ECOBIOFOR coatings

Sunday 28th September 2014

The ECOBIOFOR project is seeking to obtain bio-based coatings, inks, adhesives, paints and varnishes to introduce environmentally-friendly products. The consortium comprising associations of enterprises, companies and research centres from Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, and France led by Tecnalia looks to replace petro-based components by sustainable, bio-based materials, new products using natural, renewable resources to replace conventional solvents.

The EU solvents market totalled 5.0 million tons in 2010. The bio-based solvent consumption was only 0.63 million tons (12.6%), mainly devoted to cleaning operations, however the consumption of bio-solvents is estimated to grow annually 4.8% up to 1.1 million by 2020 (EU Innova-Biochem 2010). 
The coatings/inks/adhesives industry represents 58% of the global solvent consumption, since they use solvents as the main constituent in their formulations (50-70wt%), which will be released in fine to the atmosphere.

This R&D project addresses the need of the coatings industry to put on their market products that are more in line with environmental requirements. The sector needs “greener” components to formulate coatings, inks, adhesives, paints and varnishes, bearing in mind that solvents are one main constituents in their formulations.

In response to these problems of the sector, solutions are being put forward within the framework of Green Chemistry principles when developing “Green Solvents” using renewable natural resources. New formulations will include, firstly, renewable versions of conventional organic solvents (with a lower carbon footprint), while maintaining the same chemical structure and properties; and secondly, new developments in reactive solvents that do not emit volatile organic compounds.

Associations of SMEs, in this case three biotechnology associations –ASEBIO (Spain), APBIO (Portugal), and SwissBiotechAssociation (Switzerland)– and two paints associations –CEPE (Europe) & PROCOAT (Italy). These associations encompass a group of more than 1,000 SMEs.

Three companies, a manufacturer of chemical products –STEARINE DUBOIS (France)– and two paint manufacturers –LIPPENS Paints (Belgium) and IRURENA GROUP (Spain).

Three R&D Centres –IUCT (Spain), INPT-Ensiacet (France) and TECNALIA (Spain).

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