AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is working on developing bioplastics for active packaging for cosmetics and absorbent litter for the pet industry within the European BeonNAT Project. These are just two of the innovative products that will be developed within the framework of the project, which fosters the creation of value chains to make use of trees and shrubs grown on marginal land as a biomass source for bio-industries.
The project scope covers cultivation and harvesting of selected species, extraction and purification of essential oils and plant extracts, and manufacture of paper, biochar, activated carbon, bioplastics packaging for cosmetics, lignocellulosic materials, new absorbents for pets, paper pulp and particle board.
Specifically, as part of the project, AIMPLAS will produce polylactic acid (PLA) from lactic acid, which will be obtained from fermentable sugars in plant biomass waste and used as a bioplastic to make packaging for cosmetics. One of the main goals of this project is to generate innovative products with a suitable chemical composition from underused biomass in accordance with strict ecological requirements.
How marginal and unused land can be put to use is also being studied, as well as the capacity of selected species to grow on this land. The biochemical and ecological features of harvested biomass and its potential as a raw material in industrial processes are also analysed as part of the project.
A key part of this project includes analysing the processes involved. Work will first be done at pilot scale while industrial scale-up is studied that allows for increased productivity and a reduction of associated costs, with the overall goal of maximizing performance and ensuring sustainability is a priority at all stages.
The BeonNAT project consortium is made up of 16 companies and centres from seven countries. It is funded by the Circular Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) (grant agreement no. 887917), which is supported by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Union and the Bio-Based Industries Consortium.