mcl-PHAs: Eco-Friendly Elastic Polymers


Did you know that tire abrasion and washing of synthetic textiles are main contributors to microplastic pollution in the environment? There is an urgent need for bio-based and fully biodegradable alternatives. However, some features have been challenging to replace, such as the elasticity of some plastics. Discover how acib has found a solution that can also help combat climate change …


Medium-chain length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs) are very special biopolymers and not at all brittle like the common polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), but elastic and flexible. Due to their chain structure and molecular arrangement mcl-PHA is able to withstand bending and stretching, while featuring tensile strength and durability. mcl-PHA is a natural polymer, fully biodegradable and compostable. Thus, it offers a sustainable alternative in areas where elasticity is crucial. It could replace non-biodegradable elastane aka spandex/lycra in clothing, it could replace latex or nitrile disposable gloves, it could be used for tires to avoid microplastic tire abrasion and in could be used in many other applications from elastic adhesives, coatings, sealants, bandages, filaments for 3D-printing, etc.


acib has developed a technology to produce such mcl-PHAs from CO2 with a highly automated lab process, allowing to valorize CO2 -rich off- gases for the most sustainable bioplastics. mcl-PHAs produced in that way are UV-stable, able to withstand higher temperatures, show good resistance to moisture and are – of course – flexibly elastic!


acib offers an exclusive opportunity to develop mcl-PHAs based biopolymers featuring characteristics required for your planned purpose(s). We offer to scale up mcl-PHA production from our lab-scale gas fermentation process to a pilot/demo plant, ensuring a seamless transition to industrial-scale production. Intellectual property (IP) generated during the collaboration can transferred to you, our investor/industrial partner. acib has 30+ years of experience and has worked successfully with >250 industry partners. By collaborating with acib, you can be the first to enter the market with highly sustainable and biodegradable mcl-PHAs-derived products!


Dr. Regina Kratzer, Dr. Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin, Prof. Dr. Gregor Trimmel

Development status:

TRL 3 (experimental proof-of-concept) for mcl-PHAs
TRL 4 (technology validated in lab) for PHB (and PHBHV) production from CO2


Biopolymer, Biodegradable, Natural Elastomer, Circular Economy, Sustainability
Bild: acib

Dr. Martin U. Trinker
Director Business Development & Fundraising
Krenngasse 37
8010 Graz
+43 316 873 9316