Bio-on and SECI Spa, part of Gruppo Industriale Maccaferri holding, signed an agreement to build the world’s first facility for the production of PHAs bioplastic from biodiesel production co-products, namely glycerol. The two companies will work together to build a production site with a 5 thousand tons/year output, expandable to 10 thousand tons/year.
Requiring a 55 million Euro investment from SECI, the facility will be located at an Eridania Sadam site and will be the world’s most advanced plant producing PHAs biopolymers from glycerol (Eridania Sadam is the Maccaferri Group’s company for the management of the food and agro-industry business area). The new factory will need skilled personnel specialised in fermentation to produce this revolutionary bioplastic. PHAs, or polyhydroxyalkanoates, are bioplastics that can replace a number of traditional polymers currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons. The PHAs developed by Bio-on – the company says – guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties with the advantage of being completely naturally biodegradable.
“We are investing 4 million Euro in purchasing the license for this new technology developed by Bio-on,” says Eridania Sadam chairman Massimo Maccaferri, “because this all-natural bioplastic represents a technological challenge that can contribute towards the growth of our group in the new “green” chemistry industry, with an eco-compatible and eco-sustainable approach”.
“We will create Italy’s first PHAs production plant from glycerol with one of Europe’s most important industrial groups,” explains Marco Astorri, chairman of Bio-on. “We have granted the first technological license from glycerol in line with our expectations and will be entering into a new collaboration to develop the promising high-performing biopolymers business developed by Bio-on and produced in Italy from glycerol by SECI”.