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BIOTECHNOLOGY Dept.


Eco-Efficiency solutions for plastics waste management using degradative potential of biological systems
BIOTECHNOLOGIES
FOR
ENVIRONMENTAL
REMEDIATION
AND PROTECTION
 

























ECODEGRAD    

PROJECT PRESENTATION
  • Founds: 4th Program - Parteneriates in priority domains -The 2th National Programme for Research, Development and Innovation
  • Project type: PC
  • Project value (budget): 816.555,45 lei
  • Project duration: 36 months

The scope of the project is to investigate the aerobic biodegradability of different blends and composites based on a synthetic and biodegradable polymer (PVA) and natural polymeric materials (starch, gelatin and collagen) in order to realize an eco-efficiency management of plastic wastes. The complex activities to be developed are based on scientific expertise of all partners involved and comprise the following steps: technical-scientific fundamentals for microbial degradation of biodegradable polymers; general mechanism of biodegradation and definitions; evaluation of microorganisms capacity to degrade biodegradable polymers; obtainment of biodegradable polymers based on PVA and natural polymers; optimization of cultivation conditions for the polymers degrading microorganisms; analytic procedures for monitoring biodegradation; evaluation of changes in long-term properties of polymers tested.

PRESENTATION:
Plastic waste represents a serious concern for the environment because of its recalcitrance to microbial attack. This refers to polymers that degrade so slowly that there is a possibility that they will accumulate in the environment. The requirement now is to minimize the unnecessary use of plastics and to develop methods for recovery and recycling plastics waste. In order to reduce the environmental impact of plastics a solution could be the use of biodegradable plastics.
Poly(vinyl alcohol) PVA, one of the few vinyl polymers soluble in water, is a biodegradable polymer. The attention was focused on this polymer type because of its large utilization in many applications, which generate considerable amounts of PVA-containing wastewaters. PVA is often a convenient product in integrated production cycles of petrochemical industries; it is a well known synthetic polymer that is attracting renewed interest for the production of environmentally friendly plastic materials.
The microbial degradation offers a new approach to the management of plastic waste, this technique being an alternative to plastics recycling or incineration. Microorganisms play a significant role in biological decomposition of materials, including synthetic polymers in natural environments. The degradation rate depends on several factors such as type of bond in the repeat unit, copolymer composition, and molecular weight. Environmental factors have a crucial influence on the microbial population and on the activity of the different microorganisms themselves.
Biodegradable plastics opened the way for new waste management strategies since these materials are designed to degrade under environmental conditions or in municipal and industrial biological waste treatment facilities. Such polymers are potentially biodegradable and in addition, they combine several properties that make them attractive candidates for various applications.


PARTNERS
  • CO - National Research and Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry - ICECHIM
    Project manager: Dr. chem. Luiza Jecu; Phone/fax: +40.021-316.30.63; jecu.luiza@icechim.ro Spl. Independentei 202, sector 6, Bucharest
  • P1 - University Politehnica - Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science
    Prof. dr. eng. Marta Stroescu, phone +40.021.402.38.70, marta_stroescu@yahoo.com
    Str. Polizu nr 1, sector 1, Bucharest
    www.pub.ro
  • P2 - SC INCERPLAST SA
    Dr. eng. Elena Grosu; Phone+40.021-252.21.15; elena_grosu@yahoo.com
    Str. Ziduri Mosi, nr. 23, sector 2, Bucharest
    www.incerplast.ro
  • P3 - Institute of Biochemistry - Romanian Academy
    Dr. biochem. Anca Roseanu-Constantinescu; Phone/fax +40.021-223.90.069/223.90.68; roseanu@biochim.ro
    Spl. Independentei 296, sector 6, Bucharest
    www.biochim.ro

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

GENERAL OBJECTIVES:
  • To improve the Romanian research quality by knowledge and expertise; to develop and concentrate the human and materials resources.
  • To create a scientific partnership for a long term in order to solve important problems of science, technology.
  • To increase the competitively level in research domain, due to stimulation partnerships to solving complex problems.
  • To develop new and clean products, technologies and processes and realize waste valorification.
  • To support the development of important scientific domains (such as biology, chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry), and of existing research network that are able to create excellence researches, conforming to international standards.
  • To use the microbial potential for obtaining of useful products and viable solutions to existing problems.
  • To improve Romanian integration by researches-development activities of high complexity and technical level, with final results as compared with international programs.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:
  • General aspects on mechanism of biodegradation under aerobic conditions. Biochemistry and physiology of PVA biodegradation
  • Obtainment of different poly(vinyl alcohol) based materials containing PVA and natural polymers such as collagen, starch and gelatin.
  • Screening of microorganisms with efficient degradation activity for different PVA based materials. The microorganisms with the highest polymer degradation activity will selected for further investigations. Solid and liquid substrate cultivation will be performed (clare zone formation to evaluate substrate depolymerization)
  • Optimization of the cultivation conditions for the efficient degrading microbial strains (optimal temperature, optimal pH, inoculum average; nutrients)
  • Degradation tests of PVA based materials under natural conditions
  • Estimation of polymer degradation efficiency carried out by microbial strains selected (visual observations; weight loss measurement
  • Evaluation of microbial degradation effects by monitoring the changes in long-term properties of polyester (structural changes at the surface evidenced by Microscopic Examination - SEM, polymer structure changes using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry - FTIR , changes in compression strength, gaseous permeability analysis, viscosity analysis, differential scanning calorimetry - DSC)
  • Development of research units as a consequence of specific equipment acquisition to ensure a high technical level comparative to European one;
  • Dissemination of obtained results (scientific communications, project web page)

