10 years ago Blue marble polymers ltd demonstrated a laboratory process for making thick mouldable biodegradable foam blocks. The original bmp technology has been developed and taken to scale by novamont. our foam is clean to manufacture, clean to dispose of and cost effective. The technology is PROVEN and available. Welcome to BMP And rebiofoam.
REBIOFOAM; INNOVATIVE MOULDED FOAM PACKAGING:
REBIOFOAM is a new approach to environmentally sustainable, energy absorbing packaging.
The Rebiofoam process produces new bio-foams in two simple steps:
(I) formulation and processing, i.e. the extrusion of the base materials with small quantities of biobased and/or renewable additives and subsequent conditioning, in order to produce pellets with specific parameters tailor made for the following expansion phase;
(II) microwave assisted expansion and moulding. During this second step, pellets are transferred into a microwave-transparent mould and further processed into a microwave at controlled temperature. Rapid dielectric heating of the pellets causes the pellets to foam in the mould, thus resulting in a 3-D shaped foamed product.
The expansion of the biopolymers is achieved using microwave technology. Foaming is obtained by utilising the natural water content of the material as the blowing agent.
The foaming process is demonstrated by an operational semi-industrial scale on an automated pilot line. The pilot line is able to produce parts at a density of 40 to 45Kg/m3. Demonstration packing parts for a washing machine have been produced together with a multipurpose corner shape that finds application in several different ways, for example it can function as foam corner and as an edge protector for household appliances, consumer electronics, etc.
Rebiofoam biodegradation and compostability tests have been carried out using the demonstration piece according to CEN Standard on Biodegradability and Compostability (EN13432:2002).
Disintegration under Home Composting conditions has been additionally evaluated according to UNI 11355:2010,
These tests demonstrate that REBIOFOAM material does disintegrate even at low temperature conditions.
The outcomes of Life Cycle Analysis applied to the new packaging system show that its use will offer significant advantages in terms of reduction of GHG emissions (e.g. fossil CO2) and the use of non renewable resources (e.g. oil).
From a waste management perspective, when the use of biobased and compostable expanded packaging systems is compared to conventional expanded products, Rebiofoam based systems divert waste from landfill and conventional polymer recycling schemes to organic recycling systems.
Our studies suggest that landfill will reduce from about 52% (current scenario with conventional packaging systems) to 37% (alternative scenario with a Rebiofoam based compostable packaging system), whereas recycling will increase from 0.5% (conventional packaging) to 40% (Rebiofoam prototype). No modification to current