Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2010
The long term objective of the WOODLIFE project is to provide coated and glued wood products with substantially improved durability for a more sustainable society. The project aims to develop new water-based clear coating systems for wood with improved UV-absorbing properties, and to develop new water-based thermoplastic wood adhesives with improved mechanical properties. The new coating and adhesive systems will be designed through molecular manufacturing of inorganic nanoparticles, nanoclays and composite organic-inorganic binders with predictable and controllable properties. Wood is an excellent building material with a high strength/density ratio and it is a renewable resource. For outdoor use it is, however, necessary to enhance the durability of wood materials due to the high sensitivity for UV degradation. Traditionally, organic UV-absorbers are used in clear coatings for wood, however these substances degrade upon outdoor weathering. New UV-absorbing systems for clear coats will be developed in the project based on nanoparticles of CeO2, ZnO and TiO2. With these new systems the service-life of the coated wood will be extended and the cost for maintenance and wood replacement will be decreased. If the mechanical properties of water-based thermoplastic wood adhesives such as PVAc can be improved it would be possible to use the wood products based on these systems for a longer time, leading to a more sustainable society. It would also be possible to use PVAc adhesives instead of the more expensive MUF/PRF adhesives in some load-bearing applications. Engineered nanoparticles will be developed in the project and will be introduced into wood adhesives in order to improve the properties of wood-adhesive joints. The nanoparticles and nanoclays that will be developed in the project will either be added directly to water-based systems or incorporated in hybrid binders in order to improve the dispersion of the nanoparticles and to improve storage stability.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2011-1 | Award Amount: 1.40M | Year: 2011
Gel coats are applied to fibre-reinforced composite materials for aesthetic or protection purposes. Styrene is an essential part of these gelcoats, with ~25% of this released during possessing. These styrene emissions cause irritation and neurological effects as well as possibly being carcinogen. One of the biggest negative effects of styrene is the perceived odour both by the workforce and neighbourhoods. As a result styrene emissions are limited under the Solvent Emissions Directive. Although the adoption of closed mould technologies for the production of composite parts have gone a long way to reducing styrene emissions during manufacture, gelcoating must still be undertaken under open-mould conditions as no viable in-mould gelcoating technology is commercially available. We are developing an innovative in-mould gel-coating process, requiring minimal equipment modification (and therefore low capital expenditure) based on the innovative application of low-viscocity gelcoats and a spacer fabric. The proof-of-concept work undertaken to date has this technology has the potential to achieve significant benefits beyond the current state of the art to produce parts that are fit for purpose whilst reducing styrene emissions to <5ppm. The overall aim of the InGeCt project is to develop technical textiles and gel-coat formulations in combination with process design and optimisation that will enable significant reductions in VOC emissions whilst reducing production times by 18.5% and manufacturing cost by 10.5%. Our technology will therefore be very attractive to composites processors, giving significant economic and societal benefits to consumers and manufacturers. The SME consortium target a significant penetration of the EU market within a 5 year period, achieving direct annual sales of over 100 million. The technology will make a significant contribution to reducing VOC emissions, enabling EU SMEs to meet their immediate and forthcoming legislative requirements.
