Development of new Competitive and Sustainable Bio-Based Plastics
The objective of NEWPACK is to validate in industrial setting the production of at least two new bio-plastics based on PHB/PLA blends with improved sustainability performance, obtained by the addition of natural extracts with antioxidant/antibacterial properties and nano additives from cellulose and chitin.
A new circular economy value chain will be generated from agro-food wastes that will be exploited for the production of PHB, while designing and validating the process up to pilot scale.
- Blending of PLA and PHB will be validated at pilot scale to achieve specific final product requirements based on targeted products.
- New bioplastic properties and functionalities will be achieved through incorporation of nano-cellulose or nano-chitin additives (to improve typical problems of processability and mechanical properties of PLA-PHB), antioxidant and antimicrobial additives. The ability to extend the functionalities will be validated in real industrial environments.
NEWPACK activities are underpinned by the prior experience and results (already validated at TRL 3-4) of the partners in order to achieve advanced TRLs (5-6) for the developed technologies, including:
- PHB production from potato peels/sweet corn residues;
- Co-blending of PHB with PLA;
- Nano-cellulose extraction from wheat straw and incorporation into PHB-PLA blends
- And encapsulation of natural antioxidants/antimicrobials for addition to PHB-PLA.
Great emphasis will be on:
- Assessing the technical and economic feasibility of the processes;
- Demonstrating the biodegradability of solutions;
- Ensuring the compliance to the market and regulatory requirements;
- LCA evaluation;
- Preparing for future scale-up of the processes to achieve a preindustrial production and identification of stakeholders perceptions, attitudes and expectations towards bioplastics.
ACTIVITIES of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant
Optimization and demonstration of:
- Production of fermentable sugars from agro-food industry co-products potato peels and sweet corn residues
- Production of biopolymer PHB from above sugars using more sustainable “green” downstream purification process
- Pilot scale production of nano-additives from chitin and wheat straw
This project is funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 792261.