While you may enjoy tucking into a plate of seafood, chances are that you have never given a second thought to the vast amounts of shell waste from the crustaceans produced by the fishing industry. A European Commission-funded project is currently developing a biorefinery platform that could see this shell waste converted into smaller molecules to be used as the raw material for plastic production.
There are significant environmental and health risks associated with disposing of crustacean shell waste in landfill sites, but at the moment there are few alternatives for the several hundred tons of shell waste that the statistical branch of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT) estimates is produced in Europe each year.
Tags: BioCat, proteins, lipid, calcium carbonate, plastic bags, chitosan, ChiBio project
Source: Science Omega.com, 2013-02-12.