AL G. – TRANSFORMATION OF BROWN ALGAE I 2018


If there were Olympic Games for the life cycle assessment of raw materials, brown algae would surpass all conventional resources – in every discipline. Why? They require neither arable land nor irrigation, as they grow in salty coastal waters. There they also help reducing the nutrients surplus caused by agriculture and above all our CO2 emissions. Furthermore, they grow very quickly.


The main components of the algae are the biopolymers alginate and cellulose. The extracted alginate can be spun into a strong yet flexible yarn in various thicknesses. A range of purely natural pigments originating from microalgae can be added to achieve sophisticated colour hues. This allows a wide range of textile applications. The remaining cellulose can be transformed into a stable and light composite material. Such utilisation of algae provides a closed loop life-cycle – from ecologically useful cultivation, through processing and use, to recycling.