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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 can thus be blended in polymer matrixes to get high quality biocomposites. But several treatment steps are often needed prior being able to mix such fillers with plastics. The nature, size, or moisture content of the waste / by-product will indeed lead to necessity of drying, grinding and/or sieving operations before incorporating the material in polymers through extrusion compounding. Environmental impact and new design possibilities The resulting innovative materials may also present an environmental benefit owing to the recovery of waste material into new materials, which allows the companies to work in a circular economy: the generation of waste material or by-products shall be used for manufacturing a product usable for the company. From 2015 to 2018, NaturePlast participated to the COPROPLAST project (funded by the Normandy region and FEDER) with the partnership of AGRIAL agricultural cooperative. A life cycle assessment (LCA) has been carried out during the project in order to determine the improvement of the environmental impact of the biocomposite compared to existing solutions. The impact reduction on fossil energy use and climate change criteria with respect to standard polymers is up to 60 %. These biocomposites also provide highly atypical designs which cannot be reproduced simply by colouring. The differentiation for the consumer is thus immediate after seeing the developed product unlike the other bioplastic raw materials which look a lot like conventional plastics. They offer the possibility to play with textures, effects, particle size, mechanical behaviour and even smell. Biocomposite may also be coloured with standard or natural pigment. From lab to industrial scale Until now, by-products have been processed at lab scale in NaturePlast’s R&D Center, where they are going through the preparation steps: drying, grinding, micronization and sieving. More than 70 different by-products have been tested and hundreds of formulations developed since 2015. The diversity of the markets addressed (packaging, cosmetic, luxury, sports and leisure, transport, etc.) with these biocomposites shows the wide interest of plastic industry in alternatives to 100 % fossil-based solutions. In order to support the growth of the demand from industrials and end-users, NaturePlast has decided in 2020 to invest in industrial grinding, micronization and sieving equipment for waste / by-products treatment. Supported once again by the Normandy Region and FEDER within ALGRIPLAST project (2019-2022), this investment will allow to prepare by-products to be used on standard plastic processing equipment especially through a narrow particle size selection. Treatment capacity will be from some dozens to hundreds of kilograms per hour depending on waste nature and processing conditions. Combined with its compounding production line, NaturePlast is now fully integrated for the production of Biocomposites. Figure 3 : WOW! PHA production process Primary sedimentation tank Secondary sedimentation tank Activated sludge tank Primary sludge Industrial sewage Excess sludge Acidification PHA Enrichment Biomass Accumulation PHA Extraction Pilot Bioplastic: UNIKL: lab-and pilot-scale Compounding AVANS: Natureplast lab-scale PHA-processing PHA demonstration plate 26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/20] Vol. 15

3D printing success story Francofil is a French company located in Normandy and specialized in the production of technical filaments for the 3D printing sector. On top of the development of PLA filaments, Francofil has recently expanded its portfolio with biocomposites containing by-products like seashells, coffee grounds, wheat or even cocoa. Using by-products is a way to promote a circular economy by giving a new life to these waste but also to bring a special aesthetic to the end-products with new effects and textures. The 3D printing field is growing fast today and more and more sectors (medical, transport, construction, etc.) use this process to prototype or produce. Linked to this development, a French TV channel (France 3), has thus recently dedicated a report to the recovery of by-products in 3D printing. This project is a new opportunity to put forward the possibility of use of different by-products for NaturePlast and its partners. These developments demonstrate the capacity of by-products and waste to be recovered in the industry by making innovative solutions available to the plastic industry. COMPEO Leading compounding technology for heat- and shear-sensitive plastics www.natureplast.eu Figure 5 : Cork based compounds Uniquely efficient. Incredibly versatile. Amazingly flexible. With its new COMPEO Kneader series, BUSS continues to offer continuous compounding solutions that set the standard for heat- and shear-sensitive applications, in all industries, including for biopolymers. • Moderate, uniform shear rates • Extremely low temperature profile • Efficient injection of liquid components • Precise temperature control • High filler loadings www.busscorp.com Figure 6 : Oyster based compounds bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/20] Vol. 15 27

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