Project manager: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maus-Friedrichs / Dr. Georgia Sourkouni

Funding period: 01/2020 – 12/2023
Funding agency: EU (Horizon 2020)
Funding reference number: 870292

Researcher: -

Laboratories: CZM

The Bio Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastics (BioICEP) consortium is a pan
European-Chinese collaborative formed to reduce the burden of plastic waste in the
environment. The countries have been selected to represent different mixed plastic
pollution environments, with specific partners selected which have the expertise and
facilities to carry out the necessary technical innovations. Three innovative booster
technologies are at the core of this solution accentuating, expediting, and augmenting
plastics degradation to levels far in excess of those current achievable. Our approach is a
triple-action depolymerisation system where plastic waste will be broken down in three
consecutive processes: 1) mechano-biochemical disintegration processes, to reduce the
polymer molecular weight (MW) of the base polymer to make it amenable to
biodegradation; 2) biocatalytic digestion, with enzymes enhanced through a range of
innovative techniques including accelerated screening through novel fluorescent sensor and
directed evolution; and 3) microbial consortia developed from best in class single microbial
strains, which combined leads to highly efficient degradation of mixed plastic waste streams.
The outputs from this degradation process will be used as building blocks for new polymers
or other bioproducts to enable a new plastic waste-based circular economy. The BioICEP
technology has the potential to lead to dramatic financial savings on the overall social and
environmental pollution plastic pollution costs.
The task of the TU Clausthal is to activate the plastic surfaces for the microorganisms and to
develop the required processes. The materials are thoroughly characterized before and after
treatment regarding their surface properties.
The activation of the surface takes place by means of sonochemical and mechanochemical


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