AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, held its sixth International Seminar on Biopolymers and Sustainable Composites, on 1 – 2 March 2017 in Valencia, with more than 170 professionals presenting developments and discussing challenges on producing biodegradable plastics from renewable sources.
On the first day, participants looked at different innovations in raw materials from renewable sources, such as castor-oil, sugar cane, corn, and milk whey, used in demanding applications such as resins to make recyclable skis, snowboards or kitesurf boards, to be used in sectors such as cars and building, requiring high performance specs for the materials.
The meeting reported progress in the use of biopolymers in the food packaging sector, with developments in this field such as heat-resistant packages for ready-to-eat food or packages for fresh food with a high barrier to extend their shelf life. The conference served sustainable coffee, using bioplastics for capsules, spoons, cups and chocolate packaging.
Seminar at AIMPLAS on sustainable composites
The second day started with a review of current standards regulating the use of biopolymers in industry, with a space for biotechnology and production of biopolymers from natural processes, such as fermentation or microorganisms.
The seminar finished with a table of speakers discussing success stories and the most recent industrial applications. BASF showed new biodegradable coffee capsules developed for Cafés Novell, and Renault showed its circular economy policies and the role that biocomposites play. New developments of biopolymers for 3D printing were also launched, as well as cords for the agriculture sector and nets for the fishing sector, thanks to API Institute. AIMPLAS also presented the results of the project OSIRYS, focusing on biocomposites for façades and partitions to improve the air quality.