Pushing the boundaries to transform CO2 into biodegradable plastics

Line Rold Tousgaard

Your Contact

Contact me

Indtast venligst et validt navn
Or your phone number
Thank you for your message
Vi beklager

På grund af en teknisk fejl kan din henvendelse desværre ikke modtages i øjeblikket. Du er velkommen til at skrive en mail til Send e-mail eller ringe til +45 72 20 23 89.

Plastproduktion - CO2

Pushing the boundaries to transform CO2 into biodegradable plastics

Press release published 2nd April 2024.

A new collaboration, UC-DC, between industry and academia aims at converting waste CO2 into biodegradable plastic by gas fermentation, where bacteria transform CO2 into a feedstock for commodity chemicals used in plastic production.

- We envision a future where CO2 is transformed from a harmful greenhouse gas into an inexhaustible raw material for producing materials that our society relies upon, in this case plastics. Furthermore, we want to make sure that the solutions are feasible and implementable, says Project Manager Line Rold Tousgaard from Danish Technological Institute.

The UC-DC project (Utilization of Carbon for Decarbonization) is a collaboration between Danish Technological Institute, Pond, Again, and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain).

Bacteria convert CO2 into useful acid

Today, the world relies on fossil-based feedstocks to produce vital chemicals for plastic production.  But before long, various plastic-based products might be produced directly from CO2. That is the potential outcome of the project UC-DC, which is developing a new biotechnological process to utilize CO2 developed at Again:

– Our gas fermentation process converts CO2 and hydrogen into acetic acid in a one-step carbon capture and utilization process. By combining millennia-old bacteria with cutting edge biotechnology, this paves the way for novel CO2 derived building blocks that are currently produced from fossil feedstocks. We are excited to be part of an ambitious partnership where our technology plays an integral part in a promising future value chain, says Torbjørn Ølshøj Jensen, Co-founder at Again.

Biodegradable plastics from CO2

Danish Technological Institute (DTI) will demonstrate the use of acetic acid by converting it to a chemical building block for plastic production. Finally, the company Pond will turn this building block into biodegradable polymers for use in a broad range of applications such as horticulture, packaging and textiles.

– We aim at demonstrating that it is possible to produce high performing polymer pellets that come from waste carbon feedstocks, in particular CO2. Not only will this be an interesting innovation in itself, but it will also be a promising alternative to building blocks derived from plant material, says Thomas Brorsen Pedersen, CEO at Pond.

A new fossil-free CCU value chain

By recycling CO2 captured from thin air or a CO2-emitting industry, the solution developed in the UC-DC project is playing a vital part in creating new supply chains for utilization of CO2, or CCU.

As part of the ambition to establish a new fossil-free value chain for the production of plastics from CO2, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) will evaluate and quantify the true potential of a scaled-up operation by diving into the environmental and socio-economic aspects of the products and perform life cycle assessments, societal impact assessments, market and supply chain analyses.

– By identifying the potential barriers across this new value chain, we can focus on how to overcome them and demonstrate a feasible way from source to product. Collaboration along the value chain while being able to evaluate the work-in-progress is the real strength of this partnership, says Line Rold Tousgaard.

The UC-DC project (Utilization of Carbon for Decarbonization) has a budget of EUR 1.4 million, of which EUR 900,000 is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The project is part of INNO-CCUS.


CCUS, or Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, encompasses technologies that captures CO2 and either recycles or stores it. In this case, CO2 is recycled into biodegradable plastic, which is a big step forward in the fight against climate change and plastic pollution.

Denmark has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 70 % compared to 1990, 3.2 Mton CO2/year by is expected to originate from CCUS technologies.

Contact person

Press inquiries

Senior Communications Manager René Wad Andersen, Danish Technological Institute, mail rea@dti.dk, phone +45 72 20 14 74.

Professional inquiries

Project Manager Line Rold Tousgaard, Danish Technological Institute, mail: lrto@dti.dk, phone +45 72 20 23 89


Danish Technological Institute
Danish Technological Institute (DTI) is a self-owned not-for-profit organization with over 1000 specialists in numerous scientific disciplines and fields. DTI's purpose is to strengthen Danish business facing future technological and business challenges. Contact person: Line Rold Tousgaard, PhD, Project Manager, Danish Technological Institute, www.dti.dk.

Again is a Danish climate tech company founded in 2021, with offices in Copenhagen and Berlin and an international team of 30 people. The company was spun out of the Danish Technical University in 2021 to turn a decade of research into industrial applications and is now introducing its technology on a global scale. Contact person: Viviënne Mol, Project Manager.

Pond is a biobased chemical company located in Denmark. Pond's mission is to replace fossil-based plastic with bio-produced and biodegradable plastic. Contact person: Thomas Brorsen Pedersen.

Technical University of Denmark, DTU
Sustainable innovation Office at the DTU Biosustain exists to guide innovation by understanding, quantifying and maximizing the broader set of environmental, economic and societal performance indicators of bio-based technologies. This multi-disciplinary research unit is responsible for assessing impacts of emerging microbial technologies and supply chains to improve the current state of chemicals, foods and natural products, while simultaneously enhancing the socio-economic and environmental performance. Contact person: Sumesh Sukumara, PhD, Senior Researcher and Group Leader, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark.