Editorial Feature

Producing Bioplastics From Organic Waste

Bioplastics have the potential to mitigate the environmental impacts of traditional plastics. Genecis bioindustries are revolutionizing the plastic industry by producing bioplastics from organic waste, tackling both environmental and food waste issues.

Image Credit: Pawarun Chitchirachan/Shutterstock.com

In this article, we discuss bioplastics, Genecis’ technology for bioplastic production, and general prospects for the bioplastic industry.  

What are Bioplastics?

Bioplastics are an attractive and viable alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based plastics. They can be produced by bioconversion using microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, to convert natural materials, such as starch or sugar, into bioplastics or by chemical processes using natural materials, such as plant oils or cellulose.

The production of fossil fuels and plastics is intertwined, and about 80% of manufactured plastic accumulates as waste in landfills and natural environments, creating an increasing hazard.

Bio-based plastics offer a solution to this problem by breaking down naturally without harmful byproducts and reducing environmental impact. They can be made from various bio-based feedstocks, providing a range of renewable plastics options. Integrated strategies can support viable business development and emerging circular bio-economies.

Industrial Production of Bioplastics: Genecis Bioindustries

Genecis Bioindustries, a leader in the field of bioplastics, is making waves in the industry with its innovative technologies, research, and development investments. The company, which was founded in 2016, specializes in converting organic waste into bioplastics using a proprietary process called anaerobic digestion.

One of Genecis Bioindustries' most recent technologies is their ability to convert food waste into bioplastics that can be used in a variety of applications, including packaging, textiles, and automotive parts. This technology is not only environmentally friendly, but it also addresses the growing problem of food waste.

According to the United Nations, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted, and this food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

A large amount of food produced globally is never consumed, with an estimated 30 million tons wasted in the U.S. and 1.3 billion metric tons wasted worldwide each year.

Genecis Bioindustries' Bioplastic Production Technology

Genecis Bioindustries' proprietary anaerobic digestion for converting organic waste into bioplastics involves breaking down organic matter, such as food waste, in the absence of oxygen. The process is performed by microorganisms, which consume the organic matter and release biogas as a byproduct. This biogas is mostly composed of methane and carbon dioxide.

The next step in the process is the purification of the biogas, which is done by removing impurities such as water, hydrogen sulfide, and siloxanes. The purified biogas is then sent to a gas-to-liquids reactor, where it is converted into a liquid hydrocarbon using a catalytic process. This liquid hydrocarbon can then be used as a feedstock for the production of bioplastics.

Genecis Bioindustries’ Funding, Research and Development

Genecis Bioindustries is also investing heavily in research and development to expand the range of materials that can be produced from organic waste. They are also exploring new applications for their bioplastics, such as in the construction industry and medical devices.

The company's goal is to create a circular economy where waste is converted into valuable resources, and they are well on their way to achieving this goal with their innovative technologies.

Genecis Bioindustries has raised $7 million in a Series A funding round. The funding was led by Khosla Ventures and BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice and also included participation from Gullspang Re:food, AME Cloud Ventures, IT Farm, and Heinz Group. The company has also secured a $3 million credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank.

This funding will be used to accelerate the launch of Genecis' first set of products and to complete the first integration of their technology with the StormFisher biogas plant in London, Canada. This will allow Genecis to secure key market positions in the sustainable materials market.

The Impact of this Approach

The impact of Genecis Bioindustries' work is significant. They are helping to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills and are reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to create plastics. Additionally, their bioplastics are biodegradable, meaning they do not contribute to plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.

Genecis' bioplastics are high-performance because they are strong and durable, making them suitable for a wide range of applications such as packaging, textiles, and automotive parts.

Additionally, as previously mentioned, the company is investing heavily in research and development to expand the range of materials that can be produced from organic waste, and they are exploring new applications for their bioplastics in the construction industry and medical devices.

Conclusions and Outlook

According to the Grand View Research site, the market for bioplastics is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. In 2021, the global market size for bioplastics was valued at around 10.2 billion U.S. dollars, and it is projected to grow at an annual rate of 17.1% from 2022 to 2030.

The main driving factor behind this growth is the increasing awareness of health issues related to traditional plastics and the growing population in Asia Pacific, which is expected to boost demand for bioplastics in various industries. This is expected to lead to the increased use of bioplastics in the forecasted period, which also translates to a wide range of opportunities for companies.  

Genecis Bioindustries is a leading company in the field of bioplastics, and their innovative technologies and research and development investments are making a significant impact in the industry. They are addressing the growing problem of food waste and are creating a more sustainable future by converting organic waste into valuable resources.

As the world continues to grapple with the problem of plastic pollution, the work of companies like Genecis Bioindustries is more important than ever.

More from AZoM: A Revolutionary Plant-Based Protein as a Polymer Alternative

References and Further Reading

Crunchbase (2022). Genecis-Crunchbase Company Profile and Funding [Online]. Crunchbase. URL https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/genecis-envirotech (accessed January 17th, 2023).

Genecis Media (2022). Genecıs raises us$10 mıllıon ın fundıng to commercıalıze bıodegradable plastıc products [Online]. Genecis. URL https://genecis.co/genecis-raises-us10-million-in-funding-to-commercialize-biodegradable-plastic-products/ (accessed January 17th, 2023).

Genecis Media (2021). Genecis | Waste into High-Value Materials [Online]. Genecis. URL https://genecis.co/ (accessed January 17th, 2023).

Grand View Research (2021). Bioplastics Market Size & Share Report, 2022-2030 [Online]. Grand View Research. URL https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/bioplastics-industry (accessed January 17th, 2023).

Karan, H., Funk, C., Grabert, M., Oey, M., Hankamer, B. (2019). Green Bioplastics as Part of a Circular Bioeconomy. Trends in Plant Science 24, 237–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2018.11.010

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Blaise Manga Enuh

Written by

Blaise Manga Enuh

Blaise Manga Enuh has primary interests in biotechnology and bio-safety, science communication, and bioinformatics. Being a part of a multidisciplinary team, he has been able to collaborate with people of different cultures, identify important project needs, and work with the team to provide solutions towards the accomplishment of desired targets. Over the years he has been able to develop skills that are transferrable to different positions which have helped his accomplish his work.

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