LOOP4PACK aims at extending and controlling PHAs functionalities. Targeted performances will be achieved by combining two strategies:
- at the biosynthesis level (Task 1 (T1)), polymers of higher chain length such as (P(3HB-co-3HV) with high 3HV content and mcl-PHAs will be produced. These polymers are excellent candidates for packaging due to their thermoplastic properties 10 ;
- at the formulation level (T3), PHAs will be mixed with fully biodegradable and biobased nucleating agents and/or fillers to take benefit of composite structures 18,19.
In addition, the impact of PHA recovery methods (T2) on their molecular weight and thermo-mechanical properties will be assessed.
The achievement of this objective will be guided by a product/market study (Q4) in order to better target the needs of manufacturers and the characteristics of the packaging to be substituted, as well as the markets.
LOOP4PACK aims at reducing PHAs-based material cost and environmental impacts at each step of the process:
- at the biosynthesis level (T1), low-cost feedstocks will be used (agro-food by-products) in closed loop;
- at the recovery level (T2), the alkali treatment will serve as a basis because it appeared as one of the most favorable chain with production costs of 1.40 €/kg PHB, global warming potential of 2.4 kg CO2-eq/kg PHB and non-renewable energy use of 106 MJ/kg PHB17 ;
- at the formulation level (T3), PHAs will be blend with low cost biobased and biodegradable fillers decreasing the overall cost of the PHAs-based material;
Finally, the achievement of adapted properties for packaging applications will allow bringing higher added-value to the materials (T1-3) and a cost assessment will be performed (T4).