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BIOPAL
Algae as raw material for the production of bioplastics and biocomposites contributing to sustainable development of European coastal regions

The purpose of the BIOPAL project is to contribute towards solving two environmental problems: algal proliferations and the elimination of plastic waste. The biomass created by green algae and Zostera plague could generate profit by being exploited as a raw material for the production of a new generation of functional bioplastics and biocomposites for different applications. Methods for assessing biodegradability and biorecyclability of algae-derived bioplastics and biocomposites will be evaluated, and standard test systems will be developed. New biomass pre-treatments, particularly by steam explosion, will be explored and improved upon.

Objectives
The objectives of the project are:
1) to provide a map of the different proliferation areas in Europe with an estimation of their biomass potential in order to identify the best ways for an optimised industrial exploitation of the biomass on the European scale
2) to provide optimised protocol for the pre-treatment of algae as a raw material for blends with biodegradable polymeric matrices
3) to provide optimised protocols to process algae derived bioplastics and biocomposites for agricultural applications (some applications have been targeted as plant root protecting films and tomato clips)
4) to provide optimised protocols to process biocomposites based on algae for automotive applications
5) to provide optimised protocols for algal biodegradable packaging material/film.
6) to develop and provide bio-filters for (heavy) metal accumulation from aqueous solutions and streams
7) to evaluate and test the biodegradability characteristics of the newly developed algae-derived materials
8) to provide an efficient exploitation and disseminations plan to facilitate communication between researchers from various backgrounds (algae sciences, automotive technology, plastic technology, biopolymers sciences).

Results
Expected achievements:

To provide a map of the different proliferation areas in Europe with an estimation of their biomass potential in order to identify the best ways for an optimised industrial exploitation of the biomass at the European scale.
To provide optimised protocol for pre-treatment of algae as raw material for blends and composites with biodegradable polymeric matrices.
To provide optimised protocols to process algae derived bioplastics and biocomposites for agricultural applications with specific target in plant root protecting films and tomato clips.
To provide optimised protocols to process biocomposites based on algae for automotive applications.
To provide optimised protocols for algal biodegradable packaging materials and relevant articles.
To develop and provide bio-filters for heavy metal accumulation from aqueous solutions and streams.
To evaluate and test the biodegradability characteristics of the newly developed algae derived materials.
To provide an efficient exploitation and dissemination plan to facilitate communication between researchers from various backgrounds (Algae sciences, automotive technology, plastic technology, biopolymer sciences).
To accomplish the ultimate goal of the project aimed at facilitating the immediate exploitation of the research results.
To assure an efficient technical and financial coordination during the whole duration of the project in order to secure a successful outcome.

Classified in SOIL, NON-FOOD PRODUCTS, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Dr HERVÉ Le DEIT
presqu'Ile de Pen Lan Box 3
22610 Pleubian
France - FR

Phone: +33 2 96 22 93 50
Fax: +33 2 96 22 84 38
E-mail: herve.ledeit@ceva.fr

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-02431
Organisation CENTRE D'ÉTUDE ET DE VALORISATION DES ALGUES
Area 5.2
Start date 01 January 2003
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 2 381 436 €
Total EC contribution   1 399 588 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project   http://www.biopal-euproject.org

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