Fraunhofer Institute Announces New Research Project to Help Design Recyclable Bio-Based Coatings for Paper Packaging | Article

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV announced a new research project, BiPaRe, which aims to identify the links between the barrier effect of a coating and its recyclability, in order to increase the market potential of bio-based paper coatings in sustainable packaging.

The institute says a database will be created for product developers to use to assess the functionality, processability and recyclability of new coatings in advance while considering the larger context. Coatings can then be organized efficiently.

Apparently, new lab test methods will be used to test the recyclability of coatings. The interference potential of redispersible and finely dispersed coating particles, which accumulate in paper mill process water, is being studied using new test methods. Biobased paper coatings with a barrier function will also be systematically studied.

According to Fraunhofer, the results will be used to further develop recyclability to help coatings meet the demands of the recovered paper industry. On this basis, new packaging concepts will be developed and a generally applicable decision tree for the development of bio-based barrier coating products will be defined.

Fraunhofer specifies that the BiPaRe project aims to achieve several results. The first is a generally applicable laboratory test method for the interference potential of redispersible coating components in paper production, to supplement current recyclability test methods.

Second, a data matrix showing the influence of material parameters of bio-based coating materials on recyclability. Plus examples of packaging concepts for food groups/product categories that combine both functionality and recyclability.

Finally, action recommendations for holistic product development (including recyclability) developed during the project should enable SMEs to increase their sales potential with sustainable product variants and reduce licensing costs for dual systems.

The project is managed and financed by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), the Paper Technology Foundation (PTS) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

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