Biodolomer® – the future in biomaterials16/02/17
The main objective of the BIODOLOMER for LIFE project is to demonstrate how non-renewable and energy-intensive plastic and packaging materials can be substituted with a new, highly innovative and fossil-free green material named Biodolomer.
The project is a collaboration between the Municipality of Båstad, GAIA Biomaterials and the municipally owned waste company NSR AB. Båstad Municipality is the lead part and GAIA Biomaterials holds the expertise in biomaterials. NSR is testing the material in biogas production by using the biomaterial in food waste collections from households and restaurants. Unlike traditional plastics do from fossil oil, the content does not need to be separated from the package. The purpose of the commitment of Båstad Municipality is to contribute to a good environment, less waste and of course to demonstrate clear leadership in the area of the circular economic perspective.
Global plastic production increased from 1.5 million tonnes per year from 1950 to 250 million tonnes in 2013, and it is estimated to triple by 2050. Plastics are used extensively in the packaging of products such as food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc. The need for new, green materials such as the fossil-free Biodolomer is therefore immense and urgent.
The innovative material, based on biomass, is unique in its concept by demonstrating the following four important characteristics:
- Fully renewable;
- Fully degradable;
- Fully compostable; and
- Fully combustible to renewable energy via biogas.
Today, some existing materials have one or more of these characteristics, but no other product available at present can show the same abilities as the fossil-free Biodolomer. Fossil-free materials exist (e.g. Green PE), but they are not degradable and compostable. Other materials are compostable, but they are not fossil free and degradable.
The existing version of Biodolomer (commercialised since 2012) is not fully based on renewable material. However, the new and improved version of fully fossil-free Biodolomer which forms part of the project will be entirely renewable.
The objective is to demonstrate how this innovative material can be produced and validated in four different commercial reference products to verify that it is possible to implement in the whole European plastic and packaging industry.
The project’s sub-objectives are:
- To verify the production process (from raw material to end product) for cost-effective production of products based on the new renewable fossil-free Biodolomer material and also demonstrate how this new material can generate more reusable waste and biogas;
- To validate the market potential using commercial reference products with potential customers and actors in the value chain; and
- To present and disseminate the project’s results to problem owners in Europe and other regions.
Dissemination will be a key part of the project, and the project partners will use its extensive European network to ensure that the project’s results are made available to all potential target groups in the EU.
GAIA is currently installing a state-of-the-art extruder specially designed to compound biomaterial. The new extruder will be at the heart of the project producing the Biodolomer compound later refined into the four different reference end products. NSR is currently installing a new pre-treatment plant to handle the collected food waste from households to make biogas. It’s a good way to bring the energy and nutrients back from what was previously waste. Båstad Municipality is working to make the region a centre for urban supply systems in a circular perspective by reducing waste, returning energy and nutrients, and creating a development where waste technology companies can generate new jobs.
Åke Rosén, Owner