It is inspired by age-old natural processes.
It produces universally usable biopolymer from waste cooking oil,
which degrades in nature at the end of its life cycle.
New biotechnology was born from the collaboration of Czech scientists.
Hydal technology as the first in the world on the industrial scale uses toxic waste - used cooking oil to produce biodegradable and biocompatible polymer PHA. Waste cooking oil is a surplus on the global scale. It is “consumed” by special bacteria that transform oil into biopolymer, which is used as a reservoir of energy for worse times (if bacteria do not need all biopolymer, it serves as feed for other microorganisms.) The bacteria we use are part of the ecosystem for millions of years.
The final product of Hydal biotechnology is PHB biopolymer, which might be used as bioplastics feedstock, and it is 100% biodegradable in nature.
The biopolymer might be utilised in various areas. One option is to replace synthetic plastics or microplastics (e.g. in the cosmetics industry) with biopolymer, which significantly contributes to the reduction of plastic pollution on the Earth.
Bioplastics manufactured by this technology are significantly more affordable than other bioplastics made from the first generation feedstock, such as corn, potatoes or sugar cane (in addition, the manufacturing requires supplies of external energy, which increases the final price).
In the case of Hydal technology, waste cooking oil can also be used as an energy source supporting the production energy independence.
The efficiency of the process is underlined by the three times higher calorific value of the oil compared to sugar.
Hydal technology is fully automated. Thus, it is not dependent on the variable cost of human power.
RISING GLOBAL DEMAND
Biopolymers and bioplastics pose a rapidly developing segment.
Biopolymer PHB is, as mentioned above, fully biodegradable in soil, water and seas. It is also biocompatible - it is part of the human body.
Biopolymer is a material of the future due to its properties. It may serve as:
• a replacement for microplastics for new products – e.g. 3D printing;
• a substitute for synthetic plastics whether biodegradability is desired.
Hydal is a technology for upcycling. New oil is not recycled from the waste oil, but a completely different product is made - biopolymer.
COLLABORATION OF CZECH SCIENTISTS
The team of Professor Ivana Márová from the Technical University in Brno stands behind the main idea of the new technology. At the Technical University in Brno the first patent was created and became the base for its further development. In 2012, NAFIGATE Corporation, a.s. purchased the license for the patent. The company also implemented the phase of the technology transition from the laboratory to the industrial scale. NAFIGATE Corporation, a.s. also cooperates with the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences in Prague, the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, the Research Institute of Chemical Technology in Šala and other institutions.
HYDAL TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY EVOLVING FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS
Within the period of development, comprehensive know-how * and first two pilot production lines for the upstream and downstream processes have been established. The two pilot production lines represent a workplace where optimization and finalization of the production know-how, including manufacturing processes, occurs.
The key part of the technological and manufacturing know-how was created in the processes of experimental and applied research that NAFIGATE has been implementing since 2012. Since 2013, the pilot production line for the upstream process has been located in the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. The pilot production line for the downstream process has been at the Research Institute of Chemical Technology in Slovak Shale since 2015.
Hydal know-how Hydal includes:
• PHB production by microbiological fermentation of edible fats and oils,
• method of polymer isolation from microbial biomass with a purity of over 99%,
• receipts of polymer with additives for the plastic products production by conventional technologies.
THE CLOSEST FUTURE
In 2018, NAFIGATE Corporation, a. s., made a contract agreement with the Czech company BOCHEMIE a.s.* for the construction of the first factory for Hydal in the Czech Republic. The factory will be able to produce up to 1000 tons of material.
Together with BOCHEMIE a.s. we also submitted a project application on financing development and production of chemical specialties under the APPLICATION program financed by OPPIK (Operational Program Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness). The project is supposed to run between 2018-2020 with a budget of 3 million euros.
*Bochemie a. s. is one of the strongest Central European producers of branded products of chemical specialties, disinfectants, and detergents.
WE HAVE RECEIVED SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL AWARDS
In 2015, Hydal technology was the first Czech technology, which received the prestigious American Frost and Sullivan Award for Best Innovation. The biotechnology has been also recognized in China, where it was ranked among the TOP 10 products. It has also succeeded in the European Union, where it has won two prizes of the Seal of Excellence Award Horizon 2020. In 2018 it reached the third place in the prestigious Czech competition SGDs awards for achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in the Czech Republic, and in April of the same year, the Czech Business Council for Sustainable Development recognized Hydal as the best industrial project.