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Mons, Belgium

In the current context of global warming, the substitution of conventional plastics with bioplastics is a challenge. To take up this challenge, we must meet different technical and economic constraints. In the case of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), the technical properties can be modulated by varying the 3-hydroxyvalerate content. 3-Hydroxyvalerate (3-HV) enhancement is an issue; therefore, simultaneous evaluation of several 3-hydroxyvalerate-enhancing substrates through fractional factorial design of experiments is described. Eight substrates citric, valeric, propionic, and levulinic acids; propanol; pentanol; and sodium propionate were studied for 3-HV enhancement, and sodium glutamate was studied for biomass and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) enhancement. The most efficient 3-hydroxyvalerate-enhancing factors were levulinic acid, sodium propionate, and pentanol; however, pentanol, at a concentration of 1 g/L, had an extremely negative influence on biomass production and the PHA content of cells. The effect of the inoculum nutrient composition on the final 3-HVcontent was also evaluated. These results showed that the most efficient combination for the production of high 3-HVcontent in PHBV was primary inoculum growth on mineral medium followed by fermentation for 48 h with levulinic acid and sodium propionate (at 1 g/L) as the only carbon sources. This allowed us to produce PHBV with a 3-HVcontent of 80 mol % and overall volumetric and specific productivities of 2 mg/L/h and 3.9 mg/gCDW/h, respectively, with the addition of only 2 g/L of inducing substances. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

In the global context of increased concerns for our environment, the use of bioplastics as a replacement for existing petroleum-based polymers is an important challenge. Indeed, bioplastics hardly meet economical and technical constraints. One, of the most promising among currently studied bioplastics, is the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). To circumvent the economical issue for this particular biopolymer one solution can be the enhancement of the overall productivity by the improvement of the nutritional medium of the microorganism producing the biopolymer. Thus, several nutrition media, supplemented or not with sodium glutamate, were tested for the growth and the PHA production by Cupriavidus necator DSM 545 strain. The most efficient for the biomass and the PHA production improvement were found to be the Luria broth (LB) and the Bonnarme's media, both supplemented with 10. g/L sodium glutamate. Hence the overall productivity was 33 times enhanced comparing to traditional cultivation methods. These results open a new route for the PHA production by C. necator which appears to be more suitable on a rich, or enriched, medium with no limiting factors. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-2.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.39M | Year: 2008

High aspect ratio carbon-based nanoparticles (nanotubes (CNT), nanofibres (CNF), and nanosheets or exfoliated graphite (CNS)) will be introduced into bulk polymers, into polymeric foams and into membranes. It is expected that such nanofillers will tremendously improve and modify the properties of these families of materials, allowing them to reach new markets. However, a common and fundamental problem in polymer-based nanocomposites is the large extent of agglomeration of the nanoparticles due to their high surface to volume ratio. Therefore, techniques to control deagglomeration and possibly further organization of these high aspect ratio nanoparticles in polymeric materials remain a challenge. This project under industrial leadership will therefore aim at mastering, at the nanometric and mesoscale level, the spatial organization of carbon-based nanoparticles (CNP) with various surface functionalities, sizes and shapes having large aspect ratios in bulk, foamed and thin film (membranes) polymers by using industrially viable processes. More precisely, the aim of this proposal consists in generating polymer-based nanocomposites with a percolating nanoparticle structure that is reinforcing the material and imparts it with improved electrical and thermal conductivity at a minimum of nanoparticle loading. To reach such radically improved properties, it is important to take into account that a complete dispersion is not useful and will lead to lower properties. In order to control this CNP organization within the polymer matrix, a large set of techniques will be used. They range from synthetic approaches (grafting from, grafting to, grafting through, emulsion polymerization) to (reactive) melt or solution blending processes, and to preparation in supercritical CO2. The aim is to generate new classes of engineering materials for various applications like EMI shielding, antistatic packaging materials and membranes, as well as scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Materia Nova and University of Mons | Date: 2011-01-26

A conventional polymer is grafted from a plasma polymer layer provided at a substrate surface by radical polymerisation initiated from plasma induced radicals present at or in the plasma polymer, particularly radicals provided during deposition of the plasma polymer.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.3 | Award Amount: 9.97M | Year: 2013

The BYEFOULING project will address high volume production of low toxic and environmentally friendly antifouling coatings for mobile and stationary maritime applications. The technology will fulfil the coating requirements as a result of the incorporation of novel antifouling agents and a new set of binders into coating formulations for maritime transportation and fishing vessels, floating devices and aquaculture. The main vision of BYEFOULING is to provide the means for industrial, cost-effective and robust manufacturing of antifouling coatings in Europe, where SMEs are both coating components developers and production technology providers. A set of procedures, guidelines and fabrication tools will be developed, enabling short time to market for new coating concepts. The main goal of BYEFOULING is to design, develop and upscale antifouling coatings with enhanced performance compared to current available products. The approach in BYEFOULING is to tackle the different stages of the biofouling process using innovative antifouling agents, covering surface-structured materials, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, natural biocides and microorganisms with antifouling properties. Encapsulation of the innovative compounds in smart nanostructured materials will be implemented to optimize coating performance and cost all along their life cycle. A proof-of-concept for the most promising candidates will be developed and demonstrators will be produced and tested on fields. BYEFOULING will combine a multidisciplinary leading research team from 11 European countries, which are already acting worldwide in the scientific community, with highly relevant and skilled technological partners, to build a consortium able to develop a full production line for antifouling coatings in Europe. Readily available low toxic and cost-effective antifouling coatings will increase the efficiency of maritime industry and be the enabling technology to realize new products.

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