AirCarbon™ : Bio-degradable Polyester from Nature | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation

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AirCarbon™ : Bio-degradable Polyester from Nature

Newlight Technologies uses natural ocean microorganisms to make PHB from air and greenhouse gas

and calls it AirCarbon. AirCarbon is PHB (Polyhydroxybutyrate) and PHB is made naturally in almost all known life on Earth, from microorganisms and trees to the human body.


Petroleum-based synthetics represent 63% of total global fiber production, yet the 2019 Textile Exchange Material Change Insights report shows that only 8% of brands know their supply chain to the chemical supplier level. Microfibers comes out of synthetic materials get through our wastewater facilities and pollute the oceans with tiny plastic particles, equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles per year. Moreover modern recycling is challenging due to it's complicated process.


AirCarbon– a biomaterial made by natural microorganisms that use air and carbon from greenhouse gases that would otherwise go into the atmosphere. It is an FDA food contact-approved biocompatible material which is naturally meltable. So it can be cooled down into everything from fiber and sheets to solid parts and can be used to replace things like synthetic plastic and animal leather. Unlike synthetic materials, the AirCarbon molecule is a molecule made throughout nature and can be re-consumed by natural microorganisms like leaves or twigs, enabling life to restore itself. AirCarbonis made with renewable power which makes the production of AirCarbon a carbon-negative process, capturing or destroying more CO2e than was emitted to make it.

AirCarboncan be recycled similar to the way nature recycles, i.e. through anaerobic digestion and converting it into greenhouse gas, and using that gas to make new AirCarbon.


The carbon footprint of AirCarbon is -88 CO2e/kg, as independently certified by Carbon Trust.  

AirCarbon is used on reusable, plastic-free, regenerative foodware, starting with drinking straws and cutlery. It is also making Covalent-brand regenerative, carbon-negative fashion, starting with eyewear and leather replacements.

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Pic from Flickr by Cuba Gallery

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