Second Online General Assembly

Cover Image for Second Online General Assembly

The second EcoPlastiC General Assembly (GA) took place on 20 September 2023 online. The GA was an opportunity for all European partners from Ireland (TUS), Belgium (Avecom), Portugal (NOVA), Serbia (IMGGE), and Sweden (KTH) to meet in person, present the latest updates within each Work Package (WP) and give an overview of the future experimental plans. The Project Officer Ester Lacovelli also attended the meeting and expressed positive feedback on the presented results.

Within WP2, TUS presented the work performed on metalized PET, mixed plastics, and single-cell protein (SCP). The depolymerization process for metalized PET will be performed by the new REX (reactive extrusion) and the REX process will be optimized in terms of NaOH amount used in the process, and samples characterized in detail. For the mixed plastics feedstock, they were able to achieve 74.43% yield TPA (terephthalic acid) from a mixture of 6 types of polymers, and they will try to improve this yield. Work with SCP consisted of blending SCP not rich in PHA and PHB with a biodegradable polymer in the presence or absence of polyols. The extrusion process was possible when SCP was blended with polymers, and injection molding and tensile testing were carried out using this blended SCP.

Within WP3, AVE was testing complementary microbiomes under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. For the aerobic route, PET conversion to PHA and/or protein-rich biomass was tested in pure culture of Delftia tsuruhatensis and in mixed aerobic culture. D. tsuruhatensis can convert REXed PET to protein-rich biomass (> 80%) in a continuous mode. For the mixed culture, the inoculum used was an activated sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and there was no adaptation period required, and powdered and solubilized REXed PET samples were biologically degraded. In the anaerobic route, biodegradation of REXed PET was followed by biogas and methane production and led to the enrichment of specific anaerobic species. Also within WP3, NOVA isolated aerobic strains from soil contaminated with plastic waste, marchland sediments, and municipal solid waste (MSW) management company, and will determine PHA accumulation, thus selecting the best-performing cultures from the screening, and testing the REXed PET materials as substrates.

Within WP4, NOVA focuses on aerobic PHA production best performing microbial communities validated in WP3​. Further down the line, scale-up trials (10 L) will be performed by NOVA and pilot PHA production (50 L) will be done at AVE. The next step is to optimize PHA recovery from the biomass using green procedures, such as enzyme cocktails (commercial and developed by IMGGE), supercritical CO2, or other green solvents at NOVA, including deep eutectic solvents (DES) at IMGGE.

Within WP5, KTH worked with various biomass sources, including pure PHB, microbial protein (MP) from AVE, as well as Delfthia from AVE and Rhodococcus from NOVA, and other biomasses. The next steps are microscopy characterization, feed and process optimization, and finally improving the properties of the novel biopolymers.

Within WP6, IMGGE reported an excellent rise in the EcoPlastiC website analytics: unique visitors, total visits, and total page views. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are performing well, and there were many conferences where partners attended and media releases during the first year of the project. Team Leaders’ promotion campaign is finished and the introduction videos are in the making.

Online general assembly meeting screenshot

Representatives from all partner institutions attended the GA:

TUS (Ireland) - Margaret Brennan Fournet (Coordinator and Team Leader), Laura Rodriguez, Michelle Cooney, Bor Shin Chee, Cuneyt Erdinct Tas, Buket Alkan Tas, Eduardo Lanzagorta Garcia, Jeovan Araujo, Diana Garza Herrera, Necdet Ozcelik, Zeliha Ece Ozcelik, Chaitra Venkatesh

AVE (Belgium) - Helena Koninckx

NOVA (Portugal) - Filomena Freitas (Team Leader), Patricia Reis, Cristiana A. V. Torres, Maria Batista

IMGGE (Serbia) - Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic (Team Leader), Jelena Lazic, Venkateswara Rao Chebrolu, Vuk Filipovic

KTH (Sweden) - Mikael Hedenqvist (Team Leader), Kiran Reddy Baddigam, Anna Svagan Hanner

The GA meetings and networking sessions will continue to take place twice per year, to enable direct communication and facilitate collaboration.

European Union logo

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder programme under grant agreement No 101046758

European Innovation Council logo

The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder programme under agreement No 101046758

LegalTerms of usePrivacy policy

Stay tuned!

Join our newsletter to receive project updates

EcoPlastic logo

Copyright © 2022 EcoPlastiC

Views and opinions expressed are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.