Biocomba1 Objective: a preliminary study in the development of packaging using bacterial biosynthesis

Project description
Backer : Université de Bretagne Sud – LIMATB (56)
Laboratoire D’Ingénierie des MATériaux de Bretagne
Partners : Ecole Nationale de Chimie de Rennes,
(35), laboratoire GEPEA (44), Séché Environnement (53),
Sector : Innovative Technologies
Certification date : June 2010
Project length : 18 months
Budget : €342,949
Financial backers : Brittany Regional Council, Morbihan General Council 56
Project design support : Breizpack and Valorial
Context & issues :
Plastic is the main material used in packaging, accounting for 35% of the market, ahead of cardboard (31%), glass (14%), metal (14%), and wood (6%). This material offers a certain number of qualities such as the ease of use, solidity, flexibility, suitability for printing, and dyeing. However, traditional plastic packing poses problems for processing at the end of their life, as well as their environmental impact in terms of energy consumed in both their manufacture and disposal.

Objective :
As part of the Valorial’s “Packaging” Sector Commission, jointly managed with Breizpack, businesses and researchers designed the Biocomba1 project in an effort to resolve these problems. The project looked at the possibility of producing PHA (Polyhydroxyalcanoate) using bacterial synthesis based on unrecovered waste from the food industry, such as growth medium. The aim of using PHA is to produce bioplastic packaging that can be composted, is suitable for contact with food, and acts as a barrier while being cost effective.

Results and prospects :
The project has already resulted in the publication of two international articles to the reading committee, two oral presentations, and one poster.
PHAPack is a continuation of the project and has just been Valorial certified. Its objective is to launch pilot production of PHA in larger volumes in preparation for the industrial phase.