Partnering opportunity

Biodegradability test: Determination of aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials or residual plastic materials by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide evolved.

Summary

A Spanish research centre specialised in plastics and composite materials offers analysis services of biodegradability or standard test for determining aerobic biodegradation in contact with soil or mature compost, under laboratory conditions. Research, technical and service agreements are sought with research institutes and industrial actors involved with bioplastics or residual plastic, interested in knowing the behaviour of their materials at end of life.

Partner sought

The R&D centre is looking for technical cooperation agreement, with industrial actors involved with bioplastics or residual plastic materials as suppliers of raw materials, compounders, transformers, packaging developers, recyclers, etc., interested in knowing the behaviour of their bio materials at end of life. They are also interested in research cooperation agreements and services agreement with industry and other research institutes. In turn, the centre is also open to collaborate in the frame of European projects such as Horizon 2020 projects.

Description

A Spanish research and development (R&D) institute specialised in plastics and composite materials offers its expertise and technical competencies for tailor-made biodegradability test or standard test for determination of aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials or residual materials in soil or in contact with mature compost by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide evolved. This test method is designed to rate the biodegradability of plastic materials relative to a standard in an aerobic environment. Its R&D team is involved in a continuous open-innovation line-management process in order to accrue enough knowledge and capacities to face any challenging research project for industry offering 3 high-tech and excellent research areas: • Polymers and biopolymers, composites: formulation and transformation of plastics from renewable sources). • Sustainable management: life cycle assessment and life cycle costing assessment, environmental product declaration, product categories rules, eco-design, waste revaluing. • Software engineering: FIWARE applications, internet of things, big data... The biodegradability test developed is carried out according to an internal procedure based on the standard UNE EN ISO 17556, by incubating the material to be tested in a reactor with compost under controlled conditions, in order to guarantee a microbial population that favours the biodegradation process and guarantees the repetitiveness of the test. The rate of biodegradability is finally determined by measuring the amount of CO2 generated during the digestion of organic matter by microorganisms. The R&D centre would like to achieve technical cooperation agreement with entities in the bioplastics industry interested in knowing the behaviour of their bio materials at end of life. Industrial actors as suppliers of raw materials, compounders, transformers, packaging developers, recyclers, etc, may be the ones interested on the biodegradabily test. The centre is also interested in research cooperation and service agreement with industry and other research institutes. Also, collaboration in the frame of EU projects such as Horizon 2020 projects will be welcome.

Advantages and innovations

In the development of new formulations chemical elements are used that can inhibit bacterial and fungal growth present in soil or compost. It is essential, therefore, to contrast the capacity of biodegradation of the developed biomaterials before they are in the market. This test in laboratory are crucial to assure the biodegradability of plastics in order to be easily assimilable by the environment. The services offered allow to contrast the capacity of biodegradation of the developed biomaterials. Identifying whether the material is biodegradable or determining the rate of biodegradation under controlled and simulated composting conditions in the laboratory is an aspect that the research centre professionals have been practicing since 2008. The test developed is carried out by incubating the material to be tested in a reactor with inoculum under controlled temperature, pH and humidity conditions. Maintaining a microbial population that favours the biodegradation process and guarantees the repeatability of the assay. The rate of biodegradability is finally determined by measuring the amount of CO2 generated during the digestion of organic matter by microorganisms. This is a new approach solve the problem of monitoring trials. The proposed method offers constant monitoring of the microbial population responsible for biodegradation and previous studies to test the capacity of bidegradability based on the materials to be studied. In many trials of this type it can happen that this microbial population for some reason falls off and the test cannot continue.

Development stage

Already on the market

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

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