Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging

Germany

Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging

Germany

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.foodanddrinktechnology.com

Unilever has unveiled its new technology to recycle sachet waste. This technology, called CreaSolv Process, has been developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany and is inspired by an innovation used to recycle TV sets. This archived news article is restricted to logged-in subscribers. Login or subscribe now to view the full content of the article.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: phys.org

Recycling plastic has an important role in sustainable manufacturing. However, there are still barriers to using recycled plastic not only because of its material and processing properties but also because of its smell. A young researcher at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now studied what causes recycled plastic to smell. Each year several tons of plastic waste are produced in Germany, for example from packaging. Around 50 percent of this waste is burnt. Recycling and reusing this waste could protect the environment in the long term and conserve fossil resources. However, recycled plastic is still not used enough in manufacturing due to undesirable contaminants. The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) is developing and enhancing recycling processes for mixed post-consumer plastic waste. FAU doctoral candidate Miriam Strangl is studying the scents of plastic waste and recycled products to find the cause of unpleasant odours in a collaborative project with the departments of Sensory Analytics and Process Development for Polymer Recycling at the Fraunhofer Institute. Strangl characterises samples through an olfactometric and analytical approach by evaluating the quality and intensity of their scent. After this, she deciphers the odorous substances and identifies them. Strangl's highly-trained nose is key to deciphering these odourous substances in her doctoral research which is supervised by Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner (Professor for Aroma Research at FAU). She can identify the molecules of a range of compounds by their smell alone and confirms these findings through chemical analysis. 'The different substances found in plastic packaging waste have a number of different smells. These include mouldy, cheesy or acidic smelling molecules,' explains Strangl. 'We were able to identify some of these strong-smelling contaminants in plastics for the first time ever. In addition, the results showed that, apart from odorous substances from previous contents such as food or cleaning agents, other processes might also lead to the unpleasant odours' says Strangl. In addition to microbiological decay, this also includes aging plastics or the decomposition of residues from manufacturing such as solvents. The findings of the study will help scientists to develop strategies for reducing odours in recycled plastics. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Separation Science under the title: 'Characterisation of odorous contaminants in post-consumer plastic packaging waste using multidimensional gas chromatographic separation coupled with olfactometric resolution'. More information: Miriam Strangl et al, Characterization of odorous contaminants in post-consumer plastic packaging waste using multidimensional gas chromatographic separation coupled with olfactometric resolution, Journal of Separation Science (2017). DOI: 10.1002/jssc.201601077


