The Plastics Technology Centre, AIMPLAS is currently working on developing bioplastics that are suitable for active cosmetics packaging made from trees and shrubs, within the EU-funded BeonNAT Project.
The BeonNAT Project fosters the creation of value chains to make use of trees and shrubs that grow on marginal land as a biomass source for bio-industries. The project scope covers the 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.
AIMPLAS will specifically produce PLA from lactic acid, derived from fermentable sugars in plant biomass waste and used as a bioplastic to make packaging for cosmetics. According to each of their different active properties, such as antimicrobial power, essential oils will be added to this packaging.
AIMPLAS is therefore collaborating with Laboratorios Maverick to produce packaging, and with IDOASIS as a supplier of active substances in a value chain that includes CIEMAT, ATB and IPB.
Taking advantage of underused biomass to create innovative products with a suitable chemical composition in accordance with strict ecological requirements is one the main goals of the project. Additionally, uses of marginal and unused land are 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. Initially, work will 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 maximising performance and ensuring sustainability is a priority at all stages.
The project consortium is made up of the following 16 companies and centres from seven countries: The Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT) from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation is coordinating the project. Besides AIMPLAS, the other project participants are Fundación Centro de Servicios y Promoción Forestal y de su Industria de Castilla y León, Consorzio per la Ricerca e la Dimostrazione sulle Energie Rinnovabili, Leibniz Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie (ATB), Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg, Universitatea Ștefan cel Mare din Suceava, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança (IPB), Laboratorios Maverick, Tolsa, Contactica, Idoasis 2002, El Jarpil, Envirohemp, NNFCC Limited and the Asociación para la Certificación Española Forestal.