Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Biodegradable composite material

biocompositebiodegradable materialESTECHhydrolyzed woolmulching paperrecycle kraft pulp

Introduction

The invention consists in the application of waste wool in the process of manufacturing biocomposite/paper made of a combination of superheated water hydrolyze waste wool and recyclable kraft paper pulp such as waste cardboard, paper boards without the use of any chemicals and binding material.

Technical features

The patented biocomposite/paper was made using superheated water hydrolyzed wool and recycled Kraft paper pulp without using any binder. In this biocomposite/paper matrix, the mixture of hydrolyzed wool and cellulose fiber together were resulted in a compact structure in paper/biocomposite. The raw wool fibers were given a simple washing treatment in order to remove a vegetable matter and dirt to increase the uniformity of biocomposite/paper structure. The superheated water hydrolysis of wool was carried out at various temperatures ranging between 130-170 °C using only water as a solvent for a different time (for example 30-90 min) considering the hydrophilicity of wool and its homogeneity with recycled Kraft pulp.
Based on the grams per m2 to be obtained, a known amount of solution was molded to form a sheet by evaporating the water.
After 90 days of degradation in the soil some samples are completely degraded while most of them found to be in > 90% state of degradation.

Possible Applications

  • Packaging sector to produce cartons, for the production of supermarket bags;
  • Agricultural sector;
  • Mulching films;
  • Packing for agricultural products;
  • Biodegradable pot to carry seedlings to be planted in the ground.

Advantages

  • Use of a waste biomass (coarse wool) to create sustainable circular economy;
  • Paper is entirely organic, compostable, biodegradable along with wool modification process is a completely sustainable process;
  • Paper sheets obtained can replace synthetic films in certain applications.