SIX candidates were been nominated for the ‘Biocomposite of the Year 2019’ award. Golden Compound from Germany won first place with its certified home compostable coffee capsules. KNN Cellulose from the Netherlands took second place with their biocomposite granulates made from recycled toilet paper. And Bcomp from Switzerland achieved third place with their powerRibs™, a composite material made of natural fibres for high-performance applications in lightweight construction.
This year’s nominated companies give a good picture of the emerging application fields for biocomposites: automotive, packaging, casing for consumer goods, instruments as well as solutions for construction such as facades.
The overall winner was Golden Compound (DE) for its HOMEcap – home compostable coffee capsules
HOMEcap is the world’s first and only home compostable capsule successfully introduced in the market that is ‘OK compost HOME’ certified. The capsule was successfully launched this year. It is made from a unique compound comprising PTTMCCs PBS and PBSA mixed with sunflower seed shells and inorganic fillers. It comes with a paper and cellulose based lid, sealable to the capsule without additional glue, and is home compostable. The material composition results in low oxygen transmission rates, which allows to avoid additional barrier packaging and is therefore saving waste. A VDI 4605 sustainability assessment showed that this capsule outperforms current state-of-the-art capsules, like deep-drawn PP EVOH multilayer capsules, in terms of sustainability.
Second place went to KNN Cellulose (NL) for its Recell® Biocomposite – the competitive alternative
Recell biocomposite is a granulate at competitive pricing and with low environmental impact. The biocomposite is made from recovered toilet paper (a tertiary cellulose source) mixed with a variety of polymers like bio-resins, PLA or PHA. The granulate is suitable for standard injection moulding and extrusion operations. Current applications include flowerpots, cladding, fencing, decking and crates. The product for the competition is a picnic table produced by EcoDeck. The Recell cellulose fibres are efficiently produced from Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) with Cellvation® technology.
Third place went to Bcomp (CH) for its PowerRibs™– sustainable lightweighting
The Swiss company Bcomp has developed proprietary lightweighting solutions for high performance applications by applying the latest composites knowledge to natural fibres. Thanks to powerRibs™ technology, a reinforcing grid inspired by the thin veins in leaves that provides maximum stiffness at minimum weight, natural fibres can achieve the performance of carbon fibres in a motorsport body and thus replace them. The result is a 75% lower CO2 footprint, 30% lower costs and improved safety without toxic dust and sharp shattering, as well as viable end-of-life options. The powerRibs™ are also used to make automotive interior panels up to 40% lighter.