Award for work in the field of PHB bioplastics

PhD student Aneta Pospíšilová from the Institute of Chemistry of FCH VUT materials won 3rd place in the competition Make Our Planet Great Again for environmental and climate research, organized by the Embassy of France in the Czech Republic together with BNP Paribas. This award aims to reward the work of Czech students in the field of climate change, the environment and sustainable development.

Her dissertation topic of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate, its isolation from bacteria and its use as a substitute for common plastics is what won the expert jury over. The thesis was composed by Aneta Pospíšilová in a bioplastic’s laboratory under the direction of Radek Přikryl.   

Handmade illustration on the topic of the thesis. Author: Aneta Pospíšilová

“A large team is working on the research of PHB bioplastics at out faculty. I mainly deal with the isolation of polymer from biomass, and I’m also finding ways to use it on an industrial scale, which then can be utilized by the Nafigate company, with which we have been cooperating for a long time” said Aneta Pospíšilová. One of the many uses can be for example in decorative cosmetics, which are full of microplastics and a degradable replacement would be very desirable here.

Eye shadow prototype containing PHB. Author: Aneta Pospíšilová

Participation in the competition included a detailed written presentation of the dissertation and then a presentation in English to the jury, followed by a live discussion about the many questions this topic raises.

More about the Make Our Planet Great Again competition

The isolation of PHB from biomass. Author: Aneta Pospíšilová

PHB after melting and cooling. Desired result on the left; samples with colored impurities; sample with unsuitable material properties. Author: Aneta Pospíšilová