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The project



Expected results

The project includes the development of the following activities

Qbake activities


WP1: Preliminary requirements for the biodegradable PHB package.

The objective of this workpackage is to select the PHB producer microorganisms, using fruit processing industry a culture medium to produce PHB. Also, the PHB material requirements will be defined for different application, among them, mainly food packaging (juice).

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WP2: Polymer production (PHB) and recovery.

Based on the PHB-producer microorganism selected in WP1, an integrated bioproduction process (from lab to pilot plant scale) to produce PHB from fruit processing wastewater will be developed. Fermentation and recovery processes will be studied with the objective to produce the necessary amount of PHB for the development of WP4, WP5 and WP6.

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WP3: Strategies to develop composites and active materials from PHB for packaging applications.

Microfibrillated cellulose fibres from natural resources and microcapsules of active compounds (antioxidants) will be developed in this workpackage in order to obtain composites and active materials for PHB packaging applications, mainly food packaging.

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WP4: Modification of PHB polymers. Development of active packaging.

In this workpackage, development of new thermoplastic compounds based on the PHB obtained in WP2 and modified with the cellulose fibres and the active microcapsules synthesized in WP3 will be done. The compounds will be formulated depending on the final use of them: food packaging, non-packaging and non-packaging applications.

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WP5: Package manufacturing.

The main drawbacks of current market available PHB grades are their narrow processing windows. The overall goal of this workpackage is the development of suitable manufacturing processes for the production of plastic packages using the PHB compounds developed in WP4. Some manufacturing processes to be study and optimize for the new PHB composites are extrusion blow moulding, injection blow moulding for the preforms, extrusion blow-film for the bottle sleeve and standard injection moulding for thin injected packages and bottle caps.

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WP6: Package validation.

Suitable manufacturing processes for the production of plastic packages developed in previous workpackages will be validated in this workpackage, transferring to industrial scale knowledge and technology developed at lab scale. Juice, from the original fruit juice industry, will be packaged in the new developed PHB bottles.

Other applications, such as non-food packaging and non-packaging, will be also validated in this workpackage.

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WP7: Eco-efficiency study.

The aim of this workpackage is the determination of the viability and reliability of the eco-efficient realization of the production chain of the PHBOTTLE and its substances, such as biocomposites. This eco-efficiency performance will be compared with the performance of the already existing alternative bottles for the same function (PET, PP, and HDPE).

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WP8: Dissemination-explotation/Bussines Plan.

Project results will be disseminated in the food industry and potential stakeholders so they can know the benefits of it and can effectively use the innovative results. Dissemination activities will be focused to key end-users, scientific community and society in general, in Europe and SICA countries.

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WP9/WP10: Scientific coordination and management.

The objective of these workpackages is to coordinate and monitor the project from the point of view scientific, administrative, financial and legal issues to ensure the proper development of activities on time, budget and according to the project objectives.

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº 280831.