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This short-chain PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) is a biodegradable and non-toxic plastic created through a fermentation process. In a bioreactor, microbes consume the methane generated as part of the wastewater treatment process or other discharged organic materials. Through short-chain fatty acids from solid biomass, yeast is added to the acids and used to convert and lengthen the short-chain PHA into longer ones. Cryptococcus curvatus and the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida are the yeast organisms used within the process.
This material is highly useful in manufacturing a wide range of products. PHA readily biodegrades in nature, consumes greenhouse gases while being manufactured, and is made during the waste treatment process, making it an optimal plastic solution for a circular economy.