150 million tons of petrochemical plastics are produced yearly from crude oil [1.1]. About 9% of these is recycled, 12% is incinerated (leading to toxic emissions of gases and ashes), and 79% is sent to a landfill, where plastics needs 50 and more years to decompose with number of intermediate compounds polluting environment [1.2]. Replacement of petrochemical plastics can be done with biopolymers, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA),with additional advantage of being easily biodegradable.
Unfortunately, an online system for continuous monitoring of VFA does not exist, what makes controlling biopolymer production from waste streams problematic.
In this project, we want to validate an innovative idea and produce first in the world online system for real-time VFA analysis, which will solve operational problems of biopolymer-producing systems. Our idea is based on application of a known technique, which thanks to recent technological developments seems to be feasible for this purpose as indicated by preliminary tests.
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