Reuse of bEer SpenT grAin foR bioplasTics
LIFE RESTART is a close-to-market project co-financed by the European Union within LIFE Programme (LIFE21-ENV-IT-LIFE RESTART/101074314).
LIFE RESTART is the first example of re-use of beer spent grain (BSG) in the production of high-quality, biodegradable, ryciclable, green bioplastics with competitive costs.
In its three-years span, the project will allow for the production of new bioplastics on a semi-industrial scale and for the production of market-interesting biodegradable manufacts prototypes.
LIFE RESTART promotes a social economy perspective with a community-based approach and a business model which shall permit job inclusion for disadvantaged subjects and the generation of economic resources to be used in sustainable development activities in Roccavaldina, a inner-area Municipality in the province of Messina (Sicily, Italy), which shall host the bioplastics production hub. With such integrated approach, LIFE RESTART also aims at contrasting marginalization and depopulation dynamics afflicting internal rural areas.
LIFE RESTART specific objectives are manyfold. On the environmental side:
- recovery and reuse of 75% of beer spent grain for new biopolymers production;
- reuse 75% of breweries’ waste waters through BSG pre-drying processes;
- reduce by 15% the consumption of fossil-based biopolymers (FbP) that partners are already using in packaging production;
- reduce by 35% the consumption of virgin biopolymers and demand for raw natural resources in the production of the new bioplastics.
On the social side:
- generation of 7 new green and qualified job (2 of them will be for socially and economically disadvantaged subjects);
- design of a sound business plan and of a related, replicable social business model for the sustainable development of territory and local community, thus fostering its resilience against climate change. To this end, a Community Well-being Plan shall be designed.
Within three years from project end the construction in the EU of at least four more production sites for the new bioplastics is expected and the creation of 35 new job places thanks to the replicability of LIFE RESTART in further territories outside Sicily.
LIFE RESTART aims at turning beer spent grain in an opportunity: from a low/zero value product to means of production for high-quality, green, biodegradable, recyclable bio-polimers with an industrial value.
LIFE RESTART partners:
- Fondazione di Comunità di Messina, now Fondazione Me.S.S.In.A., shall coordinate the project. Fondazione Me.S.S.In.A. leads the Evolved Social District, a social economy cluster in the city of Messina;
- EcosMed Social Cooperative, experienced in projects for local sustainable development and for disadvantaged subjects’ job placement. Ecosmed will manage the pilot-plant in Roccavaldina;
- Messina University, whose Engineering Department has high expertise in materials science and polymers design;
- Crossing, spin-off of the Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems of University of Venice, contributes with expertise in sustainability and green chemistry for agro-waste valorisation;
- Birrificio Messina, a brewery born out of a successful workers buyout with the support of Fondazione Me.S.S.In.A.;
- Bibetech, company specialized in packaging production.
Several stakeholders are supporting the project development and testing the transferability of the technology to other sectors and markets.
LIFE RESTART ACTIVITIES:
- research and development for the recovery and transformation of spent grain and for the construction on a pilot-scale of new high-quality and eco-friendly bioplastics;
- production of new bioplastics on a semi-industrial scale;
- production of market-ready manufacts prototypes (food containers, coffee pods, vases, etc.);
- design and implementation of a business model based on the principles of social economy for the management of pilot-implant in Roccavaldina (ME) and for an equal development of the local community;
- feasibility studies to evaluate the possible use of new bioplastics for further products and for the transferability of LIFE RESTART technology to different agro-food chains.
- Duration: 01/10/2022 – 31/12/2025 (39 months)
- Total budget: 2,95 million euros (financed up to 60% by the European Union)
Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
BANDO BREVETTI + 2021 – Decreto Direttoriale 29 July 2021 – Asse III – Competitività PMI
Enhancement Project related to out patent application “SURFACE ANTIMICROBIAL TREATMENTS” filed on date 11/12/2020.
