Production of bioplastic through food waste valorization

Yiu Fai Tsang, Vanish Kumar, Pallabi Samadar, Yi Yang, Jechan Lee, Yong Sik Ok, Hocheol Song, Ki Hyun Kim, Eilhann E. Kwon, Young Jae Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

303 Citations (Scopus)


The tremendous amount of food waste from diverse sources is an environmental burden if disposed of inappropriately. Thus, implementation of a biorefinery platform for food waste is an ideal option to pursue (e.g., production of value-added products while reducing the volume of waste). The adoption of such a process is expected to reduce the production cost of biodegradable plastics (e.g., compared to conventional routes of production using overpriced pure substrates (e.g., glucose)). This review focuses on current technologies for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from food waste. Technical details were also described to offer clear insights into diverse pretreatments for preparation of raw materials for the actual production of bioplastic (from food wastes). In this respect, particular attention was paid to fermentation technologies based on pure and mixed cultures. A clear description on the chemical modification of starch, cellulose, chitin, and caprolactone is also provided with a number of case studies (covering PHA-based products) along with a discussion on the prospects of food waste valorization approaches and their economic/technical viability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-644
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
KHK acknowledges support made in part by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (Grant No: 2016R1E1A1A01940995 ). YFT acknowledges support made in part by grants from the Research Cluster Fund ( RG50/2017-2018R ) and the Dean's Research Fund ( DRF/SFRS-8 and DSRAF-6 SP1 ) of The Education University of Hong Kong .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors


  • Bioplastic
  • Biopolymer
  • Biorefinery
  • Food waste
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
  • Valorization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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