Vietnamese student converts catfish fat to bioplastics

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In Vietnam, a student at Hanoi University of Education has successfully isolated bacteria that can convert catfish fat into polyhydroxyalkanoates.

Vu Thị Mai Anh finished first in the food technology category at Euréka 2017, a contest organized by the HCM City Youth Union. Unlike oil-based plastics, her PHA disintegrates in the environment.

Anh studied microorganisms in soil to identify the correct species.  “I had to analyze strains’ biological characteristics and culture them in the environment with catfish fat, so that the strains use and convert the fish fat into PHA,” she says.

Dr Doan Van Thuoc, vice dean of biology of the Hanoi University of Education says that while the research can open up “new prospects in manufacturing environmentally friendly bioplastics in Vietnam,” the author needs further research and partnerships with enterprises for industrial production.