We want to move away from the use of petroleum-based plastics. The downsides of petroleum are well known: its use results in considerable CO2 emissions and it will eventually run out, and therefore also become expensive. Plastics can also be produced using sustainable raw materials such as starch or lactic acid. The problem, however, is that petroplastics have some important properties that we do not want to have to give up.
The production of platform chemicals is one of the developments with lots of potential, as we gradually need to become less dependent on petroleum.
Algae are said to be the green gold of the biobased economy. They are crammed with oils, fats, proteins and sugars – ingredients that are crucial in the production of food, animal feed, chemicals, materials and fuels. Wageningen University & Research is working on technology that will allow production chains for bulk products from algae to be developed in an economically efficient and sustainable way, for example in the project AlgaePARC.