Polyhydroxyalkanoates can be used as bio-based and biodegradable polymers to substitute polluting fossil based plastics.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a group of polyesters that can be used as bioplastics for a variety of applications, depending on the properties of the polyesters. PHAs are produced by microorganisms as carbon storage when there are plenty of resources available. These microorganisms can break down the PHAs and use it as an energy source when less glucose based resources are available. This makes PHAs both biodegradable and biobased. The opportunity for PHAs lies in a consumer demand and governmental push for eco-friendly packaging materials.
PHAs and their applications have been known for decades. However, PHAs are not widely used, except for a few industrial producers. This is due to the strong market competition from fossil fuels based polymers that are cheaper in many ways. Additionally, each plastic product requires a specific set of material properties, and obtaining a material with those properties through fermentation is a lengthy process of trial and error. Moreover, it has been proven extremely difficult to get microbes to produce a specific type of PHA with said desired properties, rather than a mixture of PHAs with mixed properties.
AT EV Biotech, we see it as our duty to put our expertise to use in the fight against synthetic, non-degradable plastics. We apply our computational pipeline to create microorganisms that selectively and purely produce one type of PHA, with specific material properties. As proof-of-concept, we have developed a PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate)-producing microbial strain and will continue development of other PHA producers.
Are you interested in producing a particular PHA with us, or want more information on how this product might be suited for your company? Contact us!