef restoration,” say the researchers, according to Mashable India.