Akzo Nobel, BYK Chemie GmbH, Energenics Europe Ltd., University of the Basque Country and Ytkemiska Institutet AB | Date: 2013-05-15
The present invention relates to a method for producing nanocomposite dispersions comprising composite particles of inorganic nanoparticles and organic polymers in a continuous phase, especially in a dispersion medium, as well as to the nanocomposite dispersions thus obtained and to the use thereof.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 2.05M | Year: 2011
The main scope of the MEATCOAT is the development of a new functional antimicrobial edible coating for meat packaging to improve the integrity of products during distribution and commercialisation. The proposed system will increase shelf-life of the product due to their antimicrobial characteristics. The present proposal aims help end-user communities of SMEs: the fresh food industry (and particularly fresh meat sub-sector) by developing a new concept of edible coating that will enable a better preservation and quality of meat products and a longer shelf life in the market. The second community is the coating manufacturers, who need new products to launch to the market, to remain competitive and support their growth.These communities represents mature sectors in Europe with annual revenues valued in 40,456M and require continues effort in research and development to get products in a very competitive market to attend the consumer demand with increasing level of quality. A huge amount of fresh meat is disposed everyday from market selves. Better ways of preservation would avoid this and produce huge saves in the full supply chain. In addition, there is pressure to develop new products based on renewable sources that can replace present oil-based plastics whose recycling activity is inefficient and expensive. EC legislation is trying to curb the landfill disposal of recyclable or non-recyclable plastics, by encouraging the development of new products replacing recyclable or non-recyclable plastic packaging. As a result there are high levels of innovation in green packaging(lightweight and bio-based packaging materials). On the other hand, all new developments and innovations in the packaging industry will have to meet the current European standards and regulations for food contact materials, safety and public health (EC1935/2004, EC2073/2005 and EC450/2009), as well as the requirements of the REACH legislation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2011
Approximately 80% of all products are or were a particle at some point in their processing lifetime. Particle and colloid technology has been described as the Growth Engine of Tomorrow with the market projected to grow from $2T to $10Tr over the next decade. Alongside with this challenge, the number of researchers active in powder technology is limited and only a few universities, public and private institutes are educating specialists in this field. PowTech ITN aims to integrate inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary research in particle and powder technology into the training of 15 highly skilled young researchers, to strengthen the competitiveness of food and pharmaceutical industry and to strengthen the European Research Area. The PowTech ITN has 20 partners (9 industry) and comprises a focused research programme and a graduate school. The Focused Research programme will use an engineering design approach applied to powder processing. The understanding and modelling of powder structure from a molecular to a macro disperse scale will be used to understand how powder properties/functionality are formed or modified during processing. This knowledge will be used to select the appropriate process for production of the structure of interest. The long-term aim is to develop innovative products and to provide tools allowing minimal pilot plant trials. The PowTech Graduate School is aligned with the research objectives of the project covering relevant S&T and personal skills courses but also an intensive and continuous training in collaboration with industry. In addition to the industrial secondments, the ESRs will have industrial training in different industries. An industrial mentor will be appointed to guide their Career development plan. The ESR will also be trained in Research Methodology through preparing a research plan for their work, and later in their project by developing a research plan, supervising a MSc student, and writing a Grant application.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.48M | Year: 2013
A white coatings opacity derives from some light absorption but predominantly light scattering, which is a function of differences in refractive index between paint components. In conventional white decorative coatings, for example, the main contribution to scattering is the difference in refractive index between titanium dioxide pigment (n=2.7) and the continuous medium, the resin system (n1.5). Titanium dioxide has one of the highest refractive indices known, and is certainly the most widely used white pigment, but in recent years the price of titanium dioxide has increased rapidly and there will be serious supply shortages in the foreseeable future. At the same time, there is a growing awareness of sustainability and environmental issues in the chemical industry and particularly the coatings industry, and methodologies, such as life cycle analysis and carbon footprints, are being developed to quantify the environmental friendliness of coatings materials and products. Titanium dioxide pigment is one of the major contributors to a coatings carbon footprint and the manufacturing process for titanium dioxide produces unwanted waste products. Another way of enhancing opacity in a white coating is the inclusion of air (n=1), which can improve the efficiency of titanium dioxide as an opacifier, air has environmental and cost benefits. The DRYFOAM project will develop novel opaque architectural coatings, based on a foam structure. It aims to develop stable and tough foam scaffolds within coatings, particularly for ceilings and interior walls, capable of withstanding normal wear and tear conditions. The European interior wall coatings market (including ceilings) was estimated in 2008 as 2.79 million tonnes (valued at 4.65 BN), more or less equally split between the professional decorating and the home (DIY) decorating market.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2011
