Current large-volume products for market applications include fossil-based (for example conventional plastics) or bio-based (for example bio-based plastics and cotton) products, and their production often occurs at relatively low sustainability levels1. Due to the high market share and strategic role associated with these products, industry is increasingly pursuing technical solutions aimed at improving sustainability during their whole life cycle including end-of-life. Also, consumers and brand owners are pushing to tackle safety and environmental issues related to several consumer goods.
Sustainably produced bio-based large-volume products for a variety of applications would be one of the key drivers for accelerating and performing an effective transition towards a low-carbon society. However, some barriers still hinder this process, mainly because of issues over the cost, performance and social and environmental sustainability of the bio-based value chains and related products.
The specific challenge is to produce bio-based fibres and other bio-based materials able to efficiently compete with current benchmark counterparts for large-volume applications through better technical performance, lower cost and higher sustainability levels.Scope:
Demonstrate the efficient and viable production of bio-based fibres and materials with superior technical performance and sustainability levels, but at lower production costs, in a whole value-chain approach. Their superior performance should be proven in comparison with identified benchmark materials (fossil-based or bio-based) for large-volume applications, using clear and pre-defined criteria. Benchmark counterparts should be both fossil-based and traditional bio-based products.
Proposals should target relevant properties in any market sectors of large-volume bio-based products, such as packaging, textiles, construction, agriculture, the automotive industry and personal care and hygiene. Proposals should consider feedstock from different European sources, including residual streams of several origins to produce the target bio-based materials. Proposals should demonstrate solutions that comply with the relevant regulations, existing standardisation documents and validated approaches to achieve the products’ subsequent marketability. The target product should comply with all safety, quality and purity requirements set by the EU and national authorities. Proposals should outline a strategy for deploying the targeted products on the market for large-volume applications. To this end, proposals should provide appropriate business models and marketing strategies. Proposals should also show the feasible, sustainable and economic supply of European biomass for these applications.
The Technology Readiness Level (TRL)1 at the end of the project should be 6-7. Proposals should clearly state the starting and target TRLs. The proposed work should enable the technology to achieve the target TRL within the timeframe of the project.
Proposals should include an environmental and economic assessment using Consequential2 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies. Proposals should also include a viability performance check of the developed process(es) based on available standards, certification, accepted and validated approaches, as well as measurement and testing approaches allowing for coming regulatory compliance checks.
Indicative funding: It is considered that proposals requesting a contribution of maximally EUR 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
1 Technology Readiness Levels as defined in annex G of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/wp/2016-2017/annexes/h2020-wp1617-annex-ga_en.pdf
2 Only relevant when crop land based biomass is used as feedstock: ‘Consequential LCAs seek to identify the environmental consequences of a decision or a proposed change in a system under study (oriented to the future), which means that market and economic implications of a decision may have to be considered’. See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessmentExpected Impact: