Application of seaweed constituents in chemicals, materials and fuels

Harmsen, P. (Speaker), van den Broek, B. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationAcademic


1 Biobased Products, Wageningen Food and Biobased Research, Netherlands In the Circular Economy we aim amongst others for a transition from petrochemical to renewable resources as feedstocks for our fuels and materials. This calls for efficient use of our natural resources, both terrestrial and marine, and in addition for biorefinery solutions. How can seaweed contribute to the challenges we are facing? Wageningen Food and Biobased Products is working on seaweed as resource for the production of food, feed, materials and fuels. This presentation shows results of our work on processing of seaweed for the production of biofuels and biobased plastics. For example we produced sugars for fermentation to biofuel by mild enzymatic hydrolysis of Saccharina Latissima, isolated protein for food or feed and alginate for materials. To produce biobased materials we prepared seaweed-starch biocomposites by co-extrusion of whole seaweed and seaweed extracts and starch to prepare filaments with low melting temperature (<120 °C) to feed a 3D-printer. In addition, a desktop study was performed on the feasibility of producing the bioplastic polylactic acid (PLA) from seaweed. In the MacroFuels-project we demonstrated the isolation of sugars, suitable for further fermentation to biofuel. As coproducts an enriched fraction of protein and alginate was obtained. In the MacroCascade-project we studied the isolation methods of alginate and their impact on the final properties. Monomers of alginate are interesting chemical building blocks due to their acid functionality as shown in the Kelp2Plastics-project, and lower qualities can be processed in seaweed-based biobased materials, as shown in the AMS-project A circular supply chain for the city. We concluded that the total use of all seaweed constituents is a prerequisite for a viable seaweed business case. We have shown that seaweed constituents can be applied beyond the traditional application areas and are interesting resources for biofuels and materials like biobased plastics.
Period28 Apr 20193 May 2019
Event title23rd International seaweed symposium 2019: ISS2019
Event typeConference
LocationJeju, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Degree of RecognitionInternational