CHINA – Suzhou Cleanet has signed an agreement to utilize Czech technology that can convert waste frying oil into PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) biopolymer, which can then be used to produce biodegradable food packaging.
The Czech Hyda biotechnology from Nafigate Corporation was developed by a team led by assistant professor Ivana Marova at Brno University of Technology (BUT) in Brno, Czech Republic.
For Suzhou Cleanet, which specializes in the collection and processing of used kitchen oil in several parts of China, this technology will help the company effectively manage the huge amount of waste it collects and gain useful monetary benefits.
"We have just entered a phase of pilot line constructing and at the same time building of the first large factory," said Ladislav Mares, Chairman of the Board of Nafigate Corporation, while at the same time declining to reveal revenues details of both the agreement and from the future projected sale of bioplastics.
However, Suzhou Daily has reported that the joint venture, once completed, will produce 15,000 metric tons of PHA with RMB 520 million (US$85.7 million) in output value annually. One ton of waste oil can yield 0.6 ton of PHA.
The local newspaper also noted that while China has already been utilizing waste oil to produce fuel, the PHA method can bring in an additional RMB 12,000 (about US$2,000) in revenue for each ton of waste oil.
"The Chinese party has a great interest in biotechnology because we offer a solution to one of China's major problems," said Mares.
"The Chinese market has a huge surplus of used frying oil. It is a waste product, so Hydal biotechnology can achieve significant economic operation. Its biggest advantage is that, unlike competitors‘ solutions, it does not require input from the food chain – it does not consume corn or sugar, which is then missing in the balance of food supplies, " he added.
Ladislav Mares - Chairman of NAFIGATE Corporation and Song Xiuhui - President of Suzhou Cleanet at the agreement signing ceremony.