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Biome Bioplastics - Turning biomass into plastic

BBSRC funding has enabled the production of bioplastics from lignin, a structural material found in plants and a by-product of the paper pulp industry. Waste lignin is usually burned as fuel, but its building blocks have a much wider range of potential uses. However, lignin itself is notoriously difficult to break down into useful chemicals.
Professor Timothy Bugg at the University of Warwick used a BBSRC Integrating Biorefining Research and Technology (IBTI) Club grant to identify a bacterial enzyme which breaks down lignin. The research led to a collaboration with Biome Bioplastics, one of the UK’s leading bioplastic developers, to turn the extracted chemicals into bioplastics.
Further support from Innovate UK, EPSRC and BBSRC through the BBSRC NIBB “BBNet” and the IB Catalyst funding mechanism enabled the company to collaborate with the University of Leeds and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). The team are now demonstrating that lignin digestion products can be produced on a commercial scale for bioplastics production.

Read the full case study: Biome Bioplastics - Turning biomass into plastic