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Trials use bugs to make bioplastics gases

Scientists are developing a process where bacteria can ferment gases produced by waste materials to produce bioplastics.

Reported by the European Research Media Centre,, the project is called Synpol.

To create the gases, the waste is compressed and then pyrolysed before being gasified to produce syngas, a synthetic fuel gas. Syngas is then used to derive carbon monoxide or dioxide, and hydrogen. Bacteria then converts these gases into biopolymers.

Project manager Oliver Drzyzga said: “If the project platform delivers on efficiency, the biopolymer’s sector will take a significant step forward. The compounds will be a 100% biodegradable.”

He added that the aim is to make it “economically sustainable” and “build a big facility in Murcia [Spain].” 

The EU-funded project is due to finish in 2016. More than 25 million tonnes of plastics are disposed of annually in EU landfills or directly into the environment.

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