Aim: the main project objectives are:
- Design and industrialization
- Organization and develpment
- Technoloy trasfer
Duration: from 29/09/2021 to 29/03/2023
Financial support granted: 103.360,00 € on a eligible cost of 129.200,00 €
Project LIFE20 ENV/IT/000759 – LIFE I’M TAN – CUP: B49J21020660004
With the contribution of the Life programme of the European Union
Start date 01/09/2021; End date 31/08/2024
Reference to: life-imtan.eu
Founded Project POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione Veneto – Year 2020 Asse 1 Azione 1.1.4
Action 1.1.4 “Support for R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, new products and services”
Project: ECODESIGN E RICICLO DI DPI IN UNA FILIERA INDUSTRIALE CIRCOLARE/ ECODESIGN AND RECYCLE OF PPE IN A CIRCULAR SUPPLY CHAIN.
The Applicant: VENETO GREEN CLUSTER (recognised by DGR n. 54 of 27/01/2017)
Financial support granted: 2.029.972,00 € on a eligible cost of 2.999.460,00 €.
Crossing’s Financial support granted: 29.531,25 € on a eligible cost of 42.187,50 €
The general objective of the project is the valorization of waste from the use of personal protective equipment, including health care equipment.
The objective is pursued by studying the key phases of a potential circular supply chain for the production of such devices (acquisition of raw material and pre-processes, production, use, end of life), focusing on the following specific objectives:
(i) definition of a sustainable production model for the production and management of IPRs, which, in the context of the COVID19 pandemic, has clearly denounced its absence
(ii) integration of specific skills and production capacities now fragmented and dispersed throughout the territory
(iii) production of new knowledge (on issues of greater value such as: ecodesign, regenerative materials, waste hierarchy) transferable to different application areas and other production chains
(iv) application of circular economy principles in an integrated territorial production chain, in accordance with the Circular Economy Action Plan promoted by the EU in order to accelerate the transition indicated by the European Green Deal.
The study will clarify the criticalities and specific opportunities with respect to the state of the art of knowledge and industrial technologies actually applicable, with the ultimate goal of indicating specific areas where it is convenient an industrial investment in the short, medium and long term.
For further information: Veneto Green Cluster
BANDO BREVETTI + 2019 – Decreto Direttoriale 26 Novembre 2019 – Asse III – Competitività PMI
Enhancement Project related to out patent application “INNOVATIVE TANNING AGENTS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF HIGHLY STABILIZED LEATHER” granted on date 15/05/2017.
Aim: the main project objectives are:
- market analysis to indentify theaths and opportunities;
- creating a strategy to economically enhance our patent;
- identification of activites and tools to seize the opportunities.
Duration: from 01/02/2020 to 31/07/2021
Financial support granted: 38.200 € on a eligible cost of 47.750 €
POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione Veneto – Anno 2017 Asse 1 Azione 1.1.1
Azione 1.1.1 “Support for the employment of researchers (Phd students and Master graduates with a technical-scientific profile) in the development of industrialization project”
Project: RICERCA INDUSTRIALE PER LO SVILUPPO DI NUOVI AGENTI CONCIANTI
INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TANNING AGENTS
Financial support granted: € 36.375,00 on a total eligible cost of € 48.500,00.
Description: Industrial development of the production and use of new tanning agents has led to the introduction of an environmental and economical sustainable technology. With this innovative technology, tanneries are now able to produce “green” leather.
Aim: the main project objectives were:
• quality validation of process and product
• report of the critical issues for technological integration
• cost/benefit analysis report
Final results: This project has allowed us to consolidate some important aspects related to the production and use of our corporate products (ACL) for the tanning sector. Industrial research has confirmed the validity of this technology for the use of ACL as chrome substitute tanning agents. In particular, the use of ACL has been verified for different types of leather (sheep, cattle) and for different application sectors (clothing, automotive). The overall impact of the process has been validated from an environmental and economic sustainability point of view. Regarding this last aspect it emerged that, although the ACLs have higher costs than Chrome, ACLs can be reasonably compared to other commercial products such as synthetic or natural tannins. In all cases the process has a significantly lower environmental impact and lower cost of managing industrial wastewater. In general, ACL technology, based on what was verified in these 12 months of the project, was found to be more economically sustainable compared to tannins and even to chrome. Therefore, innovation has taken on a totally revolutionary and high-impact aspect, until today there were no products with these characteristics on the market.
POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione Veneto – Anno 2017 Asse 1 Azione 1.1.4
Azione 1.1.4 “Support for R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, new products and services”
Project: SISTEMI AVANZATI PER IL RECUPERO DEI RIFIUTI (acronimo SARR) – ADVANCED PROCESSES FOR WASTE RECOVERY
The Apllicant: VENETO GREEN CLUSTER (recognised by DGR n. 54 of 27/01/2017)
Create a collaborative platform for the development of the Veneto Green Cluster program;
Demonstrate the breadth of the areas of research and innovation that can potentially be addressed by the RIR, combaning information shared in many national or international contexts, as a prerogative for any credible and systemic initiative in the sector;
Demonstrate with concrete and industrializable cases, how the research and development process finds synthesis in a proactive collaboration between Companies and Universities, verifiable with punctual and objective results, which must be achieved during the three-year of the project, then published and disseminated;
Scientifically validate, always through concrete and significant cases, the collaborative technological platform, with research projects of different level of “innovation”.
- Identification of a mixing protocol for waste heterogeneous plastics for the asphalt production with performance characteristics (drainage, abrasion resistance, quietness, etc.), higher than the asphalt currently available on the market.
- Classification of available raw materials and selection of those that can be used for the recovery/recycling process. Production tests and verification of the characteristics of recycled asphalt.
- Create a collaborative platform for the development of the Veneto Green Cluster program;
- Demonstrate the breadth of the areas of research and innovation that can potentially be addressed by the RIR, combaning information shared in many national or international contexts, as a prerogative for any credible and systemic initiative in the sector; Demonstrate with concrete and industrializable cases, how the research and development process finds synthesis in a proactive collaboration between Companies and Universities, verifiable with punctual and objective results, which must be achieved during the three-year of the project, then published and disseminated;
- Scientifically validate, always through concrete and significant cases, the collaborative technological platform, with research projects of different level of “innovation”.
Final results: Within this project, it has been possible to develop a method for the recycling of waste of polyolefin as efficient additives to produce hot mix asphalt. This sinking fraction of polyolefin recycling is today a waste sent to incineration, in contrast to PE/PP mixed polyolefin which are sold as primary secondary materials for 0.45 €/kg for plastics production. Data achieved on laboratory scale, revealed that hot mix asphalt containing 4% by weight of waste of polyolefin had very high performance even superior to normal asphalt. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis is ongoing.
The technology is currently being developed to semi-industrial scale. Further studies will focus on the characterization and standardization of the plastics recovery process.
Financial Support Granted: 2.640.145,87 € on a total eligible cost of 4.553.194,78 €.
POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione Veneto – Anno 2017 Asse 1 Azione 1.1.2
Azione 1.1.2 “Support for the purchase of services for technological, strategic, organizational and commercial innovation”
Project: IMPLEMENTAZIONE DI IMBALLAGGI ATTIVI AD ALTA SOSTENIBILITÀ
SUSTAINABLE ACTIVE PACKAGING IMPLEMENTATION
Description: The innovative active packaging production process will be validated by antimicrobial efficiency tests at Aries srl. Aries srl can help Crossing to develop and validate its technology, patenting the process and then scale it up to industrial production (Smart Agrifood).
Aim: Validation of active packaging production methods through microbiological tests carried out by Aries srl.
Results: Microbiological tests have shown a complete block of S. aureus growth within 4 hours of analysis in samples treated with Nisina-NaCl.
Financial support granted: the project has been funded for € 7,500.00
POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione Veneto – Anno 2016 Asse 1 Azione 1.4.1b
Azione 1.4.1b per il sostegno alla creazione e consolidamento di Start Up innovative ad alta intensità di applicazione di conoscenza e alle iniziative di Spin Off della Ricerca sub Azione B- Consolidamento Start Regione Veneto ID 10004342
Project: SVILUPPO DI NUOVI REAGENTI GREEN PER UN INDUSTRIA CONCIARIA SOSTENIBILE
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW GREEN REAGENTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE TANNING PROCESS
Aims are listed in the Crossing_Rollup2017_Porfesr document.
The consolidation project includes:
• “Know-how” development for ACL scales up production
• development of the protocol for tanning application.