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Issue 3/2018

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Report PHBV from waste

Report PHBV from waste water Phario: an opportunity for the polymer market Save the date see page 10-11 for details Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a well-known family of biodegradable bioplastics. One in particular is PHBV, a less crystalline and amorphous rubbery material with unique properties. A Dutch consortium with -surprisingly- regional water authorities has committed to investing in a PHBV demonstration project called PHARIO in 2019. It is an open invitation to the polymer industry to co-invest in the development of this promising, biodegradable value chain. PHARIO A group of five Dutch water authorities, responsible for processing wastewater into clean water and protection of shores against rising water levels, form a core development group called Phario. This group assisted with its sectoral innovation institute, technology providers and two sludge incinerators. During a 10-month pilot, they achieved an excellent PHBV quality and business case, producing PHBV (up to 40% HV) from municipal sludge and waste fatty acids and successfully testing applications. Etteke Wypkema, innovation manager of Phario explains the concept: ‘The processes required for purifying sewage water already appear to breed the right bacteria for making PHA bioplastic. For the bacteria, this plastic is a form of energy reserve; if you offer them enough food under the right conditions (fatty acids), they produce this plastic, up to 50 % of their own weight. This plastic has very beneficial thermal and mechanical properties that make it usable for all kinds of applications. It is also biodegradable, and, most importantly: globally scalable, as the approach fits most conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTP).’ Promising results from the pilot stage Mid 2016 the project concluded in a public report [1] that the harvested activated sludge can consistently produce a high quality PHA/PHBV polymer that has interesting and meaningful application potentials and a sound business case. The polymer produced showed a 70% lower environmental impact compared to currently available PHA bioplastic and other benefits (non-GMO and no competition with food and feed nor land use). “The project showed that a high quality PHBV can be produced for less than EUR 3.50 per kg on a 5,000 ton/year scale. Further cost reductions are possible, we need industrial participation”, says Mr. Martijn Bovee, business developer. Road to demonstration phase in 2019: open to partners Within the Phario project a large set of material data (thermal, mechanical) was generated, that made it possible for investors and end-users to evaluate the potential of the material. Now, higher volumes are needed. Pilot scale application tests are the key to commercialization. Various European compounders and end-users have shown their interest in Phario. Especially the content of up to 40% HV (amorphous, high polymer weight) and its ability to steer mechanical and thermal properties are key benefits. For this reason, Phario consortium will scale up to demonstration phase in 2019 with a larger role for the private sector. The project will cost approx. 5.5 million euro. Private sector involvement and EU-subsidies are expected to reduce net costs. During the project a few thousands of kilogrammes PHA/PHBV will be produced and evaluated to verify more extensively with application partners. The results of these tests will form the guarantees for the next development stage: a commercial reference facility with approx. 5,000 ton/ year capacity [1]. “Phario really combines ‘doing good’ with ‘doing well’: it is beneficial to the water authorities, the industry and the environment”, says Mr. Berenst, executive of one of the Phario consortia members. Mr. Egbert Berenst, executive of Wetterskip Fryslân: “Our commitment is high. We believe we enable and boost biodegradable applications. It is one of the solutions to reduce the severe effects of micro plastics and plastic soup, and it is supportive to good governance and recycling as major solutions too. We also play another role in this market: we encourage all suppliers of biopolymers to supply biodegradable applications and solutions we can use in our water system. Phario really combines ‘doing good’ with ‘doing well’: we focus on both strong business and value cases.” [1] Public report: Partners of PHARIO: Waterschap Brabantse Delta, Waterschap de Dommel, Wetterskip Fryslân, Waterschap Hollandse Delta, Waterschap Scheldestromen, HVC, SNB, STOWA, TUDelft, Wetsus, Paques, EFGF 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/18] Vol. 13

Report By: Martijn Bovée Business Developer Energie- & Grondstoffenfabriek Tiel, The Netherlands rethinking plastic PHARIO claims the following value proposition for applications: • High purity due to green solvent extraction • Design polymer: consistent quality and composition control options • Up to 40% HV content and high molecular weight (>1.000 kDA) • Lower melting points, amorphous • No use of raw materials and land; only waste/residues, non GMO • Cost competitive and 70% better LCA than classic PHA from monoculture Produced exclusively from pure plant-based, renewable resources! Figure 2: 1 kg of PHBV biopolymer from waste water Figure 3: Alternative to fishing lead Our premium range from renewable raw materials Figure 4: Festival tokens With Joma Nature® we offer a select range of our Spice Grinders and our Securibox® as an environmentally conscious alternative to conventional products – sustainable and CO 2- neutral. For our environment, we aim to protect our natural surroundings and secure a livable world for our children. bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/18] Vol. 13 29

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