Fancy helping rewild river habitats and ocean sea beds? Innovation Advantage (IA) is conceptualising a means of using a ‘waste’ resource as a commodity: preventing single use plastic from ever becoming a microplastic problem, whilst also reducing water phosphate & nitrates levels.
IA is developing a low-cost photobioreactor (PBR) that reuses PET plastic bottles to grow microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed), which can then be used to produce value-added products.
The project is a proof-of-concept study to design an efficient means of reusing large quantities of plastic bottles by filling them with algae. Ensuring even distribution of the algae and preventing biofilm build-up are challenges. If the research and design work is successful, then an affordable PBR could be produced on location. This will help low- & middle-income countries produce ‘something from nothing’ and help raise the value of all plastic, wherever it has come from. A decentralised recycling solution, where the factory comes to the waste, could help shift the world to greater resource circularity.