Biodegradable solutions for packaging of liquid dairy products
May 1st, 2014 – April 30th, 2016
This research proposal intends to develop innovative plastic bottles and bags manufactured in biodegradable materials that fulfil the requirements for packaging of different types of dairy products. One of the main drawbacks for the wide application of biodegradable materials currently available on the market in certain applications is their thermal resistance, in comparison with traditional plastics such as high density polyethylene. Biodegradable materials show a limited range of temperatures of use, up to 50-60ºC depending on their composition. Plastic bottles and bags intended for packaging of dairy products are subjected to medium-high temperature during sterilization and transportation, and therefore thermal stability of the material is a major drawback of biodegradable resins to be introduced into this wide market.
To overcome these limitations the use of reactive extrusion is proposed. The process essentially forms chemical bonds between the polymer chains resulting in a dense network of very high molecular weight. This polymer becomes less mobile when subjected to heat or mechanical loads, and with this, properties such as heat distortion, ESCR, creep and abrasion resistance are enhanced. The main challenge in this project will be modifying the chemical structure of the biodegradable materials to increase thermal resistance without decreasing their mechanical resistance and their biodegradability properties for plastic bottles and pouches for the packaging of different types of dairy products.
AIMPLAS (Spain), ALJUAN (Spain), ALMUPLAS (Spain), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), ESPAÇOPLAS (Portugal), VIZELPAS (Portugal), VLB Berlin (Germany) and OWS (Belgium)
Biodegradability/compostability testing & LCA
Mr. Steven Verstichel