Determining the environmental benefit of artificial spider silk products

A.Y. Lauterbach, T. Scheibel
University of Bayreuth, DE

Keywords: recombinant spider silk, comparative life cycle assessment

Summary:

Spider silk is a highly interesting material with outstanding properties. Because the usage of natural spider silk for technical applications is not possible, the production of recombinant spider silk was established. This production process has been ecologically evaluated by life cycle assessment to identify the potential of artificial spider silk products to replace other products. We focused on different technical applications that could be realized with spider silk, e.g. spider silk replacing polyamide 66 in an airbag and spider silk replacing a filter material in a vacuum cleaner dust bag. By the applied methodical approach it is possible to directly influence further process development towards more sustainable solutions.