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Description: The PHBV polymer composite - used coffee grounds is an environmentally friendly, biodegradable material of natural origin. It can be used for the production of products in injection and extrusion processes, as a substitute for petrochemical materials.

An important problem is the constantly increasing amount of plastic waste in the world, where these materials are mostly of petrochemical origin. PHBV (poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric acid)) belonging to the group of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) is a polymer of natural origin, fully biodegradable, produced in bacterial mitochondria. This material is a very interesting alternative to plastics of petrochemical origin, unfortunately, due to the high production costs, this modern biopolymer is rarely used as an injection molded material. In order to reduce the production costs and improve some properties, a solution was proposed by the research group for the production of a modern polymer material with a PHBV matrix filled with ground used coffee grounds, which are known to be waste. At the moment, the 6th TRL level has been reached, where a biocomposite was successfully produced, production parameters in the extrusion process and processing in the injection molding process were defined, which can be related to industrial conditions. It was found that it is possible to successfully produce a biocomposite containing even 45 wt. filler, reducing the price of the biocomposite by up to approx. 40%, improving the hardness by approx. 10%, reducing the processing shrinkage of injection molded products by approx. 10% compared to pure PHBV. Initial steps have already been taken regarding the concept of using the obtained biocomposite as a substitute for plastics of petrochemical origin in injection products. The solution was submitted on behalf of PRz at the end of December 2022 to the Polish Patent Office as an invention for a manufacturing method and product, and further patent applications are expected to be prepared, also with a European dimension. Activities carried out under the INNOSPIN 3/2023 grant financed by the VIA CARPATIA Polytechnic Network named after the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński.

Organisation: Rzeszow University of Technology

Innovator(s): dr inż. Grzegorz Janowski - Rzeszow University of Technology, dr hab. inż. Wiesław Frącz - Rzeszow University of Technology, dr inż. Łukasz Bąk - Rzeszow University of Technology, prof. dr hab. inż. Janusz W. Sikora - Lublin University of Technology, dr inż. Adam Tomczyk - Bialystok University of Technology

Category: Zero Waste Technologies

Country: Poland

Gold Award