Algenesis, Trelleborg Partner to Create Sustainable Fabric Coatings

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Algenesis Trelleborg

Algenesis researchers are working with Trelleborg scientists to develop fabric coatings using sustainable polyurethanes. Photo courtesy: Algenesis

Algenesis, developer of a production platform for bio-based polyurethanes made from plant-based feedstocks, has announced a partnership with Trelleborg, a leading provider of engineered polymer solutions. This collaboration intends to develop Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) polymers to meet the needs for sustainable fabric coatings.

Algenesis has formulated high-performance bio-based and biodegradable TPUs from raw materials extracted from algae and non-foodplants, replacing petroleum-based TPUs. This innovation aligns strongly with Trelleborg’s corporate strategy of pursuing sustainable solutions to meet customers’ needs. Trelleborg’s customers have shown an openness to sustainable options, and the collaboration with Algenesis will allow Trelleborg to offer viable, price-competitive TPU-coated fabric alternatives.

Antony Croston, Director of Product Development at Trelleborg’s U.S. facility in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, said, “We are excited to partner with Algenesis to explore sustainable alternatives to our existing TPU products and develop new ones where sustainability is a key value driver. Algenesis’ technology aligns very strongly with our corporate strategy.”

The collaboration between Algenesis and Trelleborg to develop new bio-based polymers is also intended to result in a reduction of microplastic pollutants in the environment and lower costs for customers. Initial trials have shown that the Algenesis polymer performs similarly to established solutions and existing processes.

“The world needs alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that pollute our environment and create microplastics,” said Dr. Stephen Mayfield, CEO of Algenesis. “Algenesis, teaming with Trelleborg, can offer a viable, price-competitive TPU-coated fabric alternative.

“It is fantastic to have a high-end manufacturer like Trelleborg recognize the potential of sustainable TPUs, and their knowledge of customers’ needs will enable us to quickly develop these TPUs for commercial applications,” he said. “We are excited to make our materials available to Trelleborg’s customer base and demonstrate the benefits of sustainably sourced and 100% biodegradable TPUs.”

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