How do you go about making Cardboard out of Algae?
What Have We Learned?
Experiments with Fiber Length
Transitioning to Industrial Production
We realized that dried pond algae has material properties very similar to those of cardboard. We made two small boxes with minimal processing as a proof-of-concept for the material.
Using algae as a substitute for wood pulp in paper production has many benefits:
to Andrew Loriot,
and the Construct Lab
The team gathered algae with pitch forks from the collection ponds between the Polisseni Center and the tennis courts.
We boiled and filtered the algae to pasteurize and remove debris.
We experimented with a variety of fiber lengths and geometries.
After leaving the algae out to dry for two weeks, our experiments met with mixed success, which we expected.
We flattened the sheets, and using an ordinary cardboard box as reference, laser-cut the shape of a box into two of the least-warped sheets. The algae-cardboard is surprisingly easy to engrave.
After wetting the creases, it was only a matter of folding the sheets to make boxes.
Despite the rain, we presented our findings at ImagineRIT on May 6, 2017.