INNOVATION: Algae-based Flip Flops.

24. July 2020 | Material | via UC San Diego

ucsd-algae-flip-flops-hero

Algae Flip Flops (Credit: UC San Diego)

Three billion petroleum-based flip flops are produced worldwide each year, eventually ending up as non-biodegradable trash in landfills, rivers and oceans around the globe, states an article on the USCD news site.

The two professors Steve Mayfield and Skip Pomeroy are working together with their students in their York Hall lab, to produce molded foam of varied degrees of rigidity. The students extract oil from the algae, then convert it into a “polyol” which later on will be turned into Polyurethane, which is the raw material to be poured into the molds to produce the shoes.

The scientists are seeking to make the shoes biodegradable, by chemically converting the algae oil into polyurethane in a manner that will allow the carbon bonds to be degraded by microorganisms.

 

Algae Flip Flops