Valencia looks to convert seaweed into bioplastics

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In Spain, scientists are working to valorize nuisance seaweed that washes up on Valencia’s beaches by converting it into bioplastic.

The work is being carried out by the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology with a grant from the Valencian Innovation Agency.

IATA is working to extract cellulose from the seaweed, which mostly consists of Posidonia oceanica, and other feedstocks such as rice straw, for conversion into bioplastics. The Institute says its method significantly cuts the cost of bioplastic production. The work is being done in collaboration with Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística.

AVI has earmarked €140,000 (US$151,000) for the project. Success would be a win-win for the municipality, which removes tons of the seaweed each year.