recovery of by-products

RECOVERYrecovery of by-products

By-products and circular economy?

The recovery of waste and by-products for industrials is a major economic and environmental challenge that continues to grow. Most companies have been working for years to find the best possible recovery route for their waste.

According to the ADEME definition, a co-product is a material that is created during the manufacturing process of a product, whether intentionally or not. The co-product is intended for a particular use, distinct from that of the product from which it is derived. It is thus between the noble product and the waste.

The majority of volumes are intended for animal feed, this is the most important outlet for agri-food by-products. Flour, cakes and other dehydrated foods come from the sugar, bakery, fruit and vegetable industries. For example, the fruit & vegetable industries use 3/4 of their by-products for animal feed.

In the field of agriculture, the use for fertilization and fertilizers represents a small volume in recovery by way of composting, spreading. Lately, by-products also provide energy in the form of biomass.

Since 2015, NaturePlast has made a specialty of supporting manufacturers in the recovery of by-products resulting from their activities, particularly in the field of plastics processing, in order to create a virtuous circle of circular economy.

Recovery of by-products specifically in the plastics industry

NaturePlast works with its R&D center BiopolyNov, to support manufacturers in the development of new ways of adding value to their by-products in the field of plastics processing. It is thus possible in most cases to incorporate them into plastic or bioplastic materials to create new composite materials. The plastic becomes a binder which makes it possible to integrate almost any type of filler subject to compliance with certain quality standards: humidity level, absence of pollution, particle sizes, etc. NaturePlast has been producing and marketing since 2015 a unique range of biocomposites loaded with by-products.

The innovative biocomposites resulting from this work have an environmental advantage due to the recovery of waste or by-products in new materials.

In addition to reducing the volume of waste to be treated in the end, they also contribute to reducing the volume of plastic to be used for the manufacture of the same product.

Biocomposites can for example be reused by the producer of the co-product: the generation of waste can be used to manufacture a product or packaging that can be used by the company (e.g. use of by-products from the hemp industry to produce fence pole). Life cycle analyzes also make it possible to certify the environmental performance of the products obtained. Unlike fillers conventionally used in the plastics industry (talc, calcium carbonate, glass fibres, etc.), by-products are renewable. On the other hand, these biocomposites allow very atypical designs that cannot be obtained by simple coloring, for example. The differentiation for manufacturers and consumers is therefore immediate at the sight of the product.

To sum up, the plastic materials developed can be:

1) Used in company-specific applications for the creation of new products, packaging, etc.

2) Recovered in all sectors of the plastics industry according to the properties obtained.

Our production and R&D centers are equipped with compounding equipment (allowing the production of mixtures), transformation processes by injection or extrusion (sheet or thin film calendering), and a characterization laboratory.

Valorization of co-products in plastics processing

Source : Gisements de valorisation des coproduits de l’industrie agroalimentaire, RESEDA, 2018

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Valorization of co-products in plastics processing