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New BIOtechnologiCaL approaches for biodegrading and promoting the environmEntal biotrAnsformation of syNthetic polymeric materials

Reference no: FP7-KBBE-2012-6-singlestage
Period: September 2012 till September 2015
Status: Completed

Institutes (18)  Top 
  • University of Bologna (UNIBO), co-ordinator
  • Technical University of Crete (TUC), partner
  • Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), partner
  • The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), more, partner
  • Organic Waste Systems NV (OWS), partner
  • Fiskeridirektoratet/Havforskningsinstituttet (Directorate of Fisheries/Institute of Marine Research) (IMR), partner
  • SIMA-tec GmbH (SIMA), partner
  • PlasticsEurope (PLASTEU), partner
  • Maritim Miljø - Beredskap (MMB), partner
  • Nanjing University (NJU), partner
  • Techniki Porostasias Perivallontos Anonymi et Taireia (EPE), partner
  • BioBasic Environnement (BBE), partner
  • Felsilab Srl (FELS), partner
  • Polish Academy of Sciences; Centrum Materialow Polimerowych (PLIPOC), partner
  • Ostravská univerzita v Ostravě (OU), partner
  • Internationales Hochschulinstitut Zittau (IHIZ), partner
  • Madep, partner
  • Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW), partner

In BIOCLEAN project, novel and robust microorganisms (aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and fungi) able to extensively degrade polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrol (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) polymers and plastics will be isolated from actualsite aged plastic wastes obtained from several European marine and terrestrial sites, composting facilities and landfills, and obtained via tailored screenings from existing European collections of microbes. Robust enzymes able to fragment the target plastics with the production of valuable chemicals and building blocks will be obtained from the selected microbes and enzyme collections. Untreated and physically/chemically pre-treated PE, PS, PP and PVC polymers and plastics will be employed in such isolation/ screening activities, and an integrated methodology, relying on advanced
analytical methods (determining plastics physicochemical changes and breakdown products resulting from biological attack), and tailored enzymatic, microbiological and ecotoxicological methods, will be adopted for the characterization of actual industrial relevance of the obtained microbes and enzymes. Physical and chemical pretreatments improving biodegradability of target plastics will be identified and transferred on the pilot scale. The most promising microbial cultures and enzymes will be exploited in the development of pilot scale, slurry or solid-phase bioprocesses for the bioremediation and controlled depolymerization, respectively, of target pretreated plastics and in the set up of tailored bioaugmentation protocols for enhancing plastic waste biodegradation in marine water systems, composting and anaerobic digestor facilities. The processes developed will be assessed for their economical and environmental sustainability. Field scale validation of the most promising bioaugmentation protocols in a composting and a marine site and attempts to develop a plastic pollution reduction strategy for the Aegean Sea have been planned too.

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