Making Reliable & Durable Surfboard Blanks From Seafood WasteSurfers are typically the first to see how behaviors of modern society are impacting the ocean.
Surfers are typically the first to see how behaviors of modern society are impacting the ocean, and as a result often become the ocean’s most vocal advocates or early adopters of new sustainable technologies.
John Felts, a 31-year-old UC Santa Cruz electrical engineering Ph.D. student, and UCSC associate professor in electrical engineering Marco Rolandi, 40, to create a more sustainable alternative to traditional polyurethane foams. They use a material called chitin that is present in shellfish like crab, lobster, and shrimp. Chitin is affordable, durable, and can be used to create a foam that is much less toxic than polyurethane or expanded polystyrene.
“The use of non-renewable foams is a problem for every person on this planet: plastic pollution in the ocean is a persistent contaminant that harms both humans and animals. Polystyrene foam takes over 500 years to degrade; currently US landfills contain over 30% by volume plastics with the majority attributed to polystyrene and polyurethane.
Cruz Foam transforms chitin, a bio polymer found in shrimp shells, into structural foams with an environmentally friendly process. Currently over 30,000 tons of industry-grade chitin is produced annually, and simultaneously every year landfills are filled with 8 million tons of shrimp, crab,and lobster shell waste.
Cruz Foam addresses both the front-end and back-end of a ‘green’ product by up-cycling chitin found in waste to create foam to replace petroleum-based foams. It’s less costly to produce, and matches or exceeds the mechanical properties of current polystyrene and polyurethane structural foam.”