Bio plastics in Added Value Applications

The BioKAVA cooperation project is dedicated to the development of bio-based plastic formulations. The advantage of plastics of biological origin is that these materials consist of renewable raw materials instead of petroleum and can thus contribute to resource conservation and sustainability. If bioplastics are also biodegradable, they do not release problematic microplastics into the environment in the event of accidental discharge, unlike conventional plastics.

Despite all the advantages of bioplastics, they are still little used in injection moulding applications. One reason for this is that only a few bioplastics are available in sufficient quantities and at economically reasonable prices. The most common and, from an economic point of view, most promising bioplastics on the market are PLA (polylactic acid) and TPS (thermoplastic starch). However, the properties of these pure biopolymers cannot be compared to conventional plastics and pose a problem in both application and processing. The difficulty is also the lack of compatibility between the materials.

The project team of the BioKAVA project, consisting of 10 members from the provinces of Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria, is therefore working intensively on improving the achievable property profiles for PLA-TPS blends. Work is being done on material development for new products based on PLA, TPS and cellulose (from cores) for injection moulding applications. These should also be bioresorbable and also recyclable in order to be suitable for at least one further product life cycle after mechanical recycling. The aim is to develop formulations with promising properties for injection moulding applications as well, so that PLA-TPS blends are not only used in niche products, but also find more widespread application.

Project partner:

  • Transfercenter für Kunststofftechnik GmbH (Projektleitung, Materialentwicklung)
  • Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (Recycling von PLA & Blends (LSP-Technologie))
  • IFGAsota GmbH (Faserhersteller)
  • Kunststoffcluster Niederösterreich, ecoplus. Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH (Dissemination)
  • Agrana Research & Innovation Center GmbH (TPS-Herstellung und Modifizierung)
  • Thermoplastkreislauf GmbH (Compoundeur)
  • Miraplast Kunststoffverarbeitungs GmbH (Spritzguss & Formenbau)
  • NaKu e. U. (Produkteigner PLA-Flasche)
  • Kern Tec GmbH (Rohmateriallieferant)
  • IMPolymer GmbH (Produktentwicklung & -vertrieb)