Metabolix, US-manufacturer of PHA1 bioplastics, has announced the signing of a collaborative agreement with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sugar Industry Innovation through Biotechnology (CRC SIIB) to develop plastics from sugarcane.
Established four years ago, the CRC SIIB is an alliance between sugarcane biotechnology organisations in Australia, including four universities, sugar industry research groups, Federal and Queensland governments.
Oliver Peoples, Metabolix’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement: “Sugarcane is currently the premier biomass crop for biofuels, and we believe it can be developed to produce an advanced biorefinery feedstock for the production of natural plastics, fuels and chemicals, significantly expanding Metabolix’s global reach.”
Dr Peter Twine, chief executive officer of the Queensland-based CRC SIIB, said: “What we are seeing here is an acknowledgement of the potential of biodegradable plastics and support for the potential role of Queensland’s most valuable plant crop, sugarcane, in a future bio-based economy which is renewable and sustainable.”
1Polyhydroxyalkanoates (cf. News of 2006-05-16.)