The project aims to introduce the manufacturing of biofuels and bioplastics materials, an innovative and sustainable production for advanced biofuel and bioplastic, into the bioeconomy sector. Fossil based fuels and plastic are still today by far the most commonly used liquid fuel and plastic globally and the manufacturing of today's biofuels and bioplatics are progressing slowly due to many reasons including costs and process issues. Addressing serious cost issues, such as yields and process optimization, and creating sustainable jobs by new sectors, improved yields and optimized processes are manufacturing advanced drop-in biofuels and bioplastics at a cost competitive level versus fossil based alternatives.
The outcome of this project has important and farreaching implications towards ensuring a clean environment. Two different manufacturing routes will be evaluated and compared, one based on enzymes and microorganisms and the other based on chemicals/catalytics, however the same feedstocks will be used.
Bioprocess PLA, PHA and Biobutanol
One of the objectives here is to demonstrate, in a preproductive process, the viability of lactic acid fermentation from hay, a cellulosic waste, by cellulosedegrading microorganisms specifically isolated from biodegraded cellulosic waste material. The final goal is the subsequent conversion of lactic acid to PLA, the biodegradable plastic.
The other specific objectives are to:
- Increase the value of hay or such cellulosic waste by its use in lactic acid production.
- Increase technical viability of the preindustrial process of lactic acid production from the available cellulosic wastes.
- Scaleup of the polymerization of lactic acid to PLA.