Converting waste to a high value biodegradable plastic)

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  • Brundtland commission report (1987)
  • Converting waste to a high value biodegradable plastic)

    1. 1. Converting waste to a high value biodegradable plastic Dr Kevin O’ Connor School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
    2. 2. Sustainability “ .. meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ” Brundtland report 1987 Economic growth Linked to waste production (unsustainable) Plastic Highly desired & highly problematic Biodegradable plastic Compostable and high value uses Integrating technologies The key to success Sustainability and eco-innovation
    3. 3. A modern world enabled by plastics
    4. 4. A modern world full of plastic
    5. 5. More emphasis on recycling of plastics needed ( Peter Sundt Secretary General EPRO) Waste recycling EU 25
    6. 6. Source: PlasticsEurope 2007 Recovery rates for plastic in Europe Group of leading countries with recovery rates above 80%
    7. 7. Waste opportunity Waste as a target – Increasing cost of waste management – Uncertainty about waste management in the future – Limited technologies for high value conversion – Low cost starting material Petrochemical plastic waste Scientific academic challenge Poor recycling rates PS – 2% recycling rate in US (highest worldwide) PET- 25% recycling – collection system in operation PE – 10% recycling – Farm plastics – collection scheme
    8. 8. Petrochemical plastic Multi-purpose (Non-biodegradable) Strategy for upcycling plastic waste Waste Landfill Upcycle Convert to value added product Recycle to petrochemical plastic low value product relative to virgin material Downcycling New Markets
    9. 9. PS, PET & others Plastic upcycling to a biodegradable plastic PET to PHA – patented Mixed plastic - patented Other patents under development Chemistry Pyrolysis PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate) Microbiology Fermentation
    10. 10. Bioplastic Opportunity Biodegradable plastic – Premium product – Rapidly growing markets – Petrochemical US$ 300 billion market – Bioplastics 25% share of market by 2020 Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – Packaging, agriculture, textiles, medicine – Biocompatible (biomedical implants/wound healing) – Highly desired by industry – One of 5 chemicals to change the world (Forbes)
    11. 11. EU lead market Initiative and Kok Report The production of a single (bio)product from waste or renewable resources (Single (bio)refinery) is not sustainable (Life cycle analysis) Sole product mentality obsolete Biofuels – bioethanol, biodiesel Bioplastics – Polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoate Biolubricants – plant oils Need for integration of emerging technologies e.g. Biofuels and bioplastics Technology integration: key to success
    12. 12. Acknowledgments <ul><li>University College Dublin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jasmina Nikodinovic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shane Kenny </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Miriam Goff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karen Tobin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrick Ward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental Protection Agency Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Nova UCD </li></ul>

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