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Apr 17, 2023

New catalysts for the production of superior PHB

Life Sciences, Chemical Process

  • Biocompatible and biodegradable plastic with superior material properties compared to bacterial PHB
  • Cost-effective production via ring opening polymerization of ß‐butyrolactone
  • Thermomechanical properties similar to petrochemical PP, material suitable for melt processing

Your contact

Dr. Rebecca Kohler

+49 (0) 89 5480177 - 33
Reference Number:


Poly(3‐hydroxybutyrate) is a biocompatible and biodegradable thermoplastic polyester that can be produced from renewable starting materials. However, pure isotactic PHB produced by fermentation processes has a very limited application potential since it is very brittle and difficult to process. Improved material characteristics similar to those of well-established petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene are essential for competitiveness of PHB bioplastics.


The inventive PHB is, in comparison to bacterial PHB, favorably characterized by a high ductility and a lowered meltingpoint enabling melt processing. It is clear and colorless, so that attractive optics can be achieved including transparency and light or bright colors after dyeing. The inventive PHB also lends itself to chemical recycling into the monomers, enabling circular polymer economy approaches. Based on its properties and cost-effectiveness the inventive PHB is ideal for packaging solutions and as a substitute for e.g. polyolefins in various applications.

Commercial Opportunities

Cost-effective, biocompatible and biodegradable PHB plastic, especially suited for packaging for e.g. food or medical single-use items. The inventive PHB is transparent and colourless and can be stained in bright colours.

Development Status

Technology Readiness Level 4


Interested? Get in touch!

Contact a specific team member via the Team section or simply use our contact form for your request.

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