bioplastic from wheat straw
FERMAX and AIMPLAS have developed a bioplastic made entirely from wheat straw and that can be used for electronics and appliances.
A bacterium that is fed with sugars derived from wheat straw produces the innovative plastic , while the cellulose fibers from the same residue are the key to providing the necessary rigidity of the material for application in electronics and appliances.
Wheat straw is an agroindustrial residue, but thanks to this project, it gets more value and is able to reduce significantly the cost of manufacturing a biodegradable plastic.
AIMPLAS is developing for the firs time a biodegradable plastic produced entirely from wheat straw and with the properties required for use in the manufacture of white goods industry and home electronics. He does as coordinator of the European project BUGWORKERS, that lasts 48 months and involves 15 European partners.
The residue that has been chosen to conduct investigations is wheat straw for its low cost and high availability, especially in central Europe. Thus is achieved giving a high value to a residue in BUGWORKERS constitutes 100% of input raw material for the production of a biodegradable plastic.
Cellulose nanofibers as reinforcement
The preparation of this bioplastic starts with of a bacteria that feeds on sugars extracted from wheat straw and produces this innovative synthesized material (inside its body converts sugar into the bioplastic). Just get agricultural residue extracted nanomaterials (such as cellulose nanofibers lasnanopartículas lignin) that are the key additive to improve the properties of the material and making it usable in sectors such as electronics and appliances manufacturing range white.
So far, BUGWORKERS partners have achieved good results efficiency in process and now they are going into an industrial scale. These results allow longer talk about costs and competitive properties. "We need high performance in bioplastic synthesis process using bacteria to speak of a competitive product at cost, and are getting very positive results in this regard," says Ana Espert, technical coordinator in AIMPLAS project.
Note: translated from original in Spanish