In Lorient, the Dupuy de Lôme Research institute has developed a bioplastic designed on a base of shellfish bacteria and wastewater. The project has been christened BluEcoPha.
Immersed in a water tank supplied by food industry waste, the bacteria thrive on fatty acids and sugars. After a few hours, nitrogen is removed from the mixture – which causes stress in the bacteria, which then create specific granules, linear polyesters. The latter are retrieved and used to produce plastics, which are fully biodegradable at sea, as well as compostable.
The project is moving in to the semi-industrial phase, so as to optimise the process and validate its technical and economic interest. Industrial production is expected to be launched in 2018. The first application will involve food packaging. The medical sector is also being targeted (implants, screws or suture thread). Several food, plastics and packaging companies now support this project.
Source : Portail de l’innovation Bretagne, 15/04/16
Photo Credit : ecoconceptionpolymerescomposites.com