Italian firm ready to license glycerin-to-bioplastics technology

By Ron Kotrba | June 25, 2015

Italian intellectual property company Bio-on S.p.A. announced a recent advancement in development of technology for making polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), or bioplastics, from glycerol. The company says it is ready to grant licenses for this new technology to realize the first PHAs bioplastic production plants using glycerin coproduct from biodiesel production. The company says it can produce high-performing PHAs from a combination of crude glycerin, sugar beets, sugarcane and potatoes.

“It is a great scientific and engineering achievement in the bioplastics world,” said Bio-on S.p.A. Chairman Marco Astorri. “It shows that it is possible to transform a new waste product such as glycerol into a raw material expanding concepts such as biodegradability and ecosustainability with innovative advanced plastics. It’s an important step in the affirmation of PHA in the latest-generation plastics market. The intuition of Bio-on always looking for new waste materials to develop high-performing biopolymers adds a new ingredient to the construction of the Italian green chemical industry. And it enables crude glycerol to be processed directly without the need for refinement in order to make high-performing PHA biopolymers.”

The company says its technology enables production facilities producing from 2,000 to 10,000 tons of PHAs a year to be realized. Bioplastics can replace a number of traditional plastics currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons. PHAs guarantee the same thermomechanical properties while being completely naturally biodegradable.

Bio-on conducts applied research and development of modern biofermentation technologies in the field of ecosustainable and naturally biodegradable materials. The company develops industrial applications through creation of product characterizations components and plastic items.

Since February of this year, Bio-on has been developing natural and sustainable chemicals. The company states that its PHAs have been certified in Europe by Vincotte and in the U.S. by USDA. 


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