The use of bio-based materials from biological sources (e.g. plants) as sustainable alternatives to fossil-based counterparts is growing in various industries such as packaging, transport and consumer goods.
Plants are an important bio-based feedstock and one of the main “factories” for technical materials.
Nanomaterials describe, in principle, materials of which a single unit is small in size (in at least one dimension) – between 1 and 100 nm.
Nanomaterials research takes a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology, leveraging advances in materials metrology and synthesis which have been developed in support of microfabrication research. Materials with structure at the nanoscale have unique optical, electronic, thermo-physical or mechanical properties.
Four pilot lines are focusing on the conversion of different types of feedstock and bio-resources: they cover the extraction from plants and functionalization of starting materials such as cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals, graphene and carbon-based bio-nanomaterials, and hybride bio-nanomaterials with inorganic nanoparticles.
Plants are an important bio-based feed stock and they are sources of:
- Natural microfibres (hemp, jute, bamboo, flax, sisal, etc.)
- Micro-fibrillated cellulose (wood or agro based)
- Biobased dispersion, like starch-based PLAX
- Biopolyester from marine bacteria (PHA)
INN-PRESSME focuses on bio-based polymers (PLA, PHA) application, natural fibres, and cellulose-based nanomaterials (CNCs, CNF), together with other nano additives and nanofeatures, in packaging, automotive, and consumer goods applications for making them more sustainable and greener, meeting the specifications of current products.
All materials provide special properties and have shown their applicability.
INN-PRESSME aims to provide a network of pilots that cover the whole value chain, ensuring access to scale-up projects. This approach and complementarity of facilities for testing and validation is critical to develop, test and evaluate successful nano bio-based material solutions.
Pilot scale facilities will allow solutions to be developed and tested in fully operational environments – but in controlled areas to minimise risks and associated costs – while also simulating smooth collaboration along the value chain, from feedstock conversion to final end products.