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Algae-based bioplastic developer Algix LLC has officially entered the commercial packaging industry. The Georgia-based company will provide its bioresin formed from roughly 70 percent aquatic biomass, to Illinois-based Dordan Manufacturing Company Inc. Dordan has displayed the Algix product at Pack Expo 2012, an industry trade show devoted to packaging materials and practices.
The partnership first formed during a visit from Ryan Hunt, director of R&D for Algix, at the 2011 Pack Expo show. In addition to the relationship developed during the show, according to Dordan, the company also became interested in Algix following two research publications compiled by Hunt. The documents, “Microalgae Cultivation in a Wastewater Dominated by Carpet Mill Effluents for Biofuel Applications,” and, “Sustainable Bioderived Polymeric Materials and Thermoplastic Blends Made From Floating Aquatic Macrophytes such as Duckweed,” both helped to explain Algix’s approach to bioremediation.
The company has developed a method to utilize wastewater from carpet mills or other sources to grow algae. The algae is then formed into a powder and combined with other resins to form algae-based resins. Dordan will use the bioresins in thermoformed packaging options like clamshells, trays or other packaging components. The technology used by Algix was first developed by Kimberly-Clark, and through work at the University of Georgia and a licensing agreement with Kimberly-Clark, Hunt and his team are looking to expand in the southeast U.S. where over 150 carpet mills produce millions of gallons of nutrient wastewater.
According to Daniel Slavin, president and CEO of Dordan, “To date, few bioresins have met the economic and performance requirements of our clients. We are excited about the potential of Algix’s algae-plastic because it uses industrial waste,” he said.
For more on Algix, cllick here.