The objective of ECLIPSE is to develop novel waste derived packaging concepts unrelated to fossil fuels and to the food chain. The ECLIPSE approach intends to revalorize waste materials for the production of not only the PLA matrix but also to reinforce the PLA matrix with non-edible functionalized waste nanofillers extracted from banana plants, almond shells and crustacean shell wastes.
In contrast to food related biomass sources, algae have some main potential advantages related to the growing speed, the cultivation conditions and the lack of competition with food or existing industrial uses. Algae can rapidly grow, producing fifteen-times more vegetable oil per hectare than other feedstock and can be cultivated in seawater, saving fertile land and fresh water for food cultivation. Oil productivity of many microalgae greatly exceeds the oil productivity of the best producing oil crops.
In order to improve the scarce mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of PLA, it will be compounded with natural polysaccharide nanofillers (PSN). These will be extracted from non-edible wastes (banana plant, almond and crustacean shell waste) and properly functionalized to impart compatibility with PLA.
The innovative aspect of the project is foreseen to produce a number of fundamental discoveries that, if not strictly essential for future industrial exploitation, will be published in high impact journals as these partners have already an excellent track record of achieving. This will provide indirect benefits to the worldwide scientific community and to the reputation of the European research image.
The objective of ECLIPSE is to develop novel waste-derived packaging concepts using a feedstock unrelated to fossil fuels and to the food chain such as the algae biomass waste.
ECLIPSE will stimulate real breakthroughs in the extraction and homogeneous dispersion of nanosized polysaccharide fillers derived from waste products (crustacean, banana and almond shells) within a PLA matrix.
Biopolymers are seen as promising sustainable alternatives to conventional petrochemical products. Until now, however, their wide-spread use has been sometimes hampered by unsatisfactory material properties, difficulties during processing and high cost.