Recycling of pharmaceutical blister waste

63 / 5.000

Empty blister packs of medicines.

acib developed a biotechnological based technology for the recycling of waste pharmaceutical blisters. Aluminium and plastic can be recovered by applying the concept of green chemistry.


Around 85% of solid drugs in Europe are sold in pharmaceutical blisters (PBs). PBs are designed to protect the drugs from environmental influences such as moisture and light. On the other hand, their design, consisting of different layers of plastic (mostly PVC) and aluminium prevents an effective material recycling. Therefore, post-consumer management of PBs is becoming increasingly important. Until now, PBs have not been collected, resulting in their disposal into residual waste followed by waste incineration which means a loss of potential secondary resources such as polymers and aluminium.


acib uses extremely acid tolerant, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria to generate biogenic sulfuric acid from elemental sulphur waste in a biological and sustainable way. The biogenic acid is used to selectively dissolve aluminium from PBs under milder conditions compared to commercial sulfuric acid, leading to the separation of plastics and aluminium. Furthermore, green solvents might additionally be applied and tested in the separation. Aluminium can afterwards be recovered as aluminium hydroxide and PVC can be re-granulated and re-used. In this way, both materials can be recovered, preventing their incineration and serving as a source for secondary resources.

Project Offer

Under protection of a CDA/NDA we provide you with professional strategies for recycling of pharmaceutical waste according to your needs. IP developed in such a project would fully belong to our investor/industrial partner.


Dr. Klemens Kremser, Dr. Georg Gübitz

Available for:

Joint Research Project, Contract Research, Horizon Europe Projects

Development status:

Status of the project proposal – Technology Readiness Level 2


multilayer waste, green chemistry, secondary resources, biogenic acid, sulfur oxidation

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