European scientists are working on the possibilities of obtaining bioplastics from animal waste. In the near future material can be obtained from unusual sources, namely, waste from slaughterhouses. European researchers are developing new technologies of production of biodegradable plastics from the waste of animal origin, without the use of fossil fuels.
The project called ANIMPOL (full name: Biotechnological conversion of carbon containing wastes for eco-efficient production of high added value products) has been initated in January, 2010; 7 academic partners: Graz University of Technology (Austria), University of Graz (Austria), Universita di Padova (Italy), Universita di Pisa (Italy), University of Zagreb (Croatia), Polish Academy of Science (Poland), National Institute of Chemistry (Slovenia) and 4 industrial partners: U. Reistenhofer GesmbH (Austria), Argent Energy (Great Britain), Argus Umweltbiotechnologie GmbH (Germany), TERMOPLAST srl, (Italy) have been working on the project.
One of the main objectives of the project is to create a manufacturing plant that will use jointly developed processes to produce bioplastics from animal waste.
Alternative products for the polymer industry will be obtaine through a fermentation process to convert saturated fatty acid methyl esters to PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates- biodegradable high-value polymeric materials). These materials in preparation of blends and composites with selected conventional polymeric materials as well as inorganic and/or organic fillers will result in novel environmentally biodegradable plastics.
The project also involves examining how animal waste can be effectively used as a biofuel. ANIMPOL was partially financed by the European Union.