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Transforming urban and agricultural residues into high performance biomaterials for green construction (INNOBITE)
Start date: Sep 1, 2012, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

INNOBITE project will transform urban and agricultural residues into high performing resource efficient products for the construction sector. The project finds support in two innovative ideas: (1) adding value to the inorganic fraction of wheat straw and (2) obtaining cellulose nanofibres out of highly recycled paper. Once isolated via environmentally friendly processes, these two renewable compounds will be used as high-performance additives for the development of a new series of bio-composites The incorporation of those natural components will improve current solutions in two construction applications: panels for indoor structures (interior walls, ceiling, flooring…) and profiles (decking, fencing…) by, respectively, increasing the resistance-to-weight ratio and improving the surface hardness and water absorbency. Other commercial bio-plastics as well as the two major fractions of what straw, cellulose and lignin, will be also incorporated into such materials (cellulose after chemical modification and lignin after being polymerised into both thermosetting and thermoplastic resins), and the resulting products will be finally tested for biodegradability. In the same way as wood, which is at the same time biodegradable and exceptional building material, the use of plant-derived products will increase the biodegradability of the biomaterials without compromising their structural quality. The project will destine more than 10% of the total budget to maximize the effectiveness of the exploitation activities, which will include thorough analysis of the cost effectiveness and environmental credentials of the products/processes developed and of new possible business lines and new business models. Also, the validation of developed technologies under the Environmental Technology Verification programme is expected to have a big impact on the exploitation.

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