La Grana Ecologica SL participa actualmente en un proyecto de investigación para el desarrollo de un bioplástico producido a partir de residuos del aceite de oliva.
Este proyecto está financiado por el programa SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME (FP7/2007-2013) bajo el acuerdo nº 280604
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The OLI-PHA project will build on promising preliminary results into the growth of photosynthetic microorganisms in wastewaters to produce PHAs whereby the yield and cost effectiveness will be optimized by engineering optimized photobioreactors, genetically modifying the cyanobacteria, but also by developing tailored compound formulations and valorizing all components in the olive mill effluents in parallel.
In addition to the investigation of a new biogenic synthesis process for PHA biopolyesters and the selection and modification of cyanobacteria, the OLI-PHA project will produce versatile functional packaging solutions (flexible, rigid, active) using the new PHA polymer, the natural fibers released by the olive pip during the milling process and the antioxidants contained in the OMWW. They will be validated for food and cosmetics packaging applications.
All in all, all the main compounds in the olive mill waste water will be reused in a close loop as the purified water may ultimately even be recirculated in the mill.
The OLI-PHA project will result in improved practices in the olive oil, plastic and packaging industries as well as their end users such as food and cosmetic manufacturers. The project is based on “MaxiUse”: a holistic integrated environmental approach to increase the sustainability of materials and processes throughout their life cycle.
The project will solve the challenges related with the disposal of OMWW for olive oil producers and provide them a new source of income. It will also provide a new offering of both cost effective and performance biodegradable packaging solutions that reduces environmental pollution, and of functional packaging that extends the shelf life of the packed goods. Due to its heightened sustainability (thanks to the use of renewable raw materials which are in fact waste by-products from the olive oil industry, do not compete with food and reduce the dependence on fossil resources ensuring a long-term supply), the resulting bioplastics will also have potential for use in other sectors.