Arapaha: Circular goods made out of advanced bio-based materials

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Holland Circular Hotspot

Arapaha finds new ways to use advanced bio-based composites and new technologies to make goods in line with circular principles. One example is the Identity 560 desk lamp: every single part of it is either recyclable or biodegradable.

One of the main materials in the lamp is polylactic acid. Polylactic acid (PLA) is considered to be one of the most promising alternatives to oil-derived plastics. It is bio-based, safe enough to be used as food packaging, can be processed like existing thermoplastics into coloured or transparent material and currently it is manufactured from renewable resources such as maize and sugarcane. In future, other crops such as sweet sorghum and even bio-waste with high sugar or starch content could be used.

The interesting thing about it is that PLA molecules come in two versions: PLLA and PDLA  - also known as left and right versions. By combining both types of molecules, it is possible to adjust material performance to prioritise tailored strength, heat resistance or various other qualities.

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Main results
  • The material and technology applied in this project will also be used for sports goods such as paddles, kayaks and surfboards
  • Identity 560 desk lamp is fully recyclable: it can be recycled into the initial molecules and the material recovered used to make a new generation of products without any loss in material performance.