The Wastes-to-Biopolymers project aims to develop environmentally friendly and economically feasible bioconversion processes of food industry wastes into bioplastic products. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of liquid waste streams, derived from the production of dairy products (cheese whey) and from fruit and vegetable juicing (sugar fractions), for the synthesis of completely biodegradable polymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHAs), with applications in food packaging.
According to the waste management hierarchy, the reuse of wastes as raw materials for the production of new products is the most favored option after their prevention or minimization. Consequently, mild and environmentally friendly processes, such as biochemical and biological conversion processes, are the most suitable options for their prioritization at the top of the pyramid.
More specifically, the individual objectives of the project can be summarized as follows: