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Issue 06/2020

  • Text
  • Renewable
  • Biodegradable
  • Films
  • Carbon
  • Biobased
  • Products
  • Packaging
  • Materials
  • Plastics
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Films / Flexibles Bioplastics from waste-streams Basics: Eutrophication

Bioplastics from Waste

Bioplastics from Waste streams Waste as raw material How to use waste in the plastic industry? Up to 138 million tonnes of bio-waste are generated in Europe each year and in many countries the majority is incinerated or sent to landfill. In addition to being harmful to the environment, it also has a huge economical cost. There are a lot of organic resources in waste water and organic waste that could be used for the production of biobased products for several industries. Many projects notably at European level have thus been created to promote a circular economy and the recovery of valuable materials in waste. Since 2017, NaturePlast (Ifs, France) has been involved in different European collaborative projects (WOW! funded by INTERREG NEW; URBIOFIN funded by the European commission (H2020 BBI-2016-D06) and Deep Purple also funded by the European commission (H2020 BBI.2018.SO1. D2)) aiming to recover these resources. The goals of these three projects is to transform bio-waste (sewage, organic municipal solid waste, etc.) into bio-products (biobased plastics, bioethanol, cellulose, chemicals, etc.). Despite having the same goal, these projects do not have exactly the same approach. The WOW! Project aims to adapt waste water treatment plants so that they can produce valuable materials instead of only treating sewage. Urbiofin and Deep Purple have the objective to build a biorefinery: in one case the treatment of mixed urban waste streams will be made by a purple-phototrophic bacterium and in the other case the biorefinery will transform the organic fraction of municipal solid waste into biobased products also by fermentation but with the use of other bacteria. The processes in development are divided into several modules in order to produce different biobased products. In WOW!, for example, pilot plant will be dedicated to the recovery of cellulose as material for the production of bio oil, activated biochar and acetic acid, another one to lipids as a material for the production of biofuel and a last one to biobased plastics. In Deep purple, a multi-platform will be implemented: on the same site, enriched biomass, biogas and cellulose will be obtained in order to be processed in ectoine, bio-fertilizer, bio-packaging and self-repairing construction materials. In Urbiofin, three modules will be explored: one for the production of bioethanol, one for biogas and finally one for short and medium chain fatty acids. This will lead to the manufacturing of bio-ethylene, biobased fertilizers and biobased plastics respectively. One of the bioproducts that will be produced in all three projects that NaturePlast is a part of, is PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate). Figure 1 : Deep Purple process PROCESS OFMSW WASTE WATER Cellulosic Material Hydrolysis Water Water Anaerobic Digestion PPB Photo - biorefinery Separation Biogas Enriched Biomass PHA Extraction CNFs Fermentation Ectoine BIO-COSMETICS BIO-FERTILIZER Slow release bio-fertilizer (encapsulated with PHA + cellulose composite) BIO-PACKAGING Bio-based packaging film & bio-polyester CONSTRUCTION Self-repairing construction material 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/20] Vol. 15

Bioplastics from Waste streams By: Guillaume Lebouteiller Technical and Collaborative Projects Manager NaturePlast SAS Ifs, France Today, most PHAs are produced from corn starch, vegetable oils or sugars (sugar cane or sugar beet), sources of biomass that could be seen as in competition with food. So, to use resources from waste could be a solution to have less impact on the environment: no competition with food and less production of raw materials. To produce PHA, bacteria present in the sewage or solid organic waste are fed so that they accumulate PHA that will be later extracted and then purified. The PHA produced in these projects will be used for different applications: cosmetic packaging, agricultural films, and plastic bags. NaturePlast is the leader of R&D operations for the formulation and compound production based on the PHAs produced in these projects. Thanks to its expertise and dedicated equipment, NaturePlast will process and characterize the PHAs obtained from urban waste to meet the desired properties of the end-products selected. Each of these projects aims to demonstrate the technoeconomic and environmental viability of the conversion of waste streams into valuable bioproducts. In top of the technical and economic aspects, they will work on the legislation as well as on the social impacts. Basically the projects will work on the whole value-chains: from the waste streams to the end-products. Waste and by-products as fillers Since 2015 NaturePlast has also been developing and producing a range of Biocomposites consisting of compounds of bioplastics and renewable fillers such as vegetal fibres or by-products / waste from different industries. A by-product is an intentional and inevitable material created during the production of the main product. For the manufacturers, the recovery of waste and by-products is a major environmental and economic growing issue. These by-products and the vegetal fibres mainly come from the French territory but the concept may be duplicated where needed. The objective is thus to incorporate by-products or local waste materials in different polymers to study the feasibility of a circular economy and recovery of waste material. By-products and waste are selected according to their industrial viability, in terms of volumes, quality and mostly the maturity of the whole value-chain. These by-products are today mainly sourced from agrifood industries or agricultural activities. Seashells, algae, shells, kernels, cereal grains, coffee grounds as well as different vegetal fibres (wood, flax, hemp, miscanthus, etc.) Figure 2: URBIOFIN modules bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/20] Vol. 15 25

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