Bioprocess Engineering
Bioprocess Engineering

Biopolymers

Plastic materials are ubiquitous in our daily life. 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually worldwide with a rising tendency of 4%. Plastics as well as glue are made from fossil fuels, which leads to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Additionally, traditional plastics and glue do not degrade in the environment causing massive pollution of our ecosystems.

So-called bioplastics are a promising alternative to substitute conventional plastic materials. However, in 2017 over 50% of the produced bioplastics (1.2 million) were not biodegradable.

The main focus of the group is the investigation of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers, which are produced from renewable resources and are fully biodegradable to CO2 and water in natural environments such as soil and sea. PHAs, polyester with comparable properties to conventional plastic materials, are produced by many microorganism for carbon and energy storage.

Biological glue especially mussel glue enables strong bonding even under water. It is non-toxic, non-mutagenic and biocompatible thus it can be degraded by the human body after medical use.

Running Projects

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PHABio-up

PHABio-up aims to succeed the acceleration of the industrial production of biodegradable Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers from biogenic feedstocks.

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PHAtex

PHAtex aims to develop a complete green process chain to produce novel, flexible and biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) textile filaments on a competitive basis from renewable feedstocks.

Project supervisor

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian L. Riedel

contact: riedel@tu-berlin.de

 

Former Projects

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PHAbio App

PHAbio APP aims the development of a closed circle for the production, processing, recycling and biodegradation of novel PHA biopolymers from biowaste, in particular fat waste.

XenoGlue

Mussel glue is outstanding because it enables even under water extremely strong bonding. Till now, it was a problem to produce the glue in higher amounts and when produced it was sticking everywhere, that it was difficult to handle.

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