BRIGIT aims to develop a cost-competitive and environmentally friendly process to produce biopolymers, polyhydroxy butyrate (PHB), polybutylene succinate (PBS), and their copolymers and blends from waste-derived lignocelullosic sugar feedstock liquor from the wood sulfite pulping process.
The fermentation process to produce PHB and succinic acid for the production of PBS will be carried out “in-situ” in the spent sulfite liquor by means of a new fermentation technology without alteration of the composition of current lignosulfonates contained in the spent liquor.
The main innovations in BRIGIT are the use of an existing sugar-rich waste stream from the production of cellulose and the process integration with the existing industrial operation. The use of non-sterile (if possible) steps due to the production and selection of efficient microorganisms, and optimized fermentation and downstream technology will permit an overall reduction in resources consumption, in greenhouse gas emissions, and a substantial reduction of operational costs.
Starting from the obtained biopolymers, BRIGIT aims to develop biobased composites for high-tech fire-resistant applications in the transportation sector (such as in trucks and buses among others). The biocomposites in combination with natural fabrics will be used to produce 3D sandwich panels, as an alternative to the current sandwich panels made of thermoset resins reinforced with continuous glass fibres.
The new panels will be recyclable, lighter, and will be obtained by a continuous compression moulding process in contrast to currently available sandwich panels.
Further information in the 3rd BRIGIT newsletter