HOOP Study Visit to Prague: From Used Cooking Oils to microbioplastics

The HOOP Lighthouse Albano Laziale organises a Study Visit to Prague on 1 December 2023. The aim is to discover the potentiality of the valorisation of used cooking oils (UCOs).

As part of the PDA route for the Albano Laziale Lighthouse, the visit to the NAFIGATE biotechnological and chemical plant is of considerable importance in light of the innovative biotechnological technologies proposed. In particular, the fruitful dialogue initiated within the PDA on the technology for the fermentation of used cooking oils (UCOs) has attracted the interest of key stakeholders at regional and national levels for the implementation the novel value chain to produce P3HB (a biocompatible and biodegradable PHA) from UCOs for cosmetics applications.

The technology of interest exploits used oils as a rich source of carbon for bacteria, which use them in their metabolism to synthesise P3HB, a completely biodegradable, non-toxic and biocompatible polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). This material finds application in sectors such as cosmetics, biomedicine, packaging, agriculture and 3D printing. A crucial point is that bacteria can produce up to 0.70 kg of PHA from 1 kg of UCO, underlining the exceptional efficiency of this technology.

Furthermore, implementing UCO valorisation technology does not require starting selective oil harvesting from scratch, simplifying the process. The environmental implications of this technology are highly significant. First of all, it results in the production of a product with high added value, well above what is possible with biofuels, in a constantly growing market sector. This also contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuel-based polymers and virgin plastic, encouraging the adoption of used cooking oils which, when disposed of inappropriately, pose a threat to the environment.

The visit to the IMIC facility/NAFIGATE will provide a deeper understanding of this UCO fermentation technology and explore investment opportunities within the biotechnology space. It will be a unique opportunity for participants to see this innovative technology in action and discuss the related environmental and financial benefits. More information about the technology is available here.


10:00Welcome at the Microbiological Institute
10:00 – 11:00Guided tour of the pilot plant and presentation of UCO technology by Nafigate experts
11:00 – 11:30Question and answer session to clarify technical details.
11:30 – 12:30Discussion on the financial and logistical aspects of the investment.
12:30 – 13:00CONOE and COSIR representatives will be able to share their expectations and needs
13:00 – 13:30Discussion of next steps and planning of future actions on “development of Business Model”: on 12 December (from 10 to 13) + 13 December in Rome (by the participation of HOOP partner: DRAXIS and RdA) – hosted in CONOE or ANCI Lazio.
13:30 – 13:45Preparations for participation in dissemination events in Lazio Region in Spring 2024.
13:45 – 14:00Summary of the meeting and conclusions with bullet points for the next steps

The meeting will end with a summary of the study visit and conclusions with bullet points of the next steps.

Cover of costs for HOOP Network members

Cities and Regions that are part of the HOOP Network and interested in taking part in this study visit can get in contact with Serena Lisai ( to express their interest by 20 November. The project can cover the costs related to transportation, hotel, and meal for one person per organisation.