|ECOBIOTEC - Ecobiotechnology based on the use of mixed microbial consortium producing PHA from waste carbon sources|
Maria Isabel Capela
Programme - PTDC/AAC-AMB/111316/2009
Execution dates - 2011-03-01 - 2014-02-28 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 137128 €
Total Funding - 180000 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCT/UNL)
Campus de Caparica
2829-516Monte de Caparica
The ECOBIOTEC project represents a paradigm shift in the biological treatment of organic wastes: its components are seen as raw material for the production of high value added (bioplastics polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHA) with a reduction of its pollutant load materials . Thus the carbon is sequestered in plastics instead of being released into the atmosphere or confined in landfills. This effort seeks to provide a new approach to the concept of organic waste management, by converting wastes into by-products more attractive both in environmental terms and in economic terms.
Conventionally strategies for PHA production include fermentation under sterile conditions using a expensive substrates, which increases production costs and lowers the competitiveness of these biopolymers. On the other hand, the operational strategies are proposed in the ECOBIOTEC use mixed microbial cultures commonly found in biological treatment processes combined with low-cost substrates (such as wastes). The sequential processes which are the subject of this investigation include the development of anaerobic acidogenic processes for converting organic waste material into volatile fatty acids, followed by aerobic processes under conditions that stimulate accumulation of PHA.
This project relies on the participation of three Associate Laboratories that have complementary expertise and experience in key areas of scientific field of the project, addressing four specific areas of research that are covered by the competence of the team members: biological processes to treat industrial effluents and knowledge of environmental assessment tools (CESAM -UA); PHA production by mixed cultures and microbiological characterization techniques (CICECO -UA and REQUIMTE-FCT/UNL).