Read on
PHA is well-known as a biodegradable, bio-based substitute for fossil plastics. But this biopolymer, which occurs naturally in the cells of bacteria, can also be used as a raw material for the production of exogenous ketones: pharmaceutical substances that can help treat diseases or improve sports performance.
Editorial office / Groningen

This is stated by Erik Keller, researcher in green chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in a recent article in Agro&Chemie. Keller is involved in the Circular Biopolymer Value Chains project of BERNN, a partnership of colleges in the Northern Netherlands and the University of Groningen. The project is mainly focused on the development of new bioplastics. As a sideline, the Research Centre Biobased Economy of Hanze UAS is now also investigating the pharmaceutical application of PHAs. They can help to induce a state of ketosis, in which the human body burns fat in the absence of carbohydrates.

In health and fitness circles, this state is induced, for example, to lose weight. However, there is also evidence that ketosis has positive effects for patients suffering from epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. It means that a whole new value chain for PHAs may emerge.

Read the full article in Agro&Chemistry.

Image: dotshock/Shutterstock