The beauty of plastic


PRO-PHBV: Bio-based plastic for restoration of the natural environment

Plastic is a serious problem for the environment. What if the only type of plastic that existed was not only good for the environment, but could also help to restore it?

Plastic fantastic

PHBV is a special type of plastic made from bacteria. These bacteria feed on wastewater and help to clean it. This process creates PHBV. The best thing about PHBV is that it is biodegradable. It does not create waste like regular plastic.

Just as humans convert calories into fat, these bacteria convert energy from wastewater into the bioplastic PHBV. The production of PHBV solves two problems at once: it creates clean wastewater and sustainable plastic.

One idea in this experiment is to use PHBV to help young water plants grow. The young plants can occasionally use some extra support. PHBV can be used to construct physical support structures for these plants. Once the plants are large enough they will no longer need the support structure. The remaining PHBV is then broken down naturally.

Experimenting with PHBV

The goal of the experiment is to create a ‘nature restoration support structure’ from PHBV. To that end, it’s important to know how long it takes for PHBV to decompose in water. Can PHBV remain firm for a few weeks or a few months?

A field test was recently conducted in which pieces of PHBV of different compositions were placed in the water. The samples are weighed and photographed every week. This test provides researchers insight into how quickly PHBV biodegrades.

Who is involved?

The participants in this project are AMS Institute, TU Delft and the companies Paques Biomaterials, NPSP, Waardenburg Ecology and Material Sense LAB. They are working together to discover how PHBV can best be used to help the environment.

More about PRO-PHBV

  1. Open Call: Dobbernatuur

    Your piece of floating nature in the heart of Amsterdam! Do you have a brilliant and super green idea for floating nature in the inner harbour of the Marineterrein?