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Issue 04/2019

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Biocomposites
  • Biodegradable
  • Carbon
  • Germany
  • Properties
Highlights: Blowmoulding Composites Basics: Home Composting Cover Story: Cove PHA Bottles

Biocomposites

Biocomposites Biocomposites – lessons learned and new opportunities The global market for bioplastics and biocomposites has very impressive predicted growth rates over the coming decade – mainly based on the increasing demand for sustainable products, stronger policy support and the continuous efforts of the bioplastics industry to engineer innovative materials. Scion has developed thermoplastic and thermoset biocomposites over the last 15 years. These composites based on biobased fillers in compostable/biodegradable bioplastics have grown in popularity due to benefits such as: • Reinforcement • Reducing weight (lightweighting) • Reducing overall cost • Improving recyclability • Optimising disintegration/biodegradation rates • Utilising of side and waste streams Producing biocomposites - Challenges Compounding biobased fillers into bioplastics can be difficult. The inherent moisture present in the fillers can cause processing problems. During the development of Woodforce (http://www.woodforce.com/) – an engineered wood fibre used to produce biocomposites – Scion applied twin-screw extrusion modelling to optimise extrusion conditions to properly disperse fibres but minimise thermal and mechanical damages to the fibres. The experience and knowledge gained through processing wood fibres on laband commercial-scale has enabled the use of a wide array of biobased materials, including sander dust, kiwifruit hair and skin, seashells, grape marc, bark and casein. Recent examples • Local feedstocks for local manufacturing The advantages of 3D printing and the strengths of New Zealand’s bioeconomy are a successful combination for (a) raising awareness about reducing plastic consumption by making bespoke pieces rather than mass-produced items and (b) adding value to industry by-products. The Imagin Plastics wood-filled filament is a consumer product used for Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) 3D printing. It is made of Ingeo polylactic acid and wood waste from local mills to promotes the environmental need to shift towards a sustainable bioeconomy. • Kiwifruit hair Sourcing local feedstock to prepare materials and products with a ‘circular and regional story” can also be a catalyst to solve existing industry waste problems. The New Zealand kiwifruit industry collects about 400 tonnes of kiwifruit hair as waste every season. It is hydrophobic, micron-size and extremely difficult to compost. However, these features make it appealing for biocomposite applications. The hair collected in the dust extraction cyclones of kiwifruit packhouses is a fine dust that can be used as filler in 3D printing filament or injection moulded articles. Kiwifruit hair-based 3D printing filament has successfully been produced by Imagin Plastics, and Scion has trialled the material in injection moulded compostable products. 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/19] Vol. 14

Biocomposites By: Dawn A. Smith, Marie Joo Le Guen and Marc Gaugler Scion Rotorua,New Zealand • Integrated biorefinery The above examples illustrate how local feedstocks can be used as filler with established biopolymers, but ultimately, Scion aims for integrated biorefineries that utilise all of their product streams. For example - the hemicellulose and cellulose in wood waste can be converted to sugars and fermented to polyhydroxyalkanotes (PHA) using microbes. The lignin-rich residue can then be used as filler in these PHAs [1] - leading to biocomposites that utilize of the whole feedstock Following Circular New Plastics Economy - producing biocomposites from biowaste not only pushes the perceived boundaries for the traditional plastics but also the vision for biocomposites and is a desirable way forward. References [1] Vaidya, A. A.; Collet, C.; Gaugler, M.; Lloyd-Jones, G., Integrating softwood biorefinery lignin into polyhydroxybutyrate composites and application in 3D printing. Materials Today Communications 2019, 19, 286-296. www.scionresearch.com COMPOSITES EUROPE 14th European Trade Fair & Forum for Composites, Technology and Applications WE CONNECT – MATERIALS AND EXPERTS NEW: ICC Conference in parallel to the trade fair! GET YOUR TICKET NOW 10 – 12 September 2019 Messe Stuttgart, Germany www.composites-europe.com/bm Partners bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/19] Vol. 14 29

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