Materials and technologies - August 2019

05 September 2019

3D printing of wood
A new technology, presented by Chalmers University researchers, allows wood to be grown into exactly the shape desired for the final product, through the medium of 3D printing. An article about the research is published in Applied Materials Today (abstract).

Sensors that detect contamination and stickers that protect fruit from infections
A new technology, developed by UM, UHasselt and KU Leuven facilitates a low-cost quick test using biosensors for the detection of microbiological contamination in the agro food industry. The technology will be further developed in the project AgrEUfood. One of the partners is Brightlands (in Dutch).
StixFresh produces stickers that protect fruit from fungal infections. The natural components in the stickers create a protective layer around fruits. The US company is now launching a Belgian subsidiary and initiating an R&D facility to collaborate with VIB-KU Leuven.

Food packaging
Ioniqa, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology, has taken its first 10 kiloton PET factory into operation. It can transform all types and colors of PET waste into valuable resources for ‘virgin-quality’ new PET for food grade packaging.
In an article (130 kB) published in B.CEPPA, researchers at the Rural University of Rio de Janeiro discuss food packaging concepts, highlighting biopolymers as an alternative to materials made from fossil sources. In an article (652 kB) published in Chemical Engineering Transactions, researchers at the Regional University of Blumenau study the potential for nanocomposites in food packaging.

Printing without using ink
Kyoto University researchers have developed a method to create colourful high-resolution images without using ink by using a process called Organized Microfibrillation (OM). It is exactly how nature produces the vivid colors seen in butterfly wings for example. One of the applications could be in security labels for food and drug safety. An article about the research is published in Nature (abstract).

Kaunas University of Technology scientists have created a biodegradable plastic which decays in a compost bin in a couple of years.
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has published a new booklet (in Dutch, 1.06 MB) on the role of biomass in the circular economy. Within the EU project RoadToBio a roadmap has been published on how to increase the share of bio-based or renewable feedstock to 25% of total volume of organic chemicals raw materials/feedstock used by the chemical industry in 2030.

Weekly overview of prices for plastics
Dutch trade magazine Vraag en Aanbod publishes a weekly overview of the prices for plastics (in Dutch). The prices given are estimated averages between the gross prices published in the trade journals and the net prices.

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