The overall objective of the STEELCOAT project is to reduce the use of toxic and hazardous compounds in, and extend the service life of, anticorrosion coatings for steel. The project aims to develop novel green, environmentally friendly, anticorrosion coatings with extended durability for steel protection. We will develop both high solids (HS) solvent-borne and water-borne anticorrosion maintenance coatings. The corrosion protection in these novel coatings will be achieved by combining green nanoparticles, conductive polymers and binders. Steel is an excellent material with high strength and outstanding mechanical properties and it has been used for centuries. Exposing bare steel surfaces to a corrosive environment will lead to corrosion of the steel surfaces and thus pose a potential danger to the whole steel structure, reducing its service life. The cost of corrosion is 3-4 % of GDP worldwide and is therefore a very important issue for all modern societies. Many compounds that are used in the corrosion protection of steel today are hazardous to the environment and to human health. For example, hexavalent chromium has been used in inhibitive pigments but these pigments are being phased out due to environmental and health concerns. Thus, there is an urgent need to replace current paint systems with new effective systems that are more environmental friendly and not hazardous to human health. In the STEELCOAT project we will develop new HS solvent-borne and water-borne anticorrosion maintenance coating systems for steel protection through the combination of nanoceria, nanoclay, conductive polymers and binders. In order to optimize the corrosion protection of the novel systems we will devote a part of the project to increased fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of corrosion protection. Furthermore, in the development of the coating formulations we will investigate and optimize the mechanical properties of the coating and the adhesion to the steel surface.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: NMP-2008-2.6-3 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2009
A coordination action is proposed to reinforce the international dimension of EU research on nanomaterials in formulations in the Asia-Pasific region. Three mechanism will be implemented to reach the widest possible audience in the appropriate formats that are convenient to the different stakeholders: (1) yearly major events, that will introduce a new concept to scientific gatherings and a departure from conventional meetings, (2) a researchers exchange program to seed new collaborations, facilitate joint projects and the realisation of future coordinated calls, and (3) the creation of a website devoted to nanomaterials in formulations, that will include up to date and reliable information on the newest research developments, funding opportunities, regulations, events and links to other nanotechnology initiatives.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 2.49M | Year: 2011
Our novel concept is to develop a low-fat cheese processing technology to enable the production of low-fat Mozzarella-type ingredient cheese with superior texture, flavour and melting qualities. The newly developed low-fat cheese will be suitable for use in pizzas, ready meals, fast food, sandwiches and salads. Our primary target markets are the industrial cheese sector for chilled and frozen pizzas and ready meals. We will also target the retail and foodservices sectors. We propose to develop a Mozzarella-type cheese with <3% fat which is a significant improvement on the currently available 5% fat cheese. Reduced (12% fat) and lower fat content Mozzarella-type cheese are currently available on the market but with very poor qualities of flavour, texture and melting, widely prevents them from consumer acceptance. Therefore we will introduce new innovative starter cultures for improving the flavour and texture of low-fat Mozzarella-type cheeses and optimize appropriate processing conditions of temperature, pH, milk fat and casein-to-fat ratio in the milk. Furthermore, we will develop an innovative oil coating process for improving the meltdown of the low-fat cheese after it is shredded in the meal in preparation. Based on the scientific findings of the coating process, we will then develop an oil coating device which will successfully coat cheese shreds. We will enhance our knowledge of starter cultures and oil coating of cheese and hence provide the end consumer with a cheese displaying desired texture, flavour and melting profiles. We strongly believe that our technology will help the European cheesemaking industry which is facing the threat of losing a significant proportion of its market as a result of European legislation which calls for limiting saturated and trans fat content both in cheese and cheese-based products.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.39M | Year: 2009
450 k t p.a. of foamed polymer packaging (mainly expanded polystyrene, EPS) is consumed in the EU with 34% (150 k t p.a.) used for food packaging. Foam packaging is an essential part of the food processing and transport process to prevent damage and spoilage. However, they are made from synthetic polymers and have low density (50 kg/m3) which makes them difficult to recycle economically. Thus, the vast majority of foams are landfilled at the end-of-life where they take-up a large volume and resist degradation. In addition, foamed polymers constitute a very high level of litter which is persistent in the environment and is the main source of marine debris. As a result of these factors, food retailers are looking to develop foamed packing solutions based on biodegradable polymers from natural sources. Only Poly lactic acid (PLA) is produced in sufficient tonnages as a natural alternative. However, due to its chemical structure, PLA thermally degrades during processing which prevent the production of low density unmodified PLA foams using traditional extrusion technologies. Only modified PLAs have been successfully foamed to low densities. However these modified PLAs rely on technologies only available from the USA and the modification process affects the final properties and biodegradation behaviour. The proposed PLA-Foam project will develop a supercritical CO2 assisted foam extrusion process and thermoforming method that will produce unmodified PLA foam products with greatly reduced thermal degradation. This will enable the consortium to produce low density foams using unmodified PLAs whose performance and biodegradation behaviour will exceed current alternative. This will allow our consortium to develop world-leading PLA foam technologies that are not dependent on US technologies, giving us global market leadership and leading to sales in excess of 100 million Euros 5 years after the project ends and increase profits across the consortium by 9 million Euros.