Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastics
The project’s overall objective is to demonstrate a seamless sustainable route to a circular economy for plastics by developing an advanced energy, carbon, and cost-efficient waste plastic biotransformation into high market demand bioproducts and bioplastics. The consortium brings together leading experts from industry and academia contributing a set of purpose-designed and ground-breaking technologies in order to achieve the following specific objectives:
2. Sustainable degradation of at least 20% of mixed plastics.
3. Bioprocessed high value bioproducts including equivalent bioplastics valorising mixed plastic waste.
The BioICEP consortium is led by ATHLONE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (Ireland) with the collaboration of partners from nine different European and Asian countries: ACTECO (Spain), AIMPLAS (Spain), AVECOM (Belgium), TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY CLAUSTHAL (Germany), IMGGE (Servia), IBET (Portugal), LIMERICK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (Ireland), LOGOPLASTE INNOVATION LAB (Portugal), MICROLIFE SOLUTIONS (Netherlands), NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS (Greece), TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (Ireland), BEIJING INSTITURE OF TECHNOLOGY (China), SHANGDONG UNIVERSITY (China) and INSTITUTE OF MICROBIOLOGY, Chinese academy of sciences.
Transforming plastic waste into new polymers
Europe’s waste management policy has evolved over the last 30 years – shifting away from discarding waste as an unwanted burden to seeing it as a valued resource. Today, plastic waste is considered a priority waste stream. The EU-funded BioICEP project aims to reduce the burden of plastic waste. Forming a European-Chinese collaboration, the project will develop a solution for mixed plastic pollution environments. Specifically, researchers will work on three innovative booster technologies aimed at increasing plastics degradation to record levels. BioICEP will take a triple-action depolymerisation systems approach to break down plastic waste: mechano-biochemical disintegration processes, biocatalytic digestion and microbial consortia. The outputs will be used as building blocks for new polymers or other bioproducts.
The Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastics (BioICEP) is a pan European-Chinese collaboration formed to reduce the burden of plastic waste in the environment. Different mixed plastic pollution environments are represented, with specific partners selected which have the expertise and facilities to carry out the necessary technical innovations. A number of innovative booster technologies are at the core of this solution accentuating, expediting, and augmenting mixed plastics degradation to levels far in excess of those current achievable.
The countries have been selected to represent different mixed plastic pollution environments, with specific partners selected which have the expertise and facilities to carry out the necessary technical innovations. Three innovative booster technologies are at the core of this solution accentuating, expediting, and augmenting plastics degradation to levels far in excess of those current achievable.
Our approach is a triple-action depolymerisation system where plastic waste will be broken down in three consecutive processes: 1) mechano-biochemical disintegration processes, including a new proprietary sonic-green-chemical technology to reduce the polymer molecular weight of the base polymer to make it amenable to biodegradation;
2) biocatalytic digestion, with enzymes enhanced through a range of innovative techniques including accelerated screening through novel fluorescent sensor and directed evolution; and
3) microbial consortia developed from best in class single microbial strains, which combined leads to highly efficient degradation of mixed plastic waste streams. The outputs from this degradation process will be used as building blocks for new polymers or other bioproducts to enable a new plastic waste-based circular economy.
The BioICEP project is funded by the programme EU Horizon 2020, topic CE-BIOTEC-05-2019 “Microorganism communities for plastic bio-degradation”, grant agreement number 870292.