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Biocomposite of the Year 2019 winners announced

Announced at Nova-Institute’s Biocomposites Conference in Cologne, Germany, the winning entries use natural fiber composites for automotive and consumer goods applications.
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biocomposite innovation awards

Source | Nova-Institute

 

Nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany) recently announced the winners of its2019 “Biocomposite of the Year” innovation awards, which were presented at the 8th Biocomposites Conference Cologne on Nov. 14-15 in Cologne, Germany. 

According to Nova-Institute, currently, up to 80% of plastics can be replaced by biogenic fillers such as wood flour and cork, or by natural fibers for reinforcement. By now, the company says, biocomposites are available for almost every application: packaging, consumer goods, toys, handles, shoes, façade and terrace elements, floors, car parts and even furniture.

This years’ nominated companies provided an overview of the growing application sectors for biocomposites, ranging from automotive applications to packaging, consumer goods, cladding, music instruments and façade elements.

 

 

biocomposite innovation awards

Source | Nova-Institute

 

 

The top three winners were Golden Compound (first place), KNN Cellulose (second place) and Bcomp (third place). See the full list of finalists here.

 

First place: compostable coffee capsules reinforced with sunflower seed shell fiber

Designed by Golden Compound GmbH (Ladbergen, Germany), HOMEcap is said to be the world's first and only home compostable coffee capsule certified with “OK Kompost HOME.” It was launched on the market at the beginning of 2019. The HOMEcap is made from a compound comprising PTTMCC Biochems bio-based polymers PBS and PBSA mixed with sunflower seed shells and inorganic fillers. It comes with a paper- and cellulose-based lid that is sealable to the capsule without additional glue and is home compostable. The material composition is said to result in low oxygen transmission rates, and eliminates the need for additional barrier packaging. A VDI 4605 sustainability assessment showed that this capsule outperforms current state of the art capsules, like deep-drawn PP EVOH multilayer capsules, in terms of sustainability.

 

Second place: cost-competitive Recell biocomposites

KNN Cellulose (Leeuwarden, Netherlands) has commercialized Recell’s biocomposite material made from recycled toilet paper that is separated at a sewage treatment plant, and can be mixed with a variety of polymers such as bio-based polymers, PLA or PHA. The product is said to add value to previously unused cellulose waste streams, and the granules are suitable for standard injection molding and extrusion lines. Current applications include flower pots, claddings, fences, terrace planks and boxes. Recell took part in the competition with a picnic table from Ecodeck comprising cellulose fibers recovered from wastewater treatment plants using Cellvation technology. The treatment plants benefit from lower operating costs, increased processing capacity and the reuse of cellulose fibers that would otherwise be incinerated. 

 

Third place: PowerRibs for sustainable lightweighting

Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland) has developed proprietary lightweighting solutions for high-performance applications by applying latest knowledge on composites to natural fibers. PowerRibs technology uses a reinforcing grid inspired by the thin veins in leaves, and that is said to provide maximum stiffness at minimum weight, enabling them to achieve the performance of carbon fibers in a motorsport body. The result is reportedly a 75% reduced CO2 footprint, 30% lower costs and improved safety without toxic dust and sharp shattering, as well as viable end-of-life options. PowerRibs are also said to reduce weight for car interior coverings by up to 40%.

 

 

 

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