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Recycling plastic has an important role in sustainable manufacturing. However, there are still barriers to using recycled plastic not only because of its material and processing properties but also because of its smell. A young researcher at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now studied what causes recycled plastic to smell. Each year several tons of plastic waste are produced in Germany, for example from packaging. Around 50 percent of this waste is burnt. Recycling and reusing this waste could protect the environment in the long term and conserve fossil resources. However, recycled plastic is still not used enough in manufacturing due to undesirable contaminants. The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) is developing and enhancing recycling processes for mixed post-consumer plastic waste. FAU doctoral candidate Miriam Strangl is studying the scents of plastic waste and recycled products to find the cause of unpleasant odours in a collaborative project with the departments of Sensory Analytics and Process Development for Polymer Recycling at the Fraunhofer Institute. Strangl characterises samples through an olfactometric and analytical approach by evaluating the quality and intensity of their scent. After this, she deciphers the odorous substances and identifies them. Strangl's highly-trained nose is key to deciphering these odourous substances in her doctoral research which is supervised by Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner (Professor for Aroma Research at FAU). She can identify the molecules of a range of compounds by their smell alone and confirms these findings through chemical analysis. 'The different substances found in plastic packaging waste have a number of different smells. These include mouldy, cheesy or acidic smelling molecules,' explains Strangl. 'We were able to identify some of these strong-smelling contaminants in plastics for the first time ever. In addition, the results showed that, apart from odorous substances from previous contents such as food or cleaning agents, other processes might also lead to the unpleasant odours' says Strangl. In addition to microbiological decay, this also includes aging plastics or the decomposition of residues from manufacturing such as solvents. The findings of the study will help scientists to develop strategies for reducing odours in recycled plastics.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Recycling plastic has an important role in sustainable manufacturing. However, there are still barriers to using recycled plastic not only because of its material and processing properties but also because of its smell. A young researcher at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now studied what causes recycled plastic to smell. Each year several tons of plastic waste are produced in Germany, for example from packaging. Around 50 percent of this waste is burnt. Recycling and reusing this waste could protect the environment in the long term and conserve fossil resources. However, recycled plastic is still not used enough in manufacturing due to undesirable contaminants. The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) is developing and enhancing recycling processes for mixed post-consumer plastic waste. FAU doctoral candidate Miriam Strangl is studying the scents of plastic waste and recycled products to find the cause of unpleasant odours in a collaborative project with the departments of Sensory Analytics and Process Development for Polymer Recycling at the Fraunhofer Institute. Strangl characterises samples through an olfactometric and analytical approach by evaluating the quality and intensity of their scent. After this, she deciphers the odorous substances and identifies them. Strangl's highly-trained nose is key to deciphering these odourous substances in her doctoral research which is supervised by Prof. Dr. Andrea Büttner (Professor for Aroma Research at FAU). She can identify the molecules of a range of compounds by their smell alone and confirms these findings through chemical analysis. 'The different substances found in plastic packaging waste have a number of different smells. These include mouldy, cheesy or acidic smelling molecules,' explains Strangl. 'We were able to identify some of these strong-smelling contaminants in plastics for the first time ever. In addition, the results showed that, apart from odorous substances from previous contents such as food or cleaning agents, other processes might also lead to the unpleasant odours' says Strangl. In addition to microbiological decay, this also includes aging plastics or the decomposition of residues from manufacturing such as solvents. The findings of the study will help scientists to develop strategies for reducing odours in recycled plastics. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Separation Science under the title: 'Characterisation of odorous contaminants in post-consumer plastic packaging waste using multidimensional gas chromatographic separation coupled with olfactometric resolution'. DOI: 10.1002/jssc.201601077


