28 June 2013

Bioplastics and biodiesel from meat processing plant waste

Bioplastics from animal fat were developed by Austrian scientists

ProdMagazin.ruScientists from the Austrian city of Graz will now produce biological plastic from animal fat.

In Europe, over 500 thousand tons of animal fat are produced annually. Already this fall, a pilot plant will be put into operation, allowing plastic to be obtained from a renewable resource, animal fat, OpenAustria reports.

The main task of the researchers from Graz, working together with 11 European partners, was to find an application for animal fat. Most of the slaughterhouse waste, which is mainly lipids, i.e. fats, is burned. Substances that can be useful literally turn into smoke.

"Nature gives us polymers such as lipids and protein absolutely for free. Why just burn them?" — says project manager Martin Koller from the Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering of the Technical University of Graz.

Thanks to the new installation, all the waste that can be further used will be used for the production of so-called bioplastics, polyhydroxyalkanoate. This was made possible by the process of extracting lipids from animal waste and converting them into fatty acid compounds. Then they are divided into saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

"Unsaturated acids are processed into biodiesel, and saturated b – polyhydroxyalkanoate," explains M. Koller.

During the research, scientists found out that 0.7 tons of biological plastic is obtained from 1 ton of lipids. Thus, the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate from animal fats is much more profitable than from plant fats, because in this case, about half a ton of the finished product is obtained at the output.

In both cases, certain bacteria are used in the production of "green" plastic. This polymer is biodegradable and compatible with other biological materials.

Polyhydroxyalkanoate, or biological plastic, can be used in medicine as implants or suture materials that should "resolve" over time. But also this polymer is great for packaging production. Therefore, many companies are interested in this project, which are looking forward to the commissioning of the installation.

According to M. Koller, the research project "Animpol", launched by the European Union, has been operating since 2010, and its fund totals €3 million.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru28.06.2013

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