Last Thursday April 7th 2016 was held the fifth consortium meeting (CM5) of EuroPHA project at Idrodepurazione facilities in Seregno, Milan.
At this fifth consortium meeting, the latest developments in assembling, monitoring and control parameters were presented, as well as the start of production of the PHA pilot plant. The pilot plant gathers all the knowledge generated in terms of how the bacteria must be fed with the optimized ratios of certain sugars, as well as the selection and control of the bacterial colonies from the mixed microbial cultures.
The PHA extraction and purification methodology needed to isolate the raw biopolymer from bacterial detritus by combining physical mechanisms and nonaggressive solvents which are environmentally friendly respect to current used solvents, has been also established attaining a degree of purity greater than 90%.
The biopolymers compounds have progressed adequately. Moreover, butyrate and valerate ratios have been fixed according to the results obtained in operational conversion trials and characterization tests. In particular, during the latter period, Tecnopackaging carried out the first film extrusion trial, with promising results (see picture). We can confirm that PHA film formulation is working rather better than other commercial grades.
A global in-depth patentability study was presented. It has been performed in order to detect other patents that may have some relation to the developments achieved in the project so as to avoid infrangibility and select the best alternative to protect EuroPHA results.
Finally, all partners showed the last dissemination and diffusion activities as well as the next coming ones. In the case of Tecnopackaging, it was mentioned the recent oral intervention of the company in the final conference of Dibbiopack project (24th February 2016) and the coming presentation at the “business eco-innovation encounter” organized by Circe Foundation within the framework of the “environmental week” organized by the University of Zaragoza (11th to 15th April 2016, presenting the 12th).