Green Bioplastics as Part of a Circular Bioeconomy
Trends in Plant Science 2019, 24(3): 237-249
Karan H, Funk C, Grabert M, Oey M, Hankamer B

The rapid accumulation of plastic waste is driving international demand for renewable plastics with superior qualities (e.g., full biodegradability to CO2 without harmful byproducts), as part of an expanding circular bioeconomy. Higher plants, microalgae, and cyanobacteria can drive solar-driven processes for the production of feedstocks that can be used to produce a wide variety of biodegradable plastics, as well as bioplastic-based infrastructure that can act as a long-term carbon sink. The plastic types produced, their chemical synthesis, scaled-up biorefinery concepts (e.g., plant-based methane-to-bioplastic production and co-product streams), bioplastic properties, and uses are summarized, together with the current regulatory framework and the key barriers and opportunities.

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