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New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications (BRIGIT)
Start date: Aug 1, 2012, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

BRIGIT aims to develop a cost-competitive and environmentally friendly continuous process to produce biopolymers (polyhydroxybutyrate, PHB, and succinate-based biopolyesters, PBS-Poly-Butylene-Succinate) from waste-derived lignocelullosic sugar feedstock liquor of wood sulphite pulping process based on “in-situ” fermentation process and new fermentation culture technology without alteration of the quality of current lignosulphonates (they have a high market demand as additive). Other non-wood plant waste, used nowadays in the pulp production, will be also considered as alternative sugar source in this project.In comparison with previous projects to obtain biopolymers from different sources, the main innovation in BRIGIT is the use of an existing sugar-rich waste stream and the process integration with the existing industrial operation, that will permit an overall reduction in resource consumption and in greenhouse gas emissions and a dramatic reduction of operational costs due to the use of non-sterile steps, without the need of intermediate discontinuous bioreactors and avoiding waste transport.BRIGIT aims to develop bio-based composites for high-tech fire-resistant applications. The use of these biopolymers in combination with natural fabrics (flax, hemp,...) will be mainly in the passenger and goods transport sector (aeronautics, train, buses, shipping, trucks,..) as an alternative to 3D sandwich panels made from thermoset resins reinforced with continuous glass fibres with high fire resistance. The new panels will be recyclable, lighter, with a broad processing windows, high production capacity (using a continuous compression moulding process) and low embodied energy in comparison with current panels that are heavy, non-recyclable, have narrow processing windows, low production capacity, dirty process with high production of waste and based on materials with high embodied energy.
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