The launch of a new research project investigating the production of bio-plastics from olive mill waste waters promises an environmentally friendly use for the 30 billion litres of waste water generated around the world each year.
The OLI-PHA project will result in improved practices in the olive oil, plastic and packaging industries as well as their end users such as food and cosmetic manufacturers. The project is based on “MaxiUse”: a holistic integrated environmental approach to increase the sustainability of materials and processes throughout their life cycle.
The use of more sustainable materials in packaging is a key demand from the consumers while also a need for the producer in order to comply with waste reduction legislations. However, various factors generally limit the uptake of biopolymers such as processing difficulties, incompatibility at the natural fillers-polymeric matrices interface, poor mechanical properties, etc
OLI-PHA is a 3 year R&D project funded by EC’s 7th Framework Programme under the Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies (NMP) programme within a Small or medium-scale focused research Scheme and a Specific cooperation actions (SICA) with America.read more
Cyanobacteria are a group of oxygen-evolving photosynthetic bacteria with short generation time and have potential for PHA cultivation in wastewaters. In contrast, commercially available PHA is currently mainly obtained by microbial culture on renewable, but refined, feedstocks (i.e. glucose) under sterile conditions.read more
The OLI-PHA Solution
The OLI-PHA project will build on promising preliminary results into the growth of photosynthetic microorganisms in wastewaters to produce PHAs. The yield and cost effectiveness will be optimized by engineering photobioreactors, genetically modifying the cyanobacteria and valorizing all components in the olive mill effluents.read more