The Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness, dependent on the Department of Innovation, Industry, Commerce and Tourism, has funded research with 235,773 euros to give a second life to agricultural plant waste (pruning remains, etc.) and forestry (trees, wood, forestry waste) in the form of adhesives and new packaging.

The project, called Fustarise, is led by the Plastics Technology Institute (Aimplas) and aims to find more sustainable solutions for the management and treatment of this type of waste, which is generated in large volumes in sectors such as agri-food, wood or the furniture.

To do this, the research center will use mechanochemistry, an innovative, clean, healthy and sustainable methodology, with great benefits compared to the conventional processes currently used in the industry (accumulation in landfills or burning).

The main advantage of this methodology is the reduction and even elimination in chemical processes of solvents and reagents, some of them toxic and harmful to the environment and living beings. It will also help reduce energy and water consumption, the emission of gases into the atmosphere and the generation of waste, the Generalitat has indicated in a statement.

The leading researcher in Mechanochemistry and Reactive Extrusion at Aimplas, BelĂ©n Monje, has stressed that “the efficient and sustainable recovery of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose contained in plant waste allows us to obtain products with high added value and exportable to the market as alternatives. eco-sustainable”.

For her part, the Minister of Innovation, Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Nuria Montes, has highlighted the “research potential” of the technological centers of the Valencian Community and their benefit for companies, while insisting that “technologies innovations are no longer a topic for the future, it is a reality accessible to any company and sector.

In this sense, he pointed out that “the collaboration between innovative agents and the industrial sector has demonstrated its effectiveness and allows the development of increasingly ambitious projects.”

Aimplas collaborates with the company Miarco, specialized in adhesive and abrasive products, the company Lisart, dedicated to state-of-the-art food paper and packaging and the Union of Farmers and Ranchers, which brings together more than 20,000 farmers and ranchers in the Valencian Community.

The treatment processes developed through this project will be scaled to a pre-industrial level so that these low-cost, environmentally friendly technologies can easily reach the productive and waste management sectors, offering themselves as a competitive alternative to conventional methodologies.

In short, the Fustarise project will transfer the optimized results in the Aimplas pilot plants at an industrial level and to the facilities of the companies collaborating in the project so that, both at a socioeconomic and environmental level, they can benefit from the advantages offered by waste recovery. lignocellulosics using mechanochemistry.

This project is included in the Ivace aid program aimed at technological centers in the Valencian Community for non-economic R&D projects carried out in collaboration with companies and is co-financed by the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund Program ( Feder) Valencian Community 2021-2027.