THE beworm PROJECT

Since 1950, humans have produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Instead of recycling or reusing it, we thought it would be a good idea to litter in the environment. Well, we all know where that's headed. But nature came up with its own solution: In the last years research has documented over 90 different organisms, microorganisms and biomolecules that are able to break down long-chain polymers. 

beworm uses these bioagents to develop a biotic/biocatalytic recycling process, that decomposes oil-based plastics like polyethylene and closes the gap in the material cycle. In our first experiments we worked with waxworms, but the real magic is done by microorganisms and enzymes in their digestive system. That's why we are working on the isolation and optimization of PE-cleaving bioagents, aiming to develop a scalable, efficient and ressource-saving process

BUT HOW DOES IT WORK?

The outcome of

the process are 
components 
of 
polyethylene 

Microorganisms

like fungi and bacteria

produce enzymes that can break up these long chains

The enzymes act on polyethylene as their substrate and degrade the material

Those components could be used for new petrochemical products or plastic 
materials

Polyethylene is a polymer
composed of 

long hydrocarbon chains 
 

GREAT! SO I CAN LITTER WHEREVER I WANT?

NO!

GPGP.png

HOW BIG IS THE PROBLEM?

Well, very big. This is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, one out of five trash islands floating around our the oceans. And yes, that's it's real size. 

UNITED STATES

1.600.000 km²

MEXICO

MILESTONES

2020

2021

2022

Big Goal

beworm starts its start-up journey! 
The team moves into the 
TUM Entrepreneurship Center and achieves a first Proof-of-Concept

 beworm gets a second lab at the Innovation and Technology Center FACIT  and is scaling up the experiments
to achieve a

Demo-Process

In 2022 beworm
aims 
to raise a first financing round 
to hire full time
bioneers and 

accalerate the 

development
 

BIOTIC

RECYCLING

SYSTEM

THE BIONEERS

Eleonore Eisath

MSc. Industrial Design

Management, Design

Stefan Szalay

MSc. Biology
& Dipl. Ing. Electrical Engineering and IT

Experimentation, Prototyping

Erick Pano
MSc. BioNanotechnology
Research, Management

Verena Wolfarth
BSc. Biology

MSc. Biology (Student)

Research, Experimentation

 

OUR PARTNERS

XPLORE

THINK.

MAKE.

START.

TUM

ID

YOU?

Bio.Kitchen

Chair of
Microbiology
Prof. Liebl

FACIT
Innovation and 

Technology
Labs

WOMEN

STARTUP!

CURRENT LAB WORK

Our main goal is to find out which bioagents are the most efficient for a PE-degradation process by experimenting with different organisms, bacteria and enzymes.

              Check out our lab

BENEFITS 

The beworm-project is ambitious, as it enters unknown terrain. Only a few teams worldwide are working on biotic and biocatalytic recycling systems. But we think that it could really make a difference, because it: 

SAVES 
RESOURCES
CHANGES
PERSPECTIVES
RECYCLES
POLYETHYLENE
 

BECOME A BIONEER

With your help, we could start a global wormolution!
No matter if you are a scientist, industry expert or ecolover - we always looking for strong partners in the fight against plastic pollution.  Reach out to us using
info@beworm.org and become a bioneer now!

BUILD YOUR OWN INCUBATOR IN...

5 EASY STEPS!

You will only need a few simple things that you will find in the stores of your city to start your own worm farm!
Take good care of your worms and they will stun you with awesome results!

JOIN US!

Are you interested in collaborating? Or just curious? Leave a message to get in touch! 
We are constantly updating our website, so we would be happy to hear your opinion. Score us here!
 
links
supported by

Chair of Microbiology
Technical University of Munich

 

FACIT - Innovation Labs 

Technical University of Munich

Bio.Kitchen

UnternehmerTUM

Munich School of BioEngineering 

Technical University of Munich

Chair of Industrial Design

Technical University of Munich

Institute of Hydrochemistry

Technical University of Munich

 

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