1. The EU-FP7 SYNPOL project aimed to propel the sustainable production of new biopolymers from C1 gas feedstock. SYNPOL established a platform that integrated biopolymer production through modern processing technologies, with bacterial fermentation of syngas, and the pyrolysis of highly complex biowaste (e.g., municipal, commercial, sludge, agricultural). The R&D activities focussed on the integration of innovative physico-chemical, biochemical, downstream and synthetic technologies to produce a wide range of new biopolymers. This integrative platform was revolutionary in its implementation of novel microwave pyrolytic treatments together with systems-biology defined highly efficient and physiologically balanced recombinant bacteria. The latter produced biopolymer building blocks and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) that served to synthesize novel bio-based plastic prototypes by chemical and enzymatic catalysis.
[More information at: www.synpol.org]
2.The objective of the EU-H2020 CELBICON project is to establish three platforms for the capture and conversion of CO2 (carbon dioxide) by electrochemical and biochemical technologies. For its part, the CIB will participate in the platform that integrates the production of bioplastics (PHA, polyhydroxyalkanoates) by the biotransformation of CO2. The CO2 consuming bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum naturally produces bioplastics and will be optimized for the CELBICON project by Systems and Synthetic Biology based strategies. The goal of CELBICON is to stem atmospheric carbon emissions by recycling CO2 through biotransformation into bioplastics and other value-added products such as isoprene and lactic acid. In this sense, CELBICON will support the EU´s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 2020.
[More information at www.celbicon.org]
3. The EU-H2020-BBI RefuCoat project aims to develop hybrid bio-based high oxygen/water barrier and active coatings to be used in a monolayer bio-based food packages (films and trays) as alternative to current metallised and modified atmosphere (MAP) packages to avoid the use of non-renewable materials in multilayer structures that currently lead to complex and expensive recycling steps. Hybrid coating formulations will combine cost efficiently produced polyglycolic acid (PGA) and modified silica oxide. Fully biodegradable packages for fresh food products will be obtained with middle chain modified polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). PGA and PHA based hybrid coatings with high gas barrier properties will be further improved with active substances for improved shelf-life. Furthermore, new packages based on bio-PET and bio-PE combined with hybrid and active coatings will be developed. The generated products will be validated and compared to current metallised, non-bio-based alternatives in industrial products, in performance, shelf-life and biodegradability. The CIB participates in this project on the middle chain modified PHA production from renewable resources and the characterization of the PHAs produced.
[More information at www.refucoat.eu]
4. The EU-H2020-BBI project AFTERLIFE proposes a flexible, cost- and resource-efficient process framed in the zero-waste and circular economy approach for the recovery and valorisation of the relevant fractions from wastewater. The first step of such process is consisting of a cascade of membrane filtration units for the separation of the totally of solids in wastewater. Then, the concentrates recovered in each unit will be treated to obtain high-pure extracts and metabolites or, alternatively, to be converted into value-added biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA). Moreover, the outflow of the process is an ultra-pure water stream that can be directly reused. The design and optimisation of the AFTERLIFE process following a holistic approach will contribute to improve performance and reduce the costs associated to wastewater treatment by maximising the value recovery. The CIB participates in this project on the selection and improvement of bacterial strains in pure cultures for the conversion of VFA (volatile fatty acids) into PHAs at lab scale as well as in the PHAs characterization and comparison.
[More information at www.afterlife-project.eu]
5. The EU-H2020 project ENGICOIN aims at the development of three new microbial factories (MFs), integrated in an organic waste anaerobic digestion (AD) platform, based on engineered strains exploiting CO2 sources and renewable solar radiation or H2 for the production of value-added chemicals, namely: MF.1) the cyanobacteria Synechocystis to produce lactic acid from either biogas combustion flue gases or pure and costless CO2 streams from biogas-to-biomethane purification; MF.2) the aerobic and toxic metal tolerant Ralstonia eutropha to produce PHA bioplastics from biogas combustion flue gases and complementary carbon sources derived from the AD digestate; MF.3) the anaerobic Acetobacterium woodii to produce acetone from the CO2 stream from biogas-to-biomethane purification. The innovative production processes to be developed will have a great exploitation potential in other application contexts: flue gases from different combustion appliances (e.g., cement kilns), alcoholic fermentation CO2 streams (e.g., lignocelluosic biorefineries, breweries), etc. The central goal of ENGICOIN is to stem atmospheric carbon emissions by recycling CO2 through biotransformation into value-added products such as lactic acid, PHA and acetone. In this sense, ENGICOIN will support the EU´s target to reduce CO2 emissionsby 2020. The CIB (together with two other partners from the consortium) participates in this project on the development of a new microbial factory with the aerobic and toxic metal tolerant Cupriavidus necator to produce PHB bioplastics from biogas combustion flue gases added with renewable hydrogen.
[More information at https://www.engicoin.eu/]