Bio-on and Greenergy explore the production of PHA from biodiesel co-product Glycerol


Bio-on and Greenergy International Limited have signed an agreement to begin a technical collaboration, the first in the United Kingdom, to look at the possibility of producing PHAs bioplastic from Glycerol, a biodiesel production co-product.

mThe two companies will work together to establish the feasibility of building in the United Kingdom a 5-thousand ton per year plant expandable to 10 thousand tons per year. “This would be northern Europe's most advanced plant producing PHAs biopolymers from glycerol,” said Marco Astorri, Chairman and CEO of Bio-on.

Greenergy is Europe's largest manufacturer of biodiesel from waste with two production plants in the North East of England, and produces biofuel from waste streams from the food industry, such as used cooking oil. Its technical collaboration with Bio-on will investigate the potential to manufacture PHAs biopolymers from glycerol on an industrial scale in the UK. “We are looking at the potential to integrate the Bio-on technology into our existing biodiesel processes and thereby add value to our existing activities,” explained Paul Bateson, Chief Operating Officer at Greenergy.

The PHAs bioplastics (polyhydroxyalkanoates) developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable at ambient temperature.

“It will be very exciting to study the integration of the PHAs plant with the production processes at Greenergy, one of the most dynamic companies in the UK green sector”, said Marco Astorri, Chairman and CEO of Bio-on. “The aim is to build northern Europe's first PHAs production plant from glycerol and this will be an enormous advantage to Greenergy considering that the technology developed and patented by Bio-on is very flexible in terms of product variety and integrates well with sites producing biodiesel and managing the relative logistics.”