272: Algae-based paint


VOC from solvent and paint emissions contribute to harmful ozone formation and peroxyacetyl nitrate. The VOC content of paint and the CO₂ emitted during manufacture are key contributors to air pollution.


In 2008, Lionel Bouillon, keen to revive the family business of Félor in Brittany, inspired by algae-based shampoo, began to research the possibility of using algae to create a range of eco-friendly colors.

He consulted both Yves Rocher’s research team who were making algae-based cosmetics, the Rennes National School of Chemistry (ENSCR) and the Center for the Study of Algae Recovery (Ceva) so that the project would be collaborative and local.

By 2012, the prototype ecological paint composition they had obtained comprised a range of algae with one or more alga having mineral structure. This involved their preparing the paint composition by making a gel comprising water, thickening extracts and optionally additives, dispersing the algae and optionally the pigment in a mixer, and adding a binder and/or a resin or casein or its derivative, and adjusting the viscosity.

Having obtained a patent, Algo, located in Vern-sur-Seiche, a few kilometers from Rennes, in Ille-et-Vilaine, launched its first range with storytale names: Nantes Berlingot, Brioche with pralines, Southwest black cherry jam, View of the cape Erquy and Stroll in the Camargue.

Containing less than 1 gram of VOC per liter, with 0 odor, 0 solvent and 0 emissiviions, hospitals, communities or large companies were seduced, such as the headquarters of Delta Dore, the Hennessy cellar LVMH group or Rennes metropolis to renovate its nurseries.

Spotted by the DIY chain Mr. Bricolage, Algo paint was soon distributed at Leroy Merlin, Théolaur and Biocoop. Exported to Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, Algo aimed for worldwide distribution. On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, in the framework of the COP 23, Algo received the My Positive Impact trophy.

What you can do: Painting? Use Algo paints.

Discover Solution 273: Robo bees

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