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Design for Circularity: Lignocellulosic based Thermoplastics – FibRe

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“Executive summary Global warming is one of the largest threats ever to our planet which can completely alter our living conditions. Human contributions to emissions of green-house gases must decrease, and a drastically decreased use of fossil resources is a key step to achieve this. Daunting 320 million tons of plastics are annually produced in the world, of which 99% are based on fossil sources, generating large amounts of green-house gases. The major (90%) of the plastics are thermoplastic materials, meaning that they are manufactured into products using thermoforming processes. Fib:Re´s vison is to develop lignocellulose based thermoplastics, convertible into plastic products by conventional thermal processes, to replace fossil-based plastics. To do this successfully, Fib:Re aims to stimulate disruptive thinking where: (i) the lignocellulose has to be molecularly modified to a minimal extent, to preserve degradability and impart required viscoelasticity, but still enough to achieve required thermoplastic properties. Fib:Re will use a top-down modification approach, as opposed to commonly used bottom-up approaches; (ii) develop new advanced characterization tools (X-Ray scattering techniques and NMR, and combinations thereof) to allow investigations on the modified lignocellulose with respect to heterogeneities etc., and (iii) develop competence in predictive processing of how the lignocellulose based materials should be converted into products by thermoforming principles.”

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