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

We might be forgiven for thinking that a dog's sense of smell is more sensitive than our own.1 After all, our other senses seem to dominate daily life. But, the human nose is a powerful analytical tool which can, at times, drastically impact human interactions, and can be used for targeted artefact detection in modern materials and processes, explains Andrea Buettner, editor of the recently published Springer Handbook of Odor, a compendium of smell research including the chemistry and origin of what smells, the physiology and psychology of odor perception, and the application of scents and their measurement, but also the avoidance of odor nuisances. "The relaxing or stimulating powers of smell fascinated me early on," says Buettner, who grew up loving the smell of cut wood from her father's carpentry workshop. Her research as a food chemist and aroma researcher now additionally focuses on the smells of the modern world, more precisely, the investigation of new substances and their physiological and toxicological effects, as well as the psychosomatic effects of offensive or irritating smell exposure. The field of odor science is vast and Buettner explains that the most exciting research arises at the interfaces between disciplines. For example, between architecture and physiology where researchers show how sensual perception can be used as an architectural design method so that a successful building design has to consider the context of the building and the whole human body.2 Or between medicine and chemistry, where research into how analyzing the chemical molecules in our exhaled breath can help us diagnose certain diseases.3 Potential research topics in odor science are "practically endless," explains Buettner, who highlights the applications such research can have in our daily life. "People should be more aware of their sense of smell, start training this sense early on in their youth, not only because it is good to know the different smells better but also because it adds another dimension to the quality of life!" Andrea Buettner is deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) and professor at the Full interview with Andrea Buettner is available here. The research and researchers mentioned above feature in the Springer Handbook of Odor. Further details about the researchers and their work, as well as pdfs of their respective chapters in the Springer Handbook of Odor are available on request. 1. Humans can smell as well as dogs (Matthias Laska, Linköping University, Sweden) Our human sense of smell is much better than we traditionally thought. In fact, for certain odorants our human nose is even more sensitive than a dog's. We cannot predict how good the sense of smell of a species is from neuroanatomical features, such as size of brain structure or genetic features. Instead, the behavioral relevance of odors seems to determine the sensitivity of an animal's sense of smell. 2. Why should smell be incorporated into building design? (Katinka Temme, University of Augsburg) investigates how sensual perception can be used as an architectural design method. Any successful building design has to consider the context of the building and the whole human body together with its senses as important design parameters. Incorporating smell and our other senses into buildings creates spaces where we feel welcomed and healthy. 3. Disease diagnostics via exhaled breath (Jonathan Beauchamp, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Germany) Exhaled breath contains many chemical molecules. This research focuses on the sources of these molecules which are metabolism, the microbiome, or environmental factors, amongst others. Imbalances in the body due to illness can alter the type and quantities of these exhaled chemicals, and therefore how breath analysis offers a potential non-invasive diagnostic aid for certain diseases.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Inflatable toys and swimming aids, like bathing rings and arm bands, often have a distinctive smell which could indicate that they contain a range of potentially hazardous substances. Some of these compounds, which include carbonyl compounds, cyclohexanone, phenol and isophorone, might be critical when present in higher concentrations in children's toys, say Christoph Wiedmer and Andrea Buettner, who are authors of a study in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.. Lead author Wiedmer (Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany) and his team conducted tests using an inflatable beach ball, a pair of swimming armbands and two bathing rings they bought off the shelf from local stores and online suppliers in Germany. A small piece of material from each sample was analysed using a variety of material analysis techniques, including one that takes infrared measurements, and it was concluded that the inflatable objects were all made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The researchers then investigated the molecular make-up of the distinctive smells arising from the pool toys. They extracted detectable odours from each sample using solvent extraction and high vacuum distillation methods, and then identified the main odorants using a combination of sensory and common analytical approaches. Between 32 and 46 odours were detected in each sample, of which up to thirteen were quite intense. The majority of these odorants were identified and among these were several fatty smelling mono- or di-unsaturated carbonyl compounds and their epoxidised derivatives, but also odouractive organic solvents such as cyclohexanone, isophorone, and phenol. As part of the study, a panel of trained volunteers sniffed each product, and ascribed common odour attributes to these. They also rated the intensity of each odour, and had to guess whether these could be hazardous. Three of the products reminded the panellists of almonds, plastic and rubber, while the fourth more pungent one reminded them of glue and nail polish. Wiedmer expressed his concern that some of the products contain potentially hazardous chemicals that could pose a risk to children's health, depending on the degree of exposure and concentration levels in the products. Cyclohexanone can be harmful if inhaled, phenol is known to be acutely toxic and to presumably have mutagenic potential and isophorone is a category 2 carcinogen, which means that this is a suspect substance in the development of cancer in humans. "A range of these substances are not yet resolved in their chemical structures. Likewise, potential negative effects on humans, such as irritation, smell nuisance, or other physiological or psychosomatic effects still need to be resolved," says Wiedmer, who hopes that producers, distributers and consumers alike will take a closer look at how inflatable products are made. "Modern products such as toys and children's products are sourced from a wide variety of chemical and physical manufacturing processes, and this complexity often makes it difficult for us to identify those containing contaminants and unwanted substances, and to determine their causes," notes Wiedmer. "However, we found that in a number of cases our noses can guide us to 'sniff out' problematic products." More information: Christoph Wiedmer et al, Characterization of odorants in inflatable aquatic toys and swimming learning devices—which substances are causative for the characteristic odor and potentially harmful?, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s00216-017-0330-x


