Whitepaper: PHA bioplastics

Did you ever think that a solution to our plastic problem could come from wastewater? That's exactly what's happening with the Interreg North-West Europe project WOW! In wastewater, there are often sugars, fatty acids, and starch that can be converted into PHA bioplastic by bacteria. WOW! has already demonstrated the possibility of producing PHA based on sewage. This time, the focus was on residual streams from food processing industries. To showcase the material's possibilities, prototypes of products with the added value of rapid biological degradation of PHA were created, such as a fishing float and a mudguard for MTB bikes. How do we go from residual stream to product? We wrote a whitepaper about it.

Over the past years, MNEXT has collaborated extensively with partners from Germany, Finland, and Ireland in the field of PHA from aqueous residual streams. It's time to share the results!

Textures and Challenges

The whitepaper is a result of the WOW! project and provides valuable insights into the production, applications, level of circularity, and logistical challenges of PHA derived from the residual streams of a beer brewery and fruit juice manufacturer. Mithyzi Andrade Leal, one of the researchers at MNEXT, stated: "My research primarily focused on the production and extraction of PHA. The different residual streams ultimately resulted in PHA with varying characteristics. Brewery-derived PHA has a flexible texture, while Fruit-derived PHA is much more brittle."

We are proud of the project's results, but, of course, we're not finished yet. There is still a way to go before fishing floats made from residual streams are on the store shelves. Jappe de Best, Lecturer at MNEXT and project leader of WOW!: "While large-scale production is possible, there are still challenges. Optimization and prediction of the (quality of) PHA production, defining applications, and conveying the story to a broader audience are crucial steps. We are open to collaboration and new ideas to ensure the long-term success of PHA."

Join In: Shape the Future of PHA Production

If you'd like to contribute to a greener future and have ideas on how to overcome these challenges, feel free to contact us. Your input can be essential for the success of large-scale PHA production.

Whitepaper PHA Bioplastics

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