Life Cycle Assessment of pilot scale production of seaweed-based bioplastic

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The use of seaweed as a bioresource for plastic production is gaining momentum. However, the environmental impacts of the production of this novel bioplastic are still unknown. In this research, we assess the environmental impacts of the production of a bioplastic film at an experimental pilot scale using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The system boundaries chosen for this analysis include seaweed cultivation accounting for its carbon uptake, alginate extraction, production of bioplastic film at the pilot scale and different end-of-life pathways. The recirculation of different seaweed co-products from the alginate extraction step into the bioplastic film production is also assessed using scenario modelling and the analysis is completed with a carbon balance and an uncertainty analysis. The results show the main hotspot at the pilot scale is the last step in the production, film fabrication, mainly due to the glycerol in this process. The results also vary significantly depending on the end-of-life of the bioplastic, composting reduces the impacts by 30 % compared to incineration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103036
JournalAlgal Research
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Bioplastic, Circular economy, Consequential, Emerging technology, Kelp, Saccharina latissima

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