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July 28, 2015

European consortium to develop bioplastics from lignocellulosic biomass

The ADMIT BioSuccInnovate consortium at Aberystwyth University, UK, will work on the use of lignocellulosic feedstock to produce bio-based, biodegradable plastic packaging for consumer markets.

By Srivari Aishwarya

lignocellulosic biomass

The ADMIT BioSuccInnovate consortium at Aberystwyth University, UK, will work on the use of lignocellulosic feedstock to produce bio-based, biodegradable plastic packaging for consumer markets.

The Climate-KIC consortium led by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) will convert locally available wheat straw, miscanthus or other lignocellulosic feedstock into plastic.

This initiative, being funded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, also comprises Reverdia, UK retailer Waitrose, food tray producer Sharpak and biorefining firm CIMV.

"IBERS plays a key role in the project by leading on the plant science and coordinating biorefining activities for the production of bioplastics from succinic acid derived from lignocellulosic sugars."

IBERS project lead David Bryant said: "IBERS plays a key role in the project by leading on the plant science and coordinating biorefining activities for the production of bioplastics from succinic acid derived from lignocellulosic sugars.

"We chose to work with Reverdia as they have the capacity to deliver and license high-quality Biosuccinium today with proven best-in-class sustainable technology that achieves the best greenhouse gas savings."

Reverdia, a joint venture between global life sciences and materials sciences firm Royal DSM and starch and starch-derivatives company Roquette Frères, produces Biosuccinium sustainable succinic acid using yeast-based technology instead of bacteria.

It will build Biosuccinium sustainable bio-succinic acid technology for developing plastic packaging.

Waitrose manager of packaging and reprographics Karen Graley said: "The use of lignocellulosic feedstock for the production of bio-based plastic packaging from Biosuccinium is well-aligned with the ethos of treading lightly on the environment in the Waitrose way.

"We anticipate that this project will help contribute to Waitrose’s sustainable packaging strategy for 2020 and beyond and endorse the partner’s collaboration in making renewable packaging a commercial reality."


Image: IBERS researchers working on the sustainable packaging initiative. Photo: courtesy of Aberystwyth University.

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