Welle F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2011

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has become the most favourable packaging material world-wide for beverages. The reason for this development is the excellent material properties of the PET material, especially its unbreakability and the very low weight of the bottles compared to glass bottles of the same filling volume. Nowadays, PET bottles are used for softdrinks, mineral water, energy drinks, ice teas as well as for more sensitive beverages like beer, wine and juices. For a long time, however, a bottle-to-bottle recycling of post-consumer PET packaging materials was not possible, because of the lack of knowledge about contamination of packaging polymers during first use or recollection. In addition, the decontamination efficiencies of recycling processes were in most cases unknown. During the last 20 years, PET recollection as well as recycling processes made a huge progress. Today, sophisticated decontamination processes, so-called super-clean recycling processes, are available for PET, which are able to decontaminate post-consumer contaminants to concentration levels of virgin PET materials. In the 1991, the first food contact approval of post-consumer PET in direct food contact applications has been given for post-consumer recycled PET in the USA. Now, 20 years after the first food approval of a PET super-clean recycling process, this article gives an overview over the world-wide progress of the bottle-to-bottle recycling of PET beverage bottles, e.g. the recollection amount of post-consumer PET bottles and the super-clean recycling technologies. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Welle F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2013

Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is used in several packaging applications, especially for beverages. Due to the low concentration of potential chemical compounds like polymer additives or monomers leached out of the polymers and found in food or beverages, the compliance of a PET packaging material is shown often by use of migration modeling. Diffusion coefficients for migrants, however, are rare in the scientific literature. The aim of the study was to develop an equation for the prediction of diffusion coefficients in PET on the basis of activation energies of diffusion for possible migrants in PET. As a result, a correlation between experimentally determined activation energies of diffusion EA and the volume of the migrant V was established for PET. In addition, a correlation of the pre-exponential factor D0 with the activation energy EA was found. Combining both correlations lead to an equation where the diffusion coefficients DP are predictable from the molecular volume V of the migrant. The equation might be useful for migration prediction and consumer exposure estimations. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Welle F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2013

For almost 15 years now in Europe, used plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) have been recycled in such a way that the recyclate can be used for new PET bottles. Several recycling plants have been established all over Europe. Since May 2008 the European Recycling Regulation 282/2008 has been in force. According to this regulation, every recycling process must be individually approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). For this evaluation process, EFSA has developed a conservative evaluation concept in order to protect consumers. The evaluation is partly based on mathematical calculation of the migration. The current migration model overestimates the migration. EFSA acknowledges that the migration model overestimates by at least a factor of 5. This applies for small molecules such as toluene. However, higher molecular weight contaminants such as benzophenone are even more overestimated. The reason for this overestimation is that the currently used migration model is based on a fixed activation energy of diffusion. Conversely, the curve of the maximum bottle wall concentration calculated using the current migration model increases much too gradually with the molecular weight. New developments in migration modelling consider more precisely the activation energies of diffusion. Consequently, using the new, more realistic diffusion coefficients influences significantly the EFSA evaluation criteria. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Beauchamp J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging
Journal of Breath Research | Year: 2011

The chemical analysis of exhaled breath gas to assess state of health or identify disease biomarkers has gained growing interest in recent years, with advances in new technologies providing scientists and physicians with a powerful analytical arsenal with which to tackle pertinent issues. The application of these methods for pharmacokinetic studies, however, has received less attention despite its enormous potential in this field. For instance, breath gas analysis may be employed to characterize uptake and distribution within the body of exogenous volatile compounds, either from a pharmaceutical point of view, or in relation to environmental inhalation exposure. Both of these topics can benefit greatly from utilizing breath gas complementarily or as a surrogate to blood as an analytical medium, since breath sampling is non-invasive, inexhaustible, and is achievable with a frequency far exceeding that which is feasible for blood. However, because of the efficiency with which certain exogenous compounds are reflected in breath, this can also often be a significant source of confounding variables that require consideration in routine breath gas analyses. This paper provides an overview of the possibilities of breath gas analysis for pharmacokinetics and environmental exposure investigations and discusses the presence of exogenous compounds in standard breath analyses and their repercussions in terms of erroneous data interpretation. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Loading Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging collaborators
Loading Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging collaborators