Biopolymer Hydal is made from waste cooking oil and is 100% recyclable

Nafigate's Hydal Biotechnology
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Nafigate - Vladka Matuskova
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Nafigate Corporation - Vladka Matuskova

NAFIGATE’s Hydal Biotechnology uses waste cooking oil to produce a fully biodegradable and biocompatible PHA biopolymer named Hydal (Polyhydroxyalcanoates)

This is the first biopolymer of its kind being produced on an industrial scale at an affordable price. The process involves a natural bacteria and takes place in three steps:

  • Microbial fermentation, where bacteria “consume” used cooking oil and transform it into granules of PHA stored inside the bacterial cell. This process is commonly called upstream process.
  • Isolation of the polymer from microbial cells is called downstream process. This process involves the breakup of microbial cells where PHA granules are released.
  • The final polymer in the form of a powder may be processed into granules for various production purposes, and is 100% biodegradable in nature.

The company also uses oil as a source of energy, reducing its consumption and making biopolymer significantly more affordable. Energy consumption is 50% less than for the production of conventional polyethylene (PE).

Main results

The final biopolymer (P3HB) has a purity higher than 99 % and a high molecular weight. Additives are used for stabilization and each blend is unique allowing for a wide range of final products. Hydal P3HB is successfully used for replacing microbeads in cosmetic products, and has passed the test for 3D printing filament.

The environmental aspects of the technology have been analyzed with the help of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).