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Algae and textiles

This research is about how to combine algae and textiles.

We started with finding out how algae can grow around textiles. The first step was to grow the algae, in this case Spirulina.

neffa_algae_research_growing
Algae

The second step involved combining textiles during the algae growth to see which textiles would take up the most algae.
The dense textiles did not take as much algae as the more open ones. Here you see pictures of algae grown with and combined with textile.

Can we develop a bioplastic of algae and use that as a textile?
We collected algae from the river and cleaned it thoroughly, before adding a plasticizer and cooking the mixture.
Then we dried this on a glass plate for a couple of days.

How to use algae to dye textiles?
These tests have been done with the so-called macro-algae, but this can also be done with micro-algae. We started by grinding the (sea) algae in some water to release the colour. Every algae has their own specific colour, so by trying the different species, you can get a colour palette to dye with. By adding drops onto a chromatography or filter paper till you have a concetrated spot of colour, it is possible to find out what the colour is. And after you can extract the pigments for usage in paint or dying media.

We all know that algae can generate energy. I was curious if this would work the same as getting energy from other natural sources.

lemon energy
Algae energy