RESULTS
  • Conceptual models
    • Conceptual model regarding the techno-scientific fundamentals of biodegradation of polymers based on PVA
    • Conceptual model regarding the screening of microbial strains able to degrade polymeric substrates based on PVA
    • Conceptual model regarding the assesment methods of microbial degradation of polymers
    • Conceptual model regarding the assesment methods of microbial degradation in natural environment
  • Experimental models
    • Experimental model for the screening of microbial strains able to degrade polymeric substrates based on PVA
    • Experimental model for the obtainment of polymeric blends based on PVA and natural polymers (biocellulose, starch, wood wastes)
    • Experimental laboratory model for the assesmnet of microbial degradation of polymers (SEM, FTIR, XRD, TGA)
    • Experimental laboratory model for the evaluation of microbial degradation of polymers in natural environment


DISSEMINATION
    Papers published in ISI journals
    • Luiza Jecu, Amalia Gheorghe, Andreea Rosu, Iulia Raut, Elena Grosu, Marius Ghiurea, Ability of fungal strains to degrade PVA based materials, 2010, Journal of Polymers and the Environment, (Impact Factor: 1.571/2009, scor influenta revista 1.58055, Elsevier), vol 18, 284-290. Lucrare premiata de CNCSIS la competitia pe anul 2010.
    • Anicuta Stoica-Guzun, Luiza Jecu, Amalia Gheorghe, Iuliana Raut, Marta Stroescu, Marius Ghiurea, Mihai Danila, Iuliana Jipa, and Victor Fruth, Biodegradation of poly(vinyl alcohol) and bacterial cellulose composites by Aspergillus niger, 2011, Journal of Polymers and the Environment, vol. 19, 69-79.

    Papers published in non_ISI journals
    • Loredana-Mihaela Dobre, Anicuta Stoica, Marta Stroescu, Iuliana Jipa, Stefana Ciumpiliac, Tanase Dobre, Antimicrobial packaging materials containing polyvinyl alcohol and bacterial cellulose, International Conference “Food Science, Engineering and Technologies 2010” Scientific works, vol. LVII, Issue 2, Plovdiv, October 15-16, 2010, ISSN 0477-0250, 447-452.

    Patent demand
    • Luiza Jecu, Elena Grosu, Iulia Raut, Maria Rapa, Petruta Stoica, Nelida Sanda Savu, Mariana Constantin, Compoziție de materiale polimerice biodegradabile destinată ambalajelor și procedeu de obținere a acestora, Cerere de brevet depusa la OSIM A/00854/31.08.2011.

    Participation at international scientific conferences
    • Anicuta Stoica-Guzun, Marta Stroescu, Iuliana Jipa, Loredana Dragne, T. Zaharescu, Effect of ? irradiation on poly(vinyl alcohol) and bacterial cellulose composites used as packaging materials, 9th Meeting of Ionizing Radiation and Polymers Symposium, IRAP 2010, October 25-29, Maryland, USA.
    • Elena Grosu, Maria Râpă, Luiza Jecu, Iulia Răut, Petruța Stoica, Cristian Stănescu, Mélange de polymeres a base de l’alcool de polyvinyle pour l’obtention des produits biodegradable, Xeme Colloque Franco-Roumain sur les Polymeres, Douai, France, 6 et 7 septembre 2011
    • Maria Rapa, Elena Grosu, Neli Sandu Sava, Andreiana Scheau, Cristian Stanescu, Polymeres biodegradables avec des applications dans l’agriculture, Xeme Colloque Franco-Roumain sur les Polymeres, Douai, France, 6 et 7 septembre 2011.

