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Marie-Claire Catherine

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Qualifications

Biological sciences Msc at Polytech Clermont Ferrand, France
Environmental engineering Msc at Cranfield University

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linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/marie-claire-catherine-2378aa76/?locale=en_US

Research

Bioplastics From C1 Gases – Substitute Sustainable Products For Biopolymer Coated Steel

Tata steel, one of the world largest steel manufacturer, produces more than 6 million of tons of CO2 per year. A significant part of it comes from blast furnaces, which melt different materials together and partly eliminate contaminants. Blast furnace gases (BFG) are essentially composed of Nitrogen (50%), CO (25%) and CO2 (25%), all having negative effects on the environment. Therefore, there is a need to recycle these gases into sustainable products to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Tata Steel uses coating to protect steel against corrosion. Coating forms a barrier which will be degraded before the steel underneath. As their current coating is derived from petroleum, like most of the coatings on the market, a biodegradable product with similar properties would also contribute to limit the environmental impact of steel industry. Petroleum is a fossil carbon source with limited availability and hence a constantly rising cost. Moreover, petroleum products have a very slow degradation rate which causes problems for their disposal. Therefore, biodegradable polymers created from industrial by-products would be an interesting alternative.

Tata Steel has already built a pilot plant able to convert blast furnace gases into acetate. It is then proposed to use glycogen accumulative microorganisms (GAOs), which are bacteria found in wastewater treatment plant, to produce a mix of biopolymers called Polyhydroxyalkoanoate (PHA). With acetate as sole carbon source and by varying the culture conditions, different mix of PHA would be produced.

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