Fully Bio-Based Material to Replace Fossil-Based Plastics

Fully Bio-Based Material to Replace Fossil-Based PlasticsVTT of Finland has developed a fully bio-based material to replace fossil-based plastics in thermally formable products

VTT has developed a thermally formable, biodegradable material, which is 100% bio-based. Its suitability for applications such as furniture makes it an attractive alternative to wood and biocomposite materials available in the market, not only because of its biodegradability but also due to its formability and colouring properties.

Biocomposites made from entirely bio-based raw materials can be used to replace fossil raw material derived plastics, which have traditionally been used in industrial applications. Being thermoformable, the material is well suited for various manufacturing processes and products.

“All the goals we set were achieved: the material is 100% bio-based, cellulose fibres account for a significant proportion, it looks good and it has excellent performance characteristics”, says Lisa Wikström, Research Team Leader from VTT.

At the end of their life-cycle, products made from this material can either be re-used, composted, or burned to generate energy without any fossil-based carbon dioxide emissions. Because the material degrades into carbon dioxide and water due to microbial actions, it will not exacerbate the global microplastic problem.

“New bio-based, thermally formable materials and composites are a promising alternative for the plastic products market. However, a big breakthrough is yet to come. A major shift requires cooperation between material and process developers as well as designers,” Wikström concludes.

The first model product is a designer chair manufactured as a joint effort between VTT, Plastec Finland and KO-HO Industrial design. The chair, manufactured using traditional compounding and injection moulding technologies, is made from wood-based cellulose fibres, renewable and industrially compostable, thermoformable polylactide, and bio-based additives.

VTT developed the material in the ACEL research programme funded by Clic Innovations Ltd., and the proof of concept stage was carried out with Plastec Finland, an injection moulding company.

Caption: VTT developed a biodegradable material that is 100% bio-based. The first model product is a designer chair manufactured as a joint effort between VTT, Plastec Finland and KO-HO Industrial design. 

For more information, please contact:

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
Lisa Wikström, Research Team Leader
[email protected], tel. +35840 8614421 3526

Further information on VTT:

Paula Bergqvist
Specialist, External Communications
+358 20 722 5161
pa[email protected]
www.vtt.fi

VTT Ltd is one of Europe’s leading research, development and innovation organisations. We help our customers and society to grow and renew through applied research. The business sector and society in general benefit most from VTT when we solve challenges requiring world-class know-how together, and convert them into business opportunities. VTT in social media: Twitter @VTTFinlandFacebookLinkedInYouTube and Instagram. For photos and videos, please visit our Image Bank.

Fully Bio-Based Material to Replace Fossil-Based Plastics
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