NGen, Genecis Bioindustries will use AD to create bioplastics

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has partnered with Genecis Bioindustries to develop, scale and integrate a novel biotechnology platform to upcycle food waste into premium sustainable plastics, using anaerobic digestion (AD).

NGen, the industry-led organisation behind Canada’s advanced manufacturing supercluster, announced $6 million (€4.06 million) in collaborative funding for the project.

Genecis, in partnership with StormFisher, a developer and operator of organic waste and clean energy solutions, will integrate a demonstration-scale technology unit with an AD plant to convert organic waste feedstock into high-value polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) bioplastics, an alternative to petroleum plastics.

Genecis’ platform leverages existing infrastructure to upcycle waste into high-value materials and chemicals, contributing to a circular and bio-based economy. The first product line of PHA resins will serve as plastic replacements for packaging, agricultural plastics, medical plastics, and additive manufacturing filaments.

The demonstration project will be located at the StormFisher Resource Recovery Centre in Drumbo, Ontario, designed to recycle discarded packaged food and municipal green bin waste.

“This project highlights NGen’s focus on transformative advanced manufacturing solutions,” said Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen.

“The Genecis project uses advanced manufacturing technologies to fundamentally transform an existing process, providing Canadian manufacturers with access to high-value materials, creating a competitive advantage in the green economy, and developing a waste solution that addresses a global environmental issue.”

Brandon Moffat, owner and vice-president of StormFisher, commented: “StormFisher is delighted to partner with Genecis to implement this ground-breaking technology.

“Upcycling food and organic waste to provide valuable products like RNG and now PHA resins demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of circular projects like these.

“We have partnered with earlier stage cleantech companies like Genecis in the past and have found it very rewarding for us. As cleantech entrepreneurs ourselves, we had historically found that it can be very challenging finding an industrial partner to allow for companies to scale, so we’re glad that we can facilitate this demonstration project.”

Producing large quantities of high-performance PHAs from these streams will create economic and environmental value for both the organic waste and plastic industries, said the companies. The commercialisation of the technology will cement Canada’s position as a technology leader in biomanufacturing, while reinforcing the nation’s commitment to long-term sustainability.

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