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Issue 03/2020

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  • Additives
  • Masterbatches
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  • Biodegradable
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  • Plastics
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Additives/Masterbatches Marine Littering

2020

2020 The Bioplastics Award will be presented during the 15th European Bioplastics Conference December 01-02, 2020, Vienna, Austria PRESENTS THE FIFTEENTH ANNUAL GLOBAL AWARD FOR DEVELOPERS, MANUFACTURERS AND USERS OF BIOBASED AND/OR BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS. Call for proposals Enter your own product, service or development, or nominate your favourite example from another organisation Please let us know until August 31 st 1. What the product, service or development is and does 2. Why you think this product, service or development should win an award 3. What your (or the proposed) company or organisation does Your entry should not exceed 500 words (approx. 1 page) and may also be supported with photographs, samples, marketing brochures and/or technical documentation (cannot be sent back). The 5 nominees must be prepared to provide a 30 second videoclip and come to Vienna on Dec. 01. More details and an entry form can be downloaded from www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/award supported by 42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15

From Science & Research Added-value biobased products from municipal solid waste Organic fraction of municipal solid waste: a potential source of chemicals and biobased products On 4 March 2020, AIMPLAS (Valencia, Spain) presented the PERCAL project within the framework of the 7 th International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites held in Paterna (Valencia), Spain. During the event, Miguel Ángel Valera (senior researcher at AIMPLAS) explained how the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) can be recovered in the form of high added-value biobased chemicals and products of great interest for different industrial sectors. In Europe (EU-28), close to 250 million tonnes of MSW are generated every year (490 kg per inhabitant per year) [1]. About 30 % of MSW is currently recycled, 23 % is landfilled, 17 % is composted and 28 % is incinerated. Considering that the organic fraction accounts for 40-50 % of MSW by weight, about 100 million tonnes of OFMSW is generated in Europe per year. Therefore, in addition to composting as a recovery approach (43 million tonnes/year), there is a good opportunity for recovering high added-value chemicals and bioproducts from the OFMSW, thus helping reduce the impact of the MSW on the environment by reducing the share of landfilling and incineration. The OFMSW, which mainly consists of food, kitchen and biodegradable garden and park waste, is a resource rich in carbohydrates (e.g. cellulose, hemicellulose, starch, pectins), proteins, lipids and other nutrients. In the PERCAL project, the OFMSW is recovered using a cascade approach. The carbohydrates are first converted into fermentable sugars by means of enzymatic hydrolysis and then used as feedstock for microbial conversion into intermediate chemicals of great interest to industry, such as lactic acid, succinic acid and ethanol. In subsequent stages, these chemicals are converted into different bioproducts: bioethyl lactate for cleaning products and inks, lactide-based hot-melt adhesives (HMAs) for cardboard, biopolyester polyols for the polyurethane industry, and biosurfactants for cleaning products by upgrading the lipid and protein fraction from fermentation residues. One of the PERCAL research lines AIMPLAS is working on involves developing lactic-acid-based hot-melt adhesives for closing the flaps on cardboard boxes in packaging with the aim of providing the industry with completely biodegradable solutions. The first step in the value chain for HMA production is waste pretreatment to eliminate inert materials and reduce waste particle size to ensure that OFMSW recovery is cost effective. The process is carried out by the company IMECAL (Valencia, Spain) at pilot scale and is followed by enzymatic hydrolysis of the carbohydrates present in the OFMSW, with yields of 87 %, thus achieving concentrations in the hydrolysate of up to 70-80 g/L glucose. The glucose-rich OFMSW hydrolysate is then used as feedstock for biological production of lactic acid. This process, developed and optimized by ATB, achieves a conversion rate of 89 % of sugars into L-lactic acid with optical purity of the L-isomer above 90 %. The lactic acid obtained is converted into lactide by AIMPLAS via oligomerization and dimerization of lactic acid, and is finally polymerized into low molecular weight PLA and PLA copolymers by reactive extrusion. The PLA and copolymers are finally modified to improve their adhesive properties by using reactive extrusion to graft them with maleic anhydride, a process developed with YPAREX (Enschede/Geleen, The Netherlands), and/ or by adding tackifiers to obtain HMAs suitable for closing cardboard boxes. The adhesion of PERCAL HMAs to cardboard was assessed in cooperation with HAYAT (Istanbul, Turkey) by tensile lap-shear test (based on ISO 4587). Two carboard pieces were glued together using a hot melt gun and overlapped. After conditioning, the test specimens were subject to a tensile test, as shown in the following pictures. The PERCAL biobased HMAs showed good adhesion to different carboard types, as reflected in the pictures, where all test specimens broke out of the glued area during the tests. The good adhesion performance of the PERCAL HMAs was confirmed in the last formulations, which showed tensile lap-shear strength values up to 35 % higher compared with standard petrol-based EVA HMAs used in carboard applications. PERCAL is coordinated by IMECAL (Spain) and the consortium members are AIMPLAS (Plastics Technology Centre in Spain), CENER (Spain), AUA (Greece), ATB and COVESTRO (Germany), CMET (Belgium), TBW (Austria), IRIS (Spain), HAYAT (Turkey), YPAREX (Netherlands) and INEUVO (United Kingdom). PERCAL has been funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 745828. AIMPLAS is participating in this project and carrying out research on this topic to meet its commitment to environmental sustainability. As a result, companies in the sector will be able to integrate circular economy criteria into their business models and turn the legislative changes that affect them into opportunities to improve bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15 43

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