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WOMMELGEM, Belgium

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.3-03 | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2012

SUCCIPACK aims to support European industry efforts to introduce biobased polybutylene succinate (PBS) as a new material on the food packaging market. Its main advantage is that it has complementary properties compared to other biobased polymers like polylactic acid. PBS is synthesized by polycondensation of succinic acid and butanediol, both identified as key building blocks from renewable resources which will be produced on a large scale in the coming years. The aim of SUCCIPACK is to develop sustainable, active, and intelligent food packaging materials based on green PBS that can be flexibly used by packaging and food industries. A first aspect is the optimization of the synthesis and compounding of polymer and copolymer grades for industrial plastic transformation processes to obtain films, trays and pouches. Tailored packaging functionalities will be obtained by flexible in-line surface treatments to control gas barrier properties and to introduce antimicrobial activity. The performance and safety of the novel packaging materials will be assessed for selected food products, representative of different food categories and preservation technologies. Special efforts will be put to explore PBS recycling routes, including chemical recycling by monomerization. An original intelligent labeling function will be added to monitor material degradation and recondensation, during shelf life and recycling. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCC) will be applied to guide the material development and to assess the sustainability of the whole packaging concept. SUCCIPACK will help European industry, especially SMEs, to strengthen their competitive advantage over the currently fast growing green PBS developments in the US and Asia. The cooperation between 7 research organizations, 1 large industrial player and 10 SMEs will facilitate an effective uptake of the results by the food and packaging industry.

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