Paques Biomaterials and Senbis Polymer Innovations agreed to collaborate in developing applications for PHA biopolymer Caleyda
Paques Biomaterials and Senbis Polymer Innovations have partnered strategically to develop new applications for PHA biopolymer Caleyda with all the advantages of plastics but without its disadvantages. Paques Biomaterials has been working on a new value chain in which bacteria in organic waste streams produce the biopolymer PHA for more than ten years. “Our background is in biotechnology,” says Joost Paques, founder of Paques Biomaterials, “and with this collaboration, biotechnology and chemistry join forces, which is a formula for success for a biopolymer. We are convinced we will soon produce a high-quality alternative to fossil plastics, which can be widely applied and prevent microplastics.”
Developing different PHA grades
Senbis Polymer Innovations is a chemical R&D company specialising in biopolymers. “We will help Paques Biomaterials develop different PHA grades suitable for a wide range of applications,” explains Gerard Nijhoving, managing director of Senbis. “Paques Biomaterials develops the PHA, but we give direction on which way it must be developed and then evaluate it. Paques Biomaterials has a promising biopolymer in hand with Caleyda. It is biobased and highly biodegradable in all kinds of environments. Their product is unique because it is made from waste streams and doesn’t use genetically modified bacteria. That makes it sustainable and natural on all sides. This involves a major challenge to deliver consistent quality, as for plastic processing, purity is the key.
Mechanical and thermal properties PHA
Senbis has all commercially available biopolymers in-house and has researched them. We know what works for which application. Many PHAs we see now need to catch up in mechanical and thermal properties compared to other bioplastics. If we can improve these topics with Paques Biomaterials, their PHA Caleyda will soon be a serious player in the market.”
Compounds with PHA
“We also see much potential for this material for so-called compounds. That means mixing the PHA with other biopolymers. For some applications, you need a mix of bioplastics to get the required mechanical properties and velocity of biodegradability,” says Gerard Nijhoving. “Like applications such as injection moulding, yarns, 3D printing or films. With this knowledge, Paques Biomaterials can optimise Caleyda where necessary, and we work together towards a high-quality PHA. Furthermore, you can use these compounds to serve new applications. We also see opportunities for this in our customer portfolio and even within our product development.”
PHA from food waste
The beginning of this new circular value chain is already at an advanced stage. Paques Biomaterials has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Kolon Industries and Kolon Global in South Korea, launching large-scale production of PHA from food waste. In Europe, the first full-scale plants in which bacteria make PHA in industrial wastewater, sewage sludge and organic waste streams (vegetable/fruit waste) are also under development.
PHA biopolymer Caleyda
In cooperation with five Dutch Water Boards and waste and energy company HVC, Paques Biomaterials has been optimising this process with a demo plant in the last few years. The PHA biomass is a reality, and in the next phase of the value chain, this biomass will be extracted and purified into a clean biopolymer PHA called Caleyda. For this phase, cooperation with Senbis Polymer Innovations is crucial. With their knowledge and expertise, we will make Caleyda the natural and high-quality alternative to plastic with the advantages but without the disadvantages.