Materials and technologies – April 2022

02 May 2022

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Princeton University and Braskem have received funding to develop bioplastic packaging that's infinitely recyclable.
Nova-Institute reports that the AFTERLIFE project on converting wastewater into bioplastics has come to an end. One of the end products is PHA-based plastic trays for food packaging.
Drawing inspiration from squid skin, engineers at the University of California, Irvine have developed an adaptive composite material that can insulate beverage cups, restaurant to-go bags, parcel boxes and even shipping containers. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Nature Sustainability.
In an article (333 kB) published in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, researchers from ICT Mumbai give an overview of the present status of bioplastic for paper coatings.
Side streams from banana plantations are perfectly suited as raw material for biodegradable plastics. This is the conclusion of researchers from WUR based on interviews and experimental research.

Building circularity directly into the molecular blueprint of materials
Prof. Pieter Bruijnincx from Utrecht University has been granted a Vici for his research on making chemistry more sustainable by making materials that have the desired circularity directly built into the molecular blueprint. As a starting point, Bruijnincx uses molecules that are easy to make from non-edible biomass. With a simple but clever combination of chemical conversions, he turns these into chemical building blocks, polymers and energy carriers that are either recyclable, biodegradable or long-lasting as required.

Prolonging the shelf-life of food with orange peel
Researchers at the University of Cadiz studied the application of citrus by-products in the production of active food packaging. The researchers used orange peel and they found that the antioxidant and antimicrobial characteristics help to prolong the shelf-life of food. An article (3.17 MB) about the research is published in Antioxidants.

Seals and leakage from beer bottles
In an article (6.39 MB) published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life, researchers at Delft University of Technology study the relation between leakage from beer bottles and the surface roughness of three different thermoplastic elastomer seals.

Pasta that changes to a specific shape upon boiling
Hebrew University (75 KB) researchers have developed a technique for manufacturing pasta that can be ‘pre-programmed’ for specific shape shifting upon boiling. This technology could have significant implications for the packaging.

Number of EU patents for packaging material increased by 142 since March 2021
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that they received 188,600 patent applications in 2021, 4.5% more than in 2020. You can read more in the online EPO Patent Index 2021. The European patent register holds 2,632 patents with the search term ‘packaging material’ (search done by NVC on 25 March 2022). This is an increase of 142 in a years’ time. On 22 March 2021 NVC did the same search and that resulted in 2,490 patents.

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