Zelfo® selected as "Bio-material of the year 2011"
For the fourth time, the nova-Institute (Huerth, Germany) awarded the "Biomaterial of the Year 2011” at the International Congress on Bio-based Plastics and Composites in Cologne on March 15th 2011. As in the previous year, the company Coperion GmbH (Stuttgart), a leading manufacturer of twin screw extruders, sponsored the Innovation Award.
Before the congress, the five most interesting biomaterials had been nominated by an expert jury out of 14 applications. These ones were presented at the conference in front of an audience of 150 participants. The clear winner of the voting was the Biomaterial Zelfo®, which consists of specially treated micro-and nano-fibrillated cellulose fibers (MFC / NFC) and does not require any binder. The material can be used for a variety of applications such as musical instruments, furniture and, above all, boards. Producer is the German company OMODO® GmbH.
Selected for the second place was the material EcoCradleTM produced by the U.S. company Ecovative Design LLC, a foam-like material whose structure is formed by a fungus mycelium.
The 3rd place received a new family of starch polymers (GAÏALENE®) from the French company Roquette. From this material mainly durable packaging for food and cleaning products are produced.
All nominated and winning materials are available on the market since 2010 - a prerequisite for the award.
The winners are as follows:
1) OMODO® GmbH, Germany: Zelfo®
The "Cellulose Optimization Resource Efficient (CORE)"-technology up-cycles cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic waste without the addition of any chemicals, catalysts or binders to create Zelfo®, a micro and nano-fibrillated cellulose fibre (MFC/NFC). Zelfo® can be formed into finished objects (bio-composites), or used as a bio-additive to improve plastic or paper material characteristics.
Biomass: Cellulose and ligno-cellulose biomass
URL: www.omodo.org / www.zelfo-technology.com
2) Ecovative Design LLC, USA: EcoCradleTM
EcoCradle is a low embodied-energy, compostable, protective packaging material that is literally grown into any custom shape and competes with petrochemical foams in terms of both performance and cost. The self-assembling bonds formed by mycelium (mushroom “roots”) produce this material as it grows around a substrate of regionally sourced agricultural byproducts.
Biomass: Agricultural byproducts, fungus mycelium
3) ROQUETTE, France: GAÏALENE®
GAÏALENE® is a new "high-performance" range of bio-based plastics for packaging, which can compete in performance terms (mechanical, thermal, soft touch, etc.) with fossil-based plastics. GAÏALENE® resin is for lasting applications that usually use polyolefins, ABS and more technical polymers - with an excellent cost/efficiency profile.
Please download pictures from:
Photo of the award ceremony:
Peter von Hoffmann (Coperion), Michael Carus (nova-Institut), Richard Hurding (OMODO), Christin Schmidt (nova-Institut)
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What are innovative biomaterials?
Biomaterials are based on the direct use, or the biotechnological modification, of starch, sugar, plant oil, cellulose/natural fibres as well as special biomolecules such as rubber or lignin. All of them diversify the raw material base, create more independence from the price rises of crude oil and usually have a significantly better CO2-balance than conventional materials. Basically almost all fossil-based materials can be substituted by biomaterials. This group of biomaterials includes bio-based plastics, biodegradable ones as well as durables, Wood-Polymer-Composites (WPC), natural fibre reinforced plastics and natural rubber.