    National conferences with international participation
    • Luiza Jecu, Amalia Gheorghe, Andreea Rosu, Amiliana Nita, Iuliana Raut, Evaluarea susceptibilitatii polimerilor la actiunea microorganismelor, Simpozionul Național cu Participare Internationala “PRIORITATILE CHIMIEI PENTRU O DEZVOLTARE DURABILA” (PRIOCHEM)-ediția a IV-a, ICECHIM, București, 30-31 octombrie 2008.
    • L. Jecu, A. Gheorghe, A. Rosu, I. Raut, M. Ghiurea, E. Grosu, A. Stoica et M. Stroescu, Etude de la dégradation fongique des matériaux polymérique contenant alcool polyvinylique, IXeme Colloque Franco - Roumain sur les Polymeres SYNTHESE ET PROPRIETES DES POLYMERES; LES POLYMERES ET L’ENVIRONNEMENT, Alba Iulia, Roumanie, 27 – 29 Aout 2009.
    • E. Grosu, M. Rapa, L. Jecu, A. Gheorghe, F. Petrescu, A. Sceianu, C. Stanescu, La dégradation biologique des déchés polymériques, IXeme Colloque Franco - Roumain sur les Polymeres SYNTHESE ET PROPRIETES DES POLYMERES; LES POLYMERES ET L’ENVIRONNEMENT, Alba Iulia, Roumanie, 27 – 29 Aout 2009.
    • Andreea Rosu, Dragne Loredana, Iulia Raut, Amalia Gheorghe, Luiza Jecu,Mihai Danila, Adina Musuc and Victor Fruth, Polymer surface changes of PVA based materials degraded by microorganisms, Workshop “Current trends and advanced ellipsometric and XRD techniques for the characterization of nanostructured materials", organizat de Institutul de Chimie Fizica “Ilie Murgulescu” al Academiei Romana, 25-26 iunie 2009, Bucharest, Romania.
    • Luiza Jecu, Amalia Gheorghe, Andreea Rosu, Iulia Raut , Marius Ghiurea, Elena Grosu, Anicuta Stoica, Marta Stroescu, Investigations on microbial degradation of poly (vinyl alcohol) based materials, Simpozionul Național cu Participare Internationala “PRIORITATILE CHIMIEI PENTRU O DEZVOLTARE DURABILA” (PRIOCHEM)-ediția a V-a, ICECHIM-București, 29-30 octombrie 2009. ISBN 978-973-0-06996-9
    • Luiza Jecu, Morgane Arnaud, Iuliana Raut, Elena Grosu, Mihaela  Badea - Doni, Silviu Preda, Adina Musuc,, Victor Fruth, Biodegradability potential of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) – polyvinyl alcohol blendS, International Conference on Physical Chemistry – ROMPHYSCHEM 14, 2-4 June 2010, Bucharest, Romania
    • Elena Grosu, Maria Râpă, Luiza Jecu, Iulia Răut, Petruța Stoica, Cristian Stănescu, Andreiana Scheau, Utilizarea unor amestecuri pe bază de polivinil alcool pentru obținerea de produse biodegradabile, a XXXI-a Conferinta Nationala de Chimie cu Participare Internationala, 06-08 octombrie 2010, Ramnicu Valcea, Romania.
    • Luiza Jecu, Iulia Raut , Marius Ghiurea, Elena Grosu, Anicuta Stoica, Marta Stroescu, Several methods for the assessment of polymeric materials biodegradation, Simpozionul Național cu participare Internationala “PRIORITATILE CHIMIEI PENTRU O DEZVOLTARE DURABILA” (PRIOCHEM)-ediția a VI-a, ICECHIM-București, 29-30 octombrie 2010.
    • Luiza Jecu, Elena Grosu, Iulia Raut, Marius Ghiurea, Mariana Constantin, Anicuta Stoica, Marta Stroescu, Gelu Vasilescu, Fungal degradation of polymeric materials: morphological aspects, Simpozionul Impactul Acquis-ului Comunitar de Mediu asupra Tehnologiilor si Echipamentelor „ACQUISTEM “, ed a VIII-a, ICPE – Stația Agigea, 28 - 29 iulie 2011.
    • Iulia Raut, Luiza Jecu,,Mariana Constantin, Adina Musuc, Anca Roseanu, Microbial degradation of polyhydroxyalkanoates, The Annual International Conference of RSBMB, Craiova, 28th-30th of September, 2011
    • Luiza Jecu, Iulia Raut, Mariana Constantin, Elena Grosu, Gelu Vasilescu, Eco-efficiency solutions for plastics waste management using degradative potential of biological systems, 19th Annual Bioenvironmental Polymers Society (EPS) Meeting, September 28-30th 2011, Vienna, Austria.

CONTACT
  • Dr. chem. Luiza Jecu
    jecu.luiza@icechim.ro
    Tel/fax: +40.021.316.30.63


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