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Issue 01/2020

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Materials
  • Recycling
  • Packaging
  • Products
  • Sustainable
Highlights: Automotive Recycling Cover Story: Biobased Fur

Recycling Strategic

Recycling Strategic alliances to bio-cycle pl New enzyme engineering research center of international scale on plastic re Carbios, a French green chemistry company based in Clermont-Ferrand, announced in mid-January a strategic alliance with INSA Toulouse (Institut national des sciences appliquées, France) through the internationally recognized laboratory “Toulouse Biotechnology Institute”, a mixed research unit of INSA Toulouse, INRA (Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Paris, France) and CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris, France). The two entities are establishing a research center for enzymatic engineering, which will be focused on plastic recycling and biosynthesis. This laboratory, unprecedented in the world of enzymatic engineering and dedicated to plastic applications, was inaugurated on January 28, 2020, at INSA Toulouse. The cooperative laboratory, called “PoPLaB” (Polymers, Plastic and Biotechnologies), is the culmination of seven years of scientific collaboration. This collective work led in 2016, to the creation of Carbiolice, Carbios’ subsidiary, dedicated to PLA biodegradation and in 2019, to the first 100 % PET plastic bottles produced through Carbios’ biorecycling process. Carbios’ technology leverages enzymes that fully break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste and polyester fibers feedstock to successfully produce consumer-grade, 100 % recycled plastic, as Mallory Szczepanski, Editorial Director of Waste360 pointed out on their website [2]. The technology’s process consists of a few steps. First, the PET plastic waste is combined with water and Carbios’ proprietary enzymes, heated up at low temperature and churned. Then, within a few hours, the enzymes decompose the plastic, transforming it into the material’s basic building blocks. These monomers are then isolated, separated, purified and used to produce consumer-grade, 100 % recycled plastic that’s similar in quality to virgin material [2]. This patented technology offers the potential to recycle PET plastics repeatedly and pave the way for 100 % recycled PET content in new products [4]. “At the pilot scale, we have demonstrated that it takes about 10 hours to depolymerize 90 % of the feedstock made of PET waste,” explained Martin Stephan, deputy CEO of Carbios, on Waste360. “We don’t think it’s necessary to go up to 90 % on the industrial scale, however, so we only need a few hours for the depolymerization reaction before we send the material through the other steps.” Already in 2017 Carbios and L’Oréal, worldwide beauty industry leader (Clichy, France) had jointly founded a fiveyear consortium to bring the bio-recycling technology designed and developed by Carbios to market on an industrial scale. Philippe Thuvien, vice president of packaging and development at L’Oréal had then mentioned: “L’oréal has been committed to an ambitious sustainable packaging programme for several years now. We currently use up to 100 % recycled plastic for several different products. We’ve decided to go even further: with this innovative CARBIOS technology, L’oréal is helping to make bio-recycling available on an industrial scale. It’s a wonderful opportunity to protect the environment, and this consortium will also help boost the circular economy.” [3]. And in 2019 Philippe added “We are convinced that Carbios’ technology is a new step forward, in addition to the mechanical and chemical recycling that contribute to reaching our 2025 goals: 50 % of our products’ plastic components is recycled or biosourced. We know that by working together with our partners, we will succeed in creating a more sustainable world based on circular economy principles.”[4] Also in 2019 Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe joined the Consortium of Carbios and L’Oreal to help support the circular plastics economy using Carbios’ breakthrough enzyme-based enhanced recycling technology. Now Carbios also announced that it is becoming a member of the INSA Toulouse Foundation, an initiative that strengthens the links between the two entities. The Foundation makes a significant contribution to the training and international openness of students and scientific executives specifically with the creation of a program “Biotechnologies and Environment”. Prof. Alain Marty, Scientific Director of Carbios commented: “The creation of this laboratory represents several years of fruitful research devoted to the discovery and optimization of enzymes for the degradation and synthesis of polymers. This laboratory will benefit from state-of-the-art equipment in terms of enzyme modeling and understanding of plastic hydrolysis molecular mechanisms, high-throughput enzyme evolution platforms, all based on highly qualified researchers. This will enable us to take up new challenges by enlarging the range of polymers accessible to our enzymatic technology.” Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios said: “Carbios wishes to actively support the INSA Foundation because more than a vision, we share a common ambition: To contribute through innovation and research to a sustainable world that is respectful of our shared environment.” Bertrand Raquet, Director of INSA Toulouse added: “This is an exemplary partnership where an innovative company accelerates its technological research by establishing itself at the heart of our campus. The approach is twofold: together, we are creating a cooperative laboratory, by combining the expertise of Carbios, INSA, INRA, and CNRS for a new generation of plastics, degradable and recyclable. And together, we are developing the INSA model, with the support of the Foundation. Our engineering students and doctoral students, supported in their diversity, mobilize their expertise in biotechnologies and bioprocesses and engage in entrepreneurial approaches, for a sustainable world.” MT 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/20] Vol. 15

Recycling astics cycling and biosynthesis Carbios paves the way to infinite recycling of PET (Source: [5]) Info See a video-clip at: carbios-video References [1] Businesswire [2] Szczepanski, M.: Carbios’ Technology Aims to Bio-recycle Plastic on an Industrial Scale; [3] L’Oréal and Carbios sign Agreement to jointly found Consortium for Bio- Recycling of Plastic on Industrial Scale [4] Nestlé Waters, Pepsico and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe join Consortium founded by Carbios and L’Oréal to support the World’s first enzymatic Technology for the Recycling of Plastics. en/nestle-waters-pepsico-and-suntory-beverage-food-europe-joinconsortium-founded-by-carbios-and-loreal-to-support-the-worldsfirst-enzymatic-technology-for-the-recycling-of-plastic/ [5] (Source: Carbios) HIGH WE DRIVE THROUGHPUT. THE DIAMEETS CIRCULAR ECONOMY. QUALITY. Whether it is inhouse, postconsumer or bottle recycling: you can only close loops in a precise and profitable way if machines are perfectly tuned for the respective application. Count on the number 1 technology from EREMA when doing so: over 5000 of our machines and systems produce around 14 million tonnes of high-quality pellets like this every year – in a highly efficient and energy-saving way. That’s Careformance! CAREFORMANCE We care about your performance. 1710013ERE_ins_bioplastics magazine.indd 1 bioplastics MAGAZINE 18.10.17 [01/20] Vol. 14:3115 37

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