Aimplas, the Technological Institute of Plastics, is developing the ENZPLAST2 project, whose objective is to develop new, more sustainable processes for the production, recycling and composting of plastics.
The first ENZPLAST annuity focused on the development of new methods for the synthesis of plastics that are safer for human health and more environmentally sustainable. Specifically, enzymes were used instead of metallic catalysts to obtain polyesters. In this way, two benefits were obtained: the reduction of the toxicity of these metal catalysts and a lower energy consumption during the polymerization process.
In the second year of the project, under the acronym ENZPLAST2, a procedure is being developed that allows the use of microorganisms to eliminate odors from packaging of dairy products. According to the first results, a reduction in the intensity of the odor of the recycled materials has been achieved. Furthermore, the treatment of polyurethane-type polymers with selected and isolated microorganisms has shown an aid in the degradation of the mass that has reached 7%.
Lastly, the incorporation of enzymes supported in molten polymers is also being studied to improve the biodegradation of different bioplastics under both aerobic and anaerobic digestion conditions.
The ENZPLAST project has the support of the Ivace, Valencian Institute of Valencian Competitiveness, and the co-financing of the Feder funds from the EU, within the Feder Operational Program of the Valencian Community 2014-2020.