València Parc Tecnològic
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AIMPLAS forms part of the BioICEP project (Bio-Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastics). It started in February 2020 and is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. The goal of the project is to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics.
The project used an innovative cascade process by applying and combining chemical and biological methods to turn fossil-based plastic waste into biodegradable substitutes to be used in the packaging and pharma industries. This has led to obtain materials from plastic waste.
The role of AIMPLAS in the project involved the pretreatment of plastics using microwave-assisted thermochemical degradation. This new technology provided promising results by turning non-biodegradable plastic waste (such as low-density polyethylene) into easily biodegradable materials and achieving total degradation in less than 28 days. Another technique used was the depolymerization of polyamides to obtain the monomers of these polymers. Microorganisms are then able to utilize these monomers so they can be turned into products of interest such as bioplastics.
Likewise, AIMPLAS used reactive extrusion technologies that made changes to the structure of the polymeric chains to improve biodegradation of these plastics. AIMPLAS is also the coordinator in charge of dissemination and exploitation of results, as well as communication activities.
BioICEP met the goal of developing processes to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment. With this in mind, the project was made up of partners from different countries and areas of knowledge who were able to address the challenge of developing alternative processes. The purpose was to improve recycling based on a multidisciplinary approach, which was essential for project success. As a result, materials from plastic waste have been obtained.
The solution proposed by the BioICEP project focused on the use of three technologies that enhance, accelerate and increase the degradation of plastics to levels far beyond what is currently possible. A triple-action depolymerization system broke down plastic waste through three consecutive processes.
The BioICEP project is funded by the European Union within the framework of the H2020 programme, topic CE-BIOTEC-05-2019 “Microorganism communities for plastics bio-degradation”, agreement number 870292. Besides AIMPLAS, thirteen partners from nine European and Asian countries are participating. The partners are: ACTECO (Spain), AVECOM (Belgium), TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITÄT CLAUSTHAL (Germany), INSTITUT ZA MOLEKULARNU GENETIKU I GENETICKO INZENJERSTVO (Serbia), INSTITUTO DE BIOLOGIA EXPERIMENTAL E TECNOLÓGICA and LOGOPLASTE INNOVATION LAB LDA (Portugal), TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE SHANNON and THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY AND UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN (Ireland), MICROLIFE SOLUTIONS BV (the Netherlands), NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS – NTUA (Greece) and BEIJING INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, INSTITUTE OF MICROBIOLOGY – CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES and SHANDONG UNIVERSITY (China).