BIO-ON
PHA production in Italy starts up / New tobacco packaging company established
Biotechnology company Bio-on (Bologna / Italy; www.bio-on.it) has started its first production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) based on renewable plant sources from agricultural waste in Castel San Pietro Terme near Bologna – see Plasteurope.com of 02.04.2015 and 18.01.2018. Final tests are currently under way and commercial production is scheduled to begin in autumn.

The EUR 20m plant has an initial capacity of 1,000 t/y and could double this by the end of 2018. The production staff of 45 will also be increased by the end of the year. The plant will initially produce PHAs for cosmetic applications, including the “Minerv” biopolymers that are intended to replace the heavily-criticised microbeads. “This is truly green chemistry,” Bio-on CEO Marco Astorri said, as “the particles dissolve in water and can then serve as food for a range of bio-organisms.”

Around the same time as PHA production started, Bio-on also invested an additional EUR 2.5m to set up an on-site development laboratory, with 20 researchers looking into new areas of biopolymer applications. One of the approaches is likely to target tobacco packaging, for which Bio-on established the Advanced Materials Tobacco Labs (AMT; www.amt-labs.it) in Bologna at the end of May 2018. The company will examine the use of Minerv polymers in the tobacco industry. Meanwhile, packaging machinery manufacturer Industria Macchine Automatiche (IMA, Ozzano dell’Elimia / Italy; www.ima.it) has acquired 20% of the share capital via its subsidiary Gima TT.
11.07.2018 Plasteurope.com [240138-0]
Published on 11.07.2018
German version...German version of this article...

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