Caring about the future

BioPlasMar - Plastic removal and valorization of marine resources through new product development
Coordinator - João Pinto da Costa
Programme - OE
Execution dates - 2022-01-17 - 2025-01-16 (36 Months)
Funding Entity - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Funding for CESAM - 225315.91 €
Total Funding - 225315.91 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Participating Institutions
CESPU - Cooperativa de Ensino Superior

Project Description
Plastics have become an inescapable reality of the modern world. Their desirable characteristics - flexibility, durability, and low cost - also render plastic waste a ubiquitous andpervasive contaminant. The increased production of these materials has led to their accumulation in the environment, particularly in the marine environment and the currentlyavailable conventional treatments of plastic waste, considering a mixture of different polymers, are of limited efficiency. Therefore, research is needed on the development of newstrategies for the sustainable management of plastic waste. The goal of the innovative project BioPlasMar is to develop biotechnologically based solutions for the removal of plasticusing marine fungi. These strategies can be grounded on the use of microorganisms and/or enzymes as potential treatment approaches and no works have delved into thebiodegradation of plastic mixtures. Hence, such environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions may allow for the removal of waste comprising plastic mixtures (different sizes andpolymers), with concomitant potential for the use of the generated biomass for the upcycling to high-value products, all in a context of a circular economy approach. Whensuccessful, the developed approach may be susceptible to scale-up, and, potentially, may be subsequently applied to pilot waste treatment facilities, either dedicated or as anextension treatment stage in existing treatment plants, yielding a marked contribution to the protection of the marine environment and resources, as well as generation of added-value products.

CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020