CARBIOLICE: a successful collaboration

CARBIOS, an innovative Green Chemistry company specialized in enzymatic bioprocesses applied to plastic and textile polymers, announced the 1st of September, 2016, the operational launch of the joint venture CARBIOLICE between CARBIOS, Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients (LCI) and BpiFrance (SPI).
The process licensed to CARBIOLICE consists of the incorporation of enzymes at the heart of the plastic material to ensure its biodegradation. After use, enzymes degrade the plastic into base-molecules that can be assimilated by the micro-organisms of the environment. Biodegradation is complete within a few months (compared to 200 to 400 years for an ordinary plastic).

CARBIOLICE is the example of a successful research and development collaboration between private and public structures.

The teams of the Laboratory of Biological Systems and Process Engineering (Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Systèmes Biologiques et des Procédés – LISBP) and the CRT/CRITT Bio-industries (INSA Toulouse, France) contributed greatly to innovation at the heart of this enzymatic process, within the framework of the CARBIOS flagship project, Thanaplast.

Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer of CARBIOS, Professor of INSA Toulouse on secondment, says, “I’m proud of this incredible challenge, in particular for access to an enzyme capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and active within a plastic matrix. This success is the result of a multidisciplinary approach from LISBP (enzymatic engineering) and CARBIOS (plastics processing).

At the interface of CARBIOS and the public research teams, Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) managed the Thanaplast contract, signed with INRA, co-financed by Bpifrance. TWB manages all issues related to intellectual property as well as the human resources recruited specifically for the project. TWB also hosts part of the Tanaplast team and offers its technological equipment.

Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of CARBIOS, says, “The INRA/TWB/LISBP/CRITT Bio-industries/CARBIOS collaboration is exemplary as a public/private partnership. We are confident in the expertise of the teams involved and I am sure that this first success will not be the last, especially in the field of plastic bottles biorecycling.”

The first strategic market targeted by CARBIOLICE is plastic bags and soft packaging for which the estimated global consumption reached 500 000 billion to 1 000 000 billion units in 2012, representing 15 to 20 million tons.

The other strategic market targeted is the mulching films, a market estimated at 2 million tons in 2013 and with an average growth valued at 10% in Europe on the segment of biodegradable films.

These markets are the subject of multiple regulations in France with the Energy Transition and Green Growth Law, as well as in Europe with the “Circular Economy” Package adopted by the EU Commission. The new positioning and consumers’ changing expectations will enable CARBIOLICE to gain a strong hold on the markets of bio-sourced and biodegradable plastics.

Contact: Alain Marty – Chief Scientific Officer of CARBIOS –