Project's information

Project's title Research and evaluation of some raw materials in Vietnam for the production of bioplastics
Project’s code TĐNSH0.00/20-21
Research hosting institution Institute of Chemistry
Project leader’s name Dr. Dao Hai Yen
Project duration 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021
Project’s budget 7,000 million VND
Classify Excellent
Goal and objectives of the project

- Select suitable raw materials for bioplastic production in Vietnam
- Isolate highly active microorganisms to synthesize PHAs/PHB bioplastics from natural materials.
- Develop process and trial production of bioplastic PHAs/PHB

Main results

- Conducted a complete process to find, evaluate, and make pilot run of bioplastics from bacteria and biodegradable bio-composites reinforced with natural fiber obtained from available low-cost biomass in Vietnam. The main results of the study are as follows:
- Conducting preliminary assessment, searching for cheap, available, and not yet effectively used sources of agricultural by-products to comprehensively analyze the chemical composition, physical and mechanical properties of the materials, with the aim to find potential natural resources for the production of cellulose/nanocellulose and other valuable products.
- Developing pre-treatment processes that can be flexibly applied to biomass objects with different chemical properties and compositions, and can achieve the best economic efficiency and technical properties of the output product.
- Developing a technological process to produce cellulose/nanocellulose from agricultural by-products, mastering the technology, and ensuring the feasibility of large-scale deployment.
- Developing a process for manufacturing bio-composites based on PHA matrix  and cellulose/nano-cellulose reinforcement by hot-melt extrusion processing methods, oriented to be applicable on an industrial scale.
- Initially researched and introduced the production technology of natural fiber reinforced composites with a fiber reinforcement ratio of up to 20%, using safe and cheap fillers such as calcium carbonate powder, and high safety biological plasticizer acetylbutylcitrate (ATBC). Finished composite resin has low production cost, good improvement in mechanical and physical properties such as hardness and impact strength, increased thermal stability, expanded processing ability, and especially being completely biodegradable.
- Successfully isolated and selected to search for microorganisms which are capable of synthesizing bioplastics from forests, mangroves and hot springs in Vietnam. Studied, evaluated for plastic biosynthetic ability of potential microorganisms. Analyzed physico-chemical characteristics of each plastic product made from selected strains.
- Regarding potential strains, selected the best one based on criteria such as good growth and development, adaptability to various substrate sources, and high resin accumulation ability. Researched producing PHA resin at the scale of 70L/batch.
- Developed a close plastic production process at the scale of 70L in the following steps:
- Using enzyme technology to turn agricultural by-products into valuable sugar sources, turn the by-products of slaughter processing, tofu production into a nitrogen/carbon source for resin growth and accumulation of selected bacterial strains.
- Researching, optimizing, and selecting a two-stage resin fermentation and biosynthesis process to suit these conditions and criteria: the largest amount of biomass obtained, the highest percentage of accumulated resin, the optimum used amount of nutrients, the optimum time and operating costs for the entire process.
- Optimizing the process of extraction, recovery and purification of PHA resin products recovered from microbial biomass to ensure flexibility in application to numerous microorganisms, to meet the criteria of high resin recovery rate, high extraction efficiency, and economically acceptable cost of chemicals, materials and equipment. The results showed the potential for extended applied research on a larger scale.
- Developed a process to evaluate the biodegradability of bioplastics, thereby applying to evaluate the bioplastic products in this study.

Novelty and actuality and scientific meaningfulness of the results

- Developed a technological process to extract cellulose and lignin from raw materials - agricultural waste, with extraction efficiency of over 80%. Mastered the technology, had ability to transfer it to units in need. This technological process is simple and effective, contributing to improving agricultural production efficiency;
- Developed a production process of products from lignin and cellulose: biodegradable plastic PHA (polymer composites with cellulose as the core material). The technological processes are simple, easy to implement. These results have suggested new research directions on materials: Eco-friendly materials, contributing to promoting the application of research scientific and technological products into life;
- Successfully built a process to produce PHA bioplastic from low value by-products by fermentation method using microorganisms. Plastic products are characterized, application-oriented to make composites, biofilms, and bio-degradable containers.

Products of the project

- Biodegradable plastic bags: 01 kg
- Cellulose/nanocellulose material with 95% purity: 1kg
- PHB bioplastic from microbial biomass: 300 g
- PHB plastic composite (finished tray form): 1.8kg
- Specification of cellulose/lignocellulose materials: 01
- Specification of PHAs: 01
- Specification of PHB: 01
- Production process of PHAs/PHB by fermentation technique at pilot scale 70 L/batch
- Process for refining cellulose/lignocellulose from raw materials
- Process of assessing the biodegradability of bioplastics in Vietnam
- High PHAs/PHB accumulating microbial strains: 04 strains
International research papers (SCI-E)
Tuyet Phung Thi Anh, Toan Viet Nguyen, Phuong Thi Hoang, Phuong Vu Thi, Thoa Nguyen Kim , Quyen Nguyen Van, Chien Nguyen Van  and Yen Dao Hai. Dragon Fruit Foliage: An Agricultural Cellulosic Source to Extract Cellulose Nanomaterials. Molecules, 2021, 26,7701. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247701
Hoang Thi Phuong, Nguyen Kim Thoa, Phung Thi Anh Tuyet, Quyen Nguyen Van and Yen Dao Hai, Cellulose Nanomaterials as a Future, Sustainable and Renewable Material. Crystals, 2022,12,106. https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12010106
National research papers
Kim Thoa Nguyen, Thi Hong Nhung Lai, Thi Da Nguyen, Thi Huyen La, Hai Yen Dao, Polyhydroxybutyrate Accumulation of Bacillus sp. Strains usung waterhyacinth hydrolysate as carbon source. Academia Journal of Biology, ISSN 2615-9023. 2022, 44, 3.
Nguyen Kim Thoa, Phung Thi Anh Tuyet, Nguyen Viet Toan, Quan Cam Thuy, Dao Hai Yen, Isolation and characterization of nanocellulose from waterhyacinth. Tạp chí Phân tích Hóa, Lý và Sinh học 2022, tập 27, số 1.
Quản Cẩm Thúy, Nguyễn Viết Toan, Phùng Thị Ánh Tuyết, Đào Hải Yến. Tối ưu quy trình tinh sạch cellulose từ thân chuối, Tạp chí Phân tích Hóa, Lý và Sinh học 2022, tập 27, số 2.

Images of project
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