CreAlgae is based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and aims to innovate and reduce the impact that harmful algal blooms have on the local aquatic ecosystem by producing algae-based resin products and petroleum-free algae-based bioplastics derived from materials from local waterways.
With humble beginnings, starting as a concept as an Illinois Enactus Capstone project, CreAlgae was founded in the fall of 2019. Established in an abandoned bathroom at the local community FabLab, we turned the space into a kitchen lab space filled with blenders, pots, hot plates, and a plethora of other materials.
CreAlgae worked on developing a base formula for its bioplastic and ideated prototypes for different products made of both wild and processed algae. We spent most of this year conducting market research to identify various applications for our bioplastic.
CreAlgae received mentorship from people involved in the bioplastic market and the bioplastic research space. We continued to work towards finalizing a working recipe, prototyping our product in the FabLab, and learning the different characteristics of our material to find some more applications for it and continue to tweak our formula.
CreAlgae successfully developed a systematic method of producing market-ready bio-resins through the efforts of its design fellows and their implementation of CAD software to make custom molds and designs. We officially developed our bioplastics to be presentable to consumers both in its functionality and aesthetic qualities.
CreAlgae has partnered with the Champaign County Forest Preserve District to locally source algae and will work with our project associates and fellows to develop a methodology to sterilize and process our resources. This semester we will focus on catering to the needs and interests of the market and its consumers, as well as become more involved in the Champaign-Urbana community to grow our project scope and impact.
CreAlgae, at its core, is focused on working towards three United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).