'New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications'

High performance eco-green solution for food packaging based on compostable bio-plastic.

The Italian research team is active in the field of material science. Particularly, the research activities concern polymer technology and chemical process engineering.

The aim of the bio-based materials applied to the field of packaging is the reduction of the environmental impact while ensuring product competitiveness. Nevertheless, some drawbacks influence biopolymers during their production stages and subsequently affect biopolymers-based product life and end-life. For this reason, bio-plastics performance is rather low, making bio-plastics not completely suitable for functional packaging. In order to overcome this limitation, an engineering of compostable poly lactic acid (PLA) and related bio-plastics (e.g. Polybutylene succinate (PBS), polybutylene succinate adipate (PBSA), polycaprolactone (PCL)) formulations, are proposed.
The proposed PLA is easily adaptable to the preexisting processing technology, such as extrusion, injection and compression molding. In addition, the proposed PLA ensures high technical properties (e.g. high thermo-mechanical resistance and barrier properties), safety performance (e.g. absence of dangerous release) and environmental sustainability (e.g. total compostability).
For all these reasons, the proposed technology is an effective eco-green solution for food packaging. The proposed PLA can be used as substitute of other
omega replicas prevailing packaging systems (e.g. polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or aluminum). The proposed PLA is especially suitable for producing food containers with high barrier properties and thermo-mechanical resistance, such as: compostable cans, pots or vessels with improved chemical resistance to salty, acidic/basic and oily liquids, self-standing PLA coffee capsules.

The scope of the technical cooperation agreement is the design and the development of large-scale production of engineered PLA-based packaging products. An industrial partner, that can ensure appropriate economic and technical efforts for adapting the pre-existing processes to the production of the formulated PLA, could pursue this goal. In addition the partner sought is expected to ensure the availability of testing apparatus for checking the mechanical, thermal and chemical performances of the formulated PLA products in their final application conditions (e.g. test of machinability of filled PLA coffee capsule under coffee brewing).

The technical cooperation agreement could be also aimed at extending such innovative process of technological industrial transfer of PLA bio-plastics, to other bio-plastic materials that derive from renewable resources and are already present on the market.

» Reference: TOIT20161220001/ITALY

» Sector: Ciencias de la vida

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This project has received funding from the European Unionís Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration