Navigation Links
Waste cooking oil makes bioplastics cheaper

'Bioplastics' that are naturally synthesized by microbes could be made commercially viable by using waste cooking oil as a starting material. This would reduce environmental contamination and also give high-quality plastics suitable for medical implants, according to scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.

The Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family of polyesters is synthesized by a wide variety of bacteria as an energy source when their carbon supply is plentiful. Poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most commonly produced polymer in the PHA family. Currently, growing bacteria in large fermenters to produce high quantities of this bioplastic is expensive because glucose is used as a starting material.

Work by a research team at the University of Wolverhampton suggests that using waste cooking oil as a starting material reduces production costs of the plastic. "Our bioplastic-producing bacterium, Ralstonia eutropha H16, grew much better in oil over 48 hours and consequently produced three times more PHB than when it was grown in glucose," explained Victor Irorere who carried out the research. "Electrospinning experiments, performed in collaboration with researchers from the University of Birmingham, showed that nanofibres of the plastic produced from oils were also less crystalline, which means the plastic is more suited to medical applications."

Previous research has shown that PHB is an attractive polymer for use as a microcapsule for effective drug delivery in cancer therapy and also as medical implants, due to its biodegradability and non-toxic properties. Improved quality of PHB combined with low production costs would enable it to be used more widely.

The disposal of used plastics - which are largely non-biodegradable - is a major environmental issue. Plastic waste on UK beaches has been steadily increasing over the past two decades and now accounts for about 60% of marine debris. "The use of biodegradable plastics such as PHB is encouraged to help reduce environmental contamination. Unfortunately the cost of glucose as a starting material has seriously hampered the commercialization of bioplastics," said Dr Iza Radecka who is leading the research. "Using waste cooking oil is a double benefit for the environment as it enables the production of bioplastics but also reduces environmental contamination caused by disposal of waste oil."

The next challenge for the group is to do appropriate scale-up experiments, to enable the manufacture of bioplastics on an industrial level.


Contact: Laura Udakis
Society for General Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Glass offers improved means of storing UKs nuclear waste
2. New method to remove phosphorous from wastewater
3. A new energy source: Major advance made in generating electricity from wastewater
4. Using wastewater as fertilizer
5. Waste to watts: Improving microbial fuel cells
6. Where to put nuclear waste?
7. Ethical trade: Good intentions go to waste
8. The first pilot wastewater treatment plant with integrated wood production opened in Mongolia
9. Wasted milk is a real drain on our resources, study shows
10. Carnivorous plants rely on the services and wastes of a symbiotic ant for nutrition
11. Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/6/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 6, 2015  Maverix ... today announced enhancements to its software portfolio with ... analysis kit for differential expression in eukaryotes. The ... which is a cloud-based genomic analysis solution that ... scientific discovery from next-generation sequencing efforts. ...
(Date:10/2/2015)... -- ) has announced ... Using Biometrics" report to their offering. ... of the "Enforcing the Law Using Biometrics" ... Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... Using Biometrics" report to their offering. ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... -- With nearly 300,000 Americans living with spinal cord injuries ... reach 12,500 annually, the role of Independent Living Centers ... Living (SCRS-IL) is increasingly important. SCRS-IL is one ... opening doors to independence for individuals with SCIs by ... technology services and education. "In serving people ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... high-quality recombinant antibodies, today announced that it has received a Phase I Small ... administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), will fund the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... --      Q BioMed Inc (OTC: QBIO), ... a strategic relationship with Wombat Capital, Ltd., a ... France based strategic and scientific advisory firm.. ... collaborative arrangement gives Q BioMed and its stakeholders access ... as long established pharmaceutical industry relationships. The advisors within ...
(Date:10/13/2015)...  According to Kalorama Information, the global market ... by the end of 2015. Clinical laboratories are ... it is estimated that approximately 80% of physicians, ... addition to diagnosing patients, clinical lab testing may ... drug treatment and conditions, and determine individual therapy. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and distributor of automation systems, material handling solutions and components, is opening its ... I-94 near State Street, the facility is Exotic’s second major expansion in Metropolitan ...
Breaking Biology Technology: