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Issue 05/2017

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News Automotive from Science and Research Turning industrial waste into PHA bioplastics Dr. Damian Laird and Dr. Leonie Hughes, researchers from the School of Engineering and Information Technology (Murdoch University, Perth, Australia) have been investigating an environmentally friendly solution for the use of oxalate, one of the major waste products of the alumina industry. “We are interested in finding a use for carbonbased industrial waste, which is currently stockpiled or is difficult to treat,” Dr Laird said. “By upcycling the carbon from a waste stream, we are able to avoid the production of carbon dioxide whilst creating something useful.” After sourcing an initial bacterial culture from a local wastewater treatment plant, the team created a synthetic wastewater to understand the conditions required for bacteria to convert the oxalate waste product into the biodegradable plastic (polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). The research team is now identifying the suite of bacteria that can work in the process and examining ways to increase the amount of oxalate that is converted. “We are taking inspiration from the production of bioplastic from food waste and applying it to a toxic by-product of the alumina industry,” Dr Hughes said. “This will be a naturally produced plastic that is biocompatible and completely biodegradable, and one of our goals is to 3D print products for the medical industry such as stents and sutures.” The team is also collaborating with Murdoch University’s Algae Research and Development Centre to look at using cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), organisms that have a blend of bacteria and algae, to find a way to accelerate the process. “Eventually we envision this bioplastic production forming part of an integrated biorefinery at Murdoch University,” Dr Hughes said. This research was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering and can be read here Turning brewery waste into PHA bioplastics Brewers’ spent grain (BSG in industrial terms) is a waste stream that every brewery generates in abundance. Approx. 85 % of an average microbrewery’s solid waste is BSG. In many cases it is simply dumped into landfills. The correct way, as to the Brewers Association’s guidance for environmentally friendly modes of disposal would be to feed BSG to cows, to turn it into biofuel, compost it or mill it into baking flour. However, for cost and other reasons this is seldom done. Christopher M. Thomas, a post-doctoral researcher at the State University of New York pondered about using this BSG to make bioplastic, namely PHA. In Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, Thomas said: “You’re diverting waste from landfills, and you’re creating a biodegradable packaging. And it’s degradable in all environments, no matter where it goes—freshwater, saltwater, or sewage.” BSG offers all the components you need, Thomas said. These are for example polysaccharides, long molecules that when broken into simple sugar molecules using enzymes or acid, they become bacterial food. As known from PHAs, special bacteria use this food as energy reserve: polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which can be extracted from the microbes and convertied and compounded into mouldable plastic resins. 40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/17] Vol. 12

© | 2017 Full study available at © | 2016 Full study available at © | 2017 Full study available at Bio-based Polymers & Building Blocks The best market reports available million t/a 3,5 3 2,5 Commercialisation updates on bio-based building blocks Selected bio-based building blocks: Evolution of worldwide production capacities from 2011 to 2021 actual data forecast Standards and labels for bio-based products Bio-based polymers, a revolutionary change Comprehensive trend report on PHA, PLA, PUR/TPU, PA and polymers based on FDCA and SA: Latest developments, producers, drivers and lessons learnt Bio-based polymers, a revolutionary change 2 1,5 Jan Ravenstijn 2017 1 0,5 Picture: Gehr Kunststoffwerk 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 L-LA Succinic acid Epichlorohydrin 1,4-BDO MEG 2,5-FDCA Ethylene D-LA Sebacic 1,3-PDO acid 11-Aminoundecanoic acid MPG DDDA Lactide Adipic acid E-mail: Mobile: +31.6.2247.8593 Author: Doris de Guzman, Tecnon OrbiChem, United Kingdom July 2017 This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Authors: Lara Dammer, Michael Carus and Dr. Asta Partanen nova-Institut GmbH, Germany May 2017 This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Author: Jan Ravenstijn, Jan Ravenstijn Consulting, the Netherlands April 2017 This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Data for 2016 Policies impacting bio-based plastics market development and plastic bags legislation in Europe Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers Global Capacities and Trends 2016 – 2021 Asian markets for bio-based chemical building blocks and polymers Share of Asian production capacity on global production by polymer in 2016 Bio-based polymers: Evolution of worldwide production capacities from 2011 to 2021 million t/a 10 actual data 2% of total polymer capacity, €13 billion turnover 100% 80% 60% 5 40% 20% 0 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 PUR PA Epoxies PBS PET PBAT CA PHA Starch Blends EPDM PLA APC PE PEF PTT 0% PBS(X) APC – cyclic PA PET PTT PBAT Starch Blends PHA PLA PE Authors: Dirk Carrez, Clever Consult, Belgium Jim Philp, OECD, France Dr. Harald Kaeb, narocon Innovation Consulting, Germany Lara Dammer & Michael Carus, nova-Institute, Germany March 2017 This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Authors: Florence Aeschelmann (nova-Institute), Michael Carus (nova-institute) and ten renowned international experts February 2017 This is the short version of the market study (249 pages, € 2,000). Both are available at Author: Wolfgang Baltus, Wobalt Expedition Consultancy, Thailand This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Brand Views and Adoption of Bio-based Polymers Market study on the consumption of biodegradable and compostable plastic products in Europe 2015 and 2020 A comprehensive market research report including consumption figures by polymer and application types as well as by geography, plus analyses of key players, relevant policies and legislation and a special feature on biodegradation and composting standards and labels WPC/NFC Market Study 2014-10 (Update 2015-06) Wood-Plastic Composites (WPC) and Natural Fibre Composites (NFC): European and Global Markets 2012 and Future Trends in Automotive and Construction Bestsellers Disposable tableware Biowaste bags Carrier bags Rigid packaging Flexible packaging Author: Dr. Harald Kaeb, narocon Innovation Consulting, Germany January 2016 This and other reports on the bio-based economy are available at Authors: Harald Kaeb (narocon, lead), Florence Aeschelmann, Lara Dammer, Michael Carus (nova-Institute) April 2016 The full market study (more than 300 slides, 3,500€) is available at Authors: Michael Carus, Dr. Asta Eder, Lara Dammer, Dr. Hans Korte, Lena Scholz, Roland Essel, Elke Breitmayer, Martha Barth First version 2014-03, Update 2015-06 Download this study and further nova market studies at: bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/17] Vol. 12 41

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