Publication details

Title A novel industrial biotechnology approach to valorize fatty acids to bioplastics: scope for scale-up and process efficiency using an integrated approach
Document Type Article
Year 2023
Authors P. Vasilakis, K. Pyrgakis, M. Psycha, A. Biundo, A. Kokossis
Source Computer Aided Chemical Engineering Volume 52, pp 2563-2568, 2023
Keywords WCO; FFABio-catalysis; Fermentation; E.Coli
Abstract Waste Cooking Oils (WCO) are considered a harmful waste, though also constitute a valuable carbon source if treated correctly. This paper illustrates a novel WCO valorization chemistry to produce added-valued bioplastics. The core process is based on bio-based catalysis, in which E.Coli is fermented to produce oleate hydratase enzyme, which catalyzes FFAs conversion into the key building block of 10-Hydroxystearic-Acid (10-HA). The process is further integrated with upstream saponification-acidification stages for the pre-treatment of mixed WCOs, while downstream chemical processes (hydrogenation, esterification, polymerization) are upgrading the 10-HA building block into bio-based poly-10-HAME polymer. As upstream and downstream stages involve different scales, the paper addresses the scope to scale-up using a systems approach that builds efficiency and optimizes interactions. Overall, 3 tn of WCO yield in 1.5 tn of poly-10-HAME, CAPEX and OPEX are estimated to 141 M€ and 65 M€/yr, while emissions are estimated to 2.4 kg CO2_eq/kg biopolymer.
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