Nereid Biomaterials receives Proof of Concept award
The California NanoSystems Institute selected Nereid Biomaterials for a Climate Innovation Fund grant to explore the viability of using Nereid Bio’s marine-degradable material to replace petroleum-based plastics in aquaculture and fishing equipment.
Ocean ecosystems are essential to reducing the climate footprint of food production and to climate intervention strategies. Two marine industries at the heart of these needs–aquaculture and fishing—are dependent on expendable gear made of plastic. With plastic waste responsible for $13 billion in damage to marine ecosystems annually, the California Ocean Protection Council has called out the threat that fishing equipment and plastic waste poses to water quality, marine mammals, and the ecosystem. For these industries to grow in a sustainable manner, they require novel materials that can withstand the ocean environment but degrade at end-of-life.
Biodegradable materials have been raised as an alternative for plastic. Unfortunately, many do not actually degrade in the marine environment. Nereid Biomaterials has developed polyhydroxybutyrate-based formulations that accelerate and ensure complete degradation of this bioplastic in the ocean. It is already being used in prototype ocean sensors, an important application as the number of expendable sensors released in the ocean is growing rapidly. Enabled by CNSI’s Proof of Concept award, Nereid Bio will begin prototyping and field testing truly ocean-degradable fishing and aquaculture gear with their partners and encourage adoption of this technology for a cleaner ocean.