- Forest Resource Sustainability through Bio-Based-Composite Development
Aims of Forbioplast are the differentiate utilizations of forest raw resources or byproducts of forest connected industry for the production of eco-compatible foams and composites suitable for many practical applications with particular attention at the packaging, agriculture and automotive sectors. One topic of the research activity will be focused on the use of wood and paper mill by-products (bark, chips, sawdust, and black liquor) as raw materials for the production of polyurethane foams by an innovative sustainable synthetic process with reduced energy consumption.
Wood fibres can be used as natural fillers to replace synthetic and glass fibres in composites production. Loading of wood fibres is limited by difficult compatibility with hydrophobic polymers. Research activity will be devoted to the production of composites based on wood fibres with biodegradable polymeric matrices (polylactic acid, polycaprolactone, polyhydroxyalkanoates, materbi, etc) and with polypropylene. A high fibres loading content will be achieved by increasing polymeric matrices toughness. Forest waste valorisation will be achieved by microbiological process.
Materials production will be valuated by life cycle assessment and final products will be tested for biodegradation and composting. Composites will be as well evaluated for applications in agriculture, packaging and automotive (textile, panels, interior components). Research activity will be developed in strict cooperation with industries with particular reference to the end users.