This year, Aitiip Technology Centre has travelled to Berlin to participate in the II Annual Bioplastics Forum. A prestigious meeting point where European innovation comes together to highlight the latest advances in sustainability and circular economy in the field of plastics. In this sense, Aitiip, which will moderate the panel discussion "designing materials for reuse, recycling and recovery", will present to the audience, eminently industrial and scientific, several of the projects in which it is currently involved, through the development of methodologies, technologies and new bioplastic materials that favour the promotion of the practice of the "3Rs".
Thus, the research director, Gonzalvo, as well as leading the round table in which companies from different areas of Europe participated, presented the BIZENTE project, coordinated by Aitiip, the Revoluzion project and the VIBES project. Three projects that share a common line of research: the use of enzymes to optimise the recyclability of, for example, composite materials.
The BIZENTE project consortium, composed of different companies and research centres, is a new technology based on the use of mutated enzymes of the ligninase family to carry out the degradation of thermosetting composites based on epoxy, polyester and vinyl ester resins. The aim is to solve the current end-of-life problem of these composite materials. The application of BIZENTE technology is being studied in plastic waste from aviation, transport and construction, mainly. The naval sector is the focus of the VIBES project, with the development of an environmentally friendly, innovative and cost-effective technology to solve the end-of-life problems of thermosetting plastic composites and to reduce by at least 40% the amount of non-biodegradable polymers discarded or abandoned in the environment. VIBES focuses on the controlled separation and recovery of composite material through the development of 100% bio-based adhesives. The project will also develop bio-based thermoplastic composites for the aeronautics, construction and marine industries.
The RevoluZion project, whose consortium is also made up of companies, research centres and various study teams, offers a comprehensive solution to the end-of-life of plastics, whose environmental impact is currently highly negative due to poor waste management (around 500,000 tonnes of this waste ends up polluting the oceans and soil or the atmosphere after incineration). Using advanced enzyme engineering, the project will develop up to three formulations of innovative bio-based bioplastic materials (biopolyester blends as matrix and enzymatic functional additives). Through directed evolution, high-potential 'tailor-made' enzymes will be designed, which will be capable of programmed biodegradation and compostability.