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BOKU

UNIVERSITAET FUER BODENKULTUR WIEN
Country: Austria
257 Projects, page 1 of 52
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 334104
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101113395
    Funder Contribution: 150,000 EUR

    In 2025 around 11 billion tonnes of plastic waste will pollute the environment. Therefore, a circular economy with biotransformation and biodegradation of oil-based plastics is as crucial as implementing biobased and biodegradable materials. Transforming lignocellulosic waste biomass into commercially valuable “green” materials is an emerging and promising way to minimize waste, substitute plastic and reduce our carbon footprint. As a waste resource, we suggest walnut shells, in which we discovered the interlocked 3-D puzzle cells. The homogeneity, the high surface area and the channels make these cells interesting for transformation into biodegradable bioplastic. We plan to dissolve the walnut shells in deep eutectic solvent to separate the cells, add water to regenerate lignin and recycle the solvent. The result of this closed process circle is a NUT slurry as a basis for our materials. To tailor and functionalize the composite for different applications we propose to add bacterial cellulose pellicles, a waste from kombucha fermentation or produced in bioreactors. The pure cellulose fibrils with high tensile strength are an exciting counterpart to the high lignin content pressure optimised puzzle cells. With different ratios of the two agri-residues we will tune the material properties for NUTplastic and NUTleather. Sustainable, energy and resource efficient, biodegradable NUTmaterials with a low carbon and environmental footprint are envisaged for the packaging and textile sector. The project activities comprise 1) development and characterisation of NUTleather and NUTplastic products at the demonstration level 2) life cycle analysis, cost of goods and carbon footprint, 3) define endusers, market analysis, potential industrial partner, buisness plan and IP strategy. We have a strong project team with highly motivated and experienced members with complimentary backgrounds and a solid wish to prove the puzzle cell performance in sustainable materials.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 260408
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101105443
    Funder Contribution: 199,441 EUR

    We have reached a point where we have to use recycled wood, which is mostly contaminated, to a greater extent because there is a shortage of raw wood in the EU. At the same time, in pulp mills, we produce large amounts of lignin, however, use it mainly for energy purposes. LignoMBB is bringing technology for the production of mycelium-based biocomposites (MBB), during which recycled wood is decontaminated. Secondly, LignoMBB is using lignin, which is currently mainly used for energy and is understood as a by- or waste product, in order to achieve better mycelial growth on the developed substrate. I am the first to suggest enriching the substrate for the production of MBB with lignin, expecting that the addition of lignin will result in better mechanical properties of the MBB. LignoMBB develops materials only from recycled wood and lignin, i.e. it does not use agricultural residues, as is currently common practice, and does not endanger food security. At the same time, it finds application for large volumes of old contaminated wood, which is currently entering circulation. My first objective is to develop a technology for the material use of lignin and a substitution technology of agricultural residues in MBBs with lignin and recycled wood. Then, I will answer the questions: To which extent additional lignin in MBB is consumed by fungi? What are the limits of substrate enrichment by lignin? In accordance with the second objective, I will develop a novel MBB to be used in structural applications. At different stages of the MBB cycle, I will measure the VOC emissions because I am hypothesizing that the production process of MBB can act as bioremediation and decreases VOC emissions from materials. LignoMBB will be implemented at BOKU in Bio-Resources & Technologies Tulln group, where the emphasis is placed on cradle-to-cradle design and brings to this group methods of recycled wood decontamination and production of fully degradable MBB.

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