World’s 1st hydrogen fuel-cell powered yacht, hemp airplane, rock snot to biomaterials, sisal-based thermal insulation, and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of January 3rd

January 2, 2020 |

The bioeconomy is kickstarting 2020 with a flurry of innovations, like a millennial entrepreneur who developed a method to convert invasive toxic algae commonly called “rock snot” into various materials including paper, fabric and bioplastic. Another entrepreneur developed thermal insulation made from sisal, a plant found in east Africa. And a for sure way to start the New Year off on the right foot, a shoemaker is launching an 82% renewable shoe made from eucalyptus wood and sugarcane ethylene vinyl acetate.

In today’s Digest, get the details on these and other Top 10 Innovations like the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell powered yacht, Hempearth’s hemp airplane, and more – and it’s ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Young Kiwi entrepreneur turns “rock snot” into paper

In New Zealand, a millennial entrepreneur has developed a method to convert an invasive algae into various materials, including paper, fabric, and bioplastic.

Commonly called rock snot but more properly known as didymo, the algae builds up on river rocks and is toxic to native fish. Logan Williams tells the New Zealand Herald he began looking at ways to repurpose the “disgusting brown sludge” because he is an avid fisherman and was disturbed by how its proliferation negatively impacted fish populations.

“Once it’s established it just takes over everything and the river effectively dies,” he says. “It was affecting river after river from the Rangitata to the Tekapo and devastating native populations in the process. Unfortunately for us this stuff thrives in cold, clean and low nitrogen water, so the South Island’s climate is perfect.”

He went on to found Biome Innovation to commercialize the process.
More on the story, here.

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