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Issue 02/2019

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Packaging
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Biodegradable
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Compostable
Highlights: Thermoforming Building & Construction Basics: Biobased Packaging

Building & Construction

Building & Construction Biocomposite made from sunflowers With the scientific expertise of the ENSIACET laboratory (Toulouse, France), Studio Thomas Vailly (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) investigated for Atelier Luma (Arles, France), the potential of sunflower leftovers to create novel applications. Focusing on the transformation of biobased matter, this project explores the potential of sunflower residues to create new applications and prototypes embedded in sustainable, innovative production systems. Such potential applications include for instance, panels for architectural designs (Fig. 1) Sunflowers are commonly farmed to produce oil, seeds or biofuel. After pressing the oil out, a part can be used as animal feed – the presscake - but most of the crop remains unused. The stalk’s foamy structure, the strong fibre of the bark or the flower’s dark brown proteins are left behind. These agro-wastes can be valuable resources to produce novel biomaterials. Based on scientific papers [1, 2, 3] a system of bio-materials using exclusively sunflower by-products has been investigated and designed. No petroleum based binder, no toxic varnish, all the necessary ingredients are extracted from the sunflower crop. The presscake – the remain of sunflower seed after the oil has been extracted - is turned into a waterbased glue and heat pressed into a thin and flexible film resembling leather (Fig. 2). Traditionnaly, only the flower head is harvested in late summer. However, the stalk of the plant can also be used. Harvested a month after the flower head, the bark–fibers can be separeted from the structural foamy marrow. The bark’s fibers are heat pressed into hardboard while the marrow is shaped into an aggregate, a natural alternative to polystyrene. These different bio-materials can be coated with a Sunflower varnish to enhance their resistance to water. The glue extracted from the seeds is the perfect adhesive to assemble these different materials. The Sunflower crop offers a unique range of bio-based and bio-degradable material. Entering the realm of bioplastics, a vast number of applications of what was previously considered waste becomes possible: from a tiny bolt to a large insulation panel, from a bio-board to a smartphone case. MT [1] Marechal, V. ; Rigal, L., 1999. Characterization of by-products of sunflower culture - commercial applications for stalks and heads. Industrial Crops and Products, 10 (3): 185-200 [2] Evon, Philippe & Vandenbossche, Virginie & Pontalier, Pierre-Yves & Rigal, Luc. (2014). New thermal insulation fiberboards from cake generated during biorefinery of sunflower whole plant in a twin-screw extruder. Industrial Crops and Products. 52. 354-362. 10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.10.049. [3] Rouilly, Antoine & Mériaux, Alexandra & Geneau-Sbartaï, Céline & Silvestre, Françoise & Rigal, Luc. (2006). Film extrusion of sunflower protein isolate. Polymer Engineering and Science. 46. 10.1002/pen.20634. Fig 1 : Architectural design possibilities (Photo : Studio Thomas Vailly, Atelier Luma) Fig 2. : Sunflower protein leather (Photo: atelierLUMA-Victor Picon) Info: Concept & design by studio Thomas Vailly Project management by Atelier Luma In collaboration with the INRA/INP-ENSIACET laboratory. Made possible with the generous funding from the Luma Foundation and Stimuleringsfonds creative industrie 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14

Materials First plant-based pouches with BOPEF film Resulting from an application demonstration project with various collaboration partners, Avantium’s business unit Synvina (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has produced the first plant-based pouches using its biaxially oriented polyethylene furanoate (BOPEF) film. Avantium has jointly developed BOPEF film together with Toyobo (Headquartered in Osaka, Japan). The pouches consist of a two-layer laminate of a BOPEF layer and a plant-based polyethylene (PE) sealing layer. The BOPEF-pouches differentiate from many other plant-based pouches by their exceptional fit with the current practice for BOPET printing and pouch conversion, while offering over 10 times higher O 2 barrier. BOPEF/PE’s inherent oxygen permeability of about 10 cm³/m 2·day·atm fits well with oxygen-sensitive products such as cheese & dairy, dry snacks, sauces and cosmetics, which today employ more complex multilayer structures like PVDCcoated BOPET or EVOH-containing sealant film. Besides the reduced complexity, BOPEF/PE pouches offer excellent toughness and clarity, and are suitable for dry and liquid products. Over 50 billion stand-up pouches are sold every year, with an expected CAGR of 5.6 %. Circular economy remains an important goal of the packaging industry, although in comparison to rigid packaging an effective post-consumer economy for flexible packaging is still in an early stage. Multilayer structures required for highly sensitive products are particularly challenging to recycle. End-of-life solutions for the mid-barrier BOPET/PE segment are under development and based on the chemical similarity between PEF and PET such solutions may well be applied to highbarrier BOPEF/PE film structures. Therefore, BOPEF/PE pouches are coming at the right time. Avantium (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) produces FDCA and PEF based on the proprietary YXY technology in its pilot plant in Geleen (NL) since 2011, which after its expansion in 2016 is operated by its business unit Synvina. Avantium furthermore pilots technologies for plant-based ethylene glycol and 2G industrial sugars, which can also be used for PEF in addition to wider market uses. The pouches are an example of the versatility of PEF for additional applications to bottles, including higher-value applications. In the process of demonstrating its YXY technology for a first commercial plant, Avantium and Synvina are increasing its efforts in finding additional customers and partners. The pouches in this work were made using BOPEF jointly developed with Toyobo and a commercial 55 % plant-based PE sealant film formulation, though higher plant-based contents are feasible based on commercial plant-based -PE availability. Ongoing development focuses on broader applicability of BOPEF as well as metallization and transparent (AlOx/SiOx) vapor coating to obtain higher barriers than incumbent vapor coated films. As such, BOPEF could enter into many more flexible film segments and expand the market with simplified structures. | Table – Typical properties of BOPET and BOPEF film By: Jesper van Berkel Technical Application Manager Avantium, BU Synvina Amsterdam, The Netherlands Biaxially Oriented film BOPET BOPEF Gauge (μm) 12 16 12 16 Strength (MPa) 230 260 Break elongation (%) 100 47 Oxygen transmission (cm³/ 120 90 11 9 Moisture transmission (g/ 50 38 15 11 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14 23

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