From Food Waste to 3D Printing Material

 

I’m sure some of you remember hearing Mom and Dad saying you had to “clean your plate” before leaving the dinner table. Well, although I don’t see my parents investing in a 3D printer, maybe the work being done by researchers at Genecis could help alleviate some of their concerns over wasted food.

The recently launched startup has a goal of using food scraps, primarily from restaurants, to produce biodegradable plastics that could be used for packaging and 3D printing. Currently in development is a PHA biopolymer that could be used as a more durable and less brittle 3D printing filament.

Currently, all PHAs are made from crops like corn and sugar cane, which can be expensive. Genecis, on the other hand, has developed special bacteria that can biologically construct materials typically reliant upon longer, more involved processes to create materials like PHA. So, the combination of these bacteria and the food waste makes the creation of these materials more efficient and less expensive.

Additional applications could include less expensive products for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and nano-materials industries. The company’s first commercial product will most likely be PHA bioplastic pellets. It is also seeking partnerships with those interested in exploring the use of its manufactured polymers, which could range from 3D printing filaments to packaging materials and more.

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