10 años Energylab


NamePOLBIO. Characterization and evaluation of the (bio) degradation process of biodegradable polymers. Environmental implications, ecotoxicological effect and valorization.
Stard DateDecember 2022
End DateNovember 2024
LeaderUniversity of Vigo
Financing entitiesStrategic Projects Oriented to the Ecological Transition and the Digital Transition» 2021. This content is part of the R+D+i project with the grant TED2021-131278B-C22, which is financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCIN), the State Research Agency (AEI) 10.13039/501100011033, and by the European Union Next GenerationEU and the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR).


The general objective of the POLBIO project is to characterise and evaluate different biodegradation processes of bioplastics (mainly PLA and PHB), and conventional synthetic polymers such as polypropylene (PP) to increase existing knowledge about the physicochemical characteristics of the process, the potential toxic effect of the materials and the impact they may cause in terrestrial and aquatic environments, being present in the form of microplastics.

In addition, it is intended to determine which are the most appropriate conditions for the degradation of these plastics at an industrial level, in waste treatment plants that include aerobic or anaerobic processes.

EnergyLab's Tasks

EnergyLab will perform the following tasks:

  • Test, Physicochemical characterisation of the two bioplastics to be studied, PHA and PLA, as well as a plastic of synthetic origin, depending on the parameters of anaerobic digestion and, additionally, because the organic fraction of municipal waste (OFMW) will be present in the brown container next to the bioplastics, this will also be characterised as a co-substrate.
  • Detailed and updated bibliographic review of the anaerobic digestion of OFMW with bioplastics.
  • Biogas production potential and biodegradability tests in discontinuous mode (batch) both with the waste alone (bioplastics and OFMW) and with some mixtures. Different operating temperatures will be evaluated.
  • Monitoring of the physical processes that may occur on bioplastics during the anaerobic digestion process and in the long term.
  • Tests in two identical continuous mixing reactors or CSTR, which will allow obtaining results that can be extrapolated to what could happen in an anaerobic digester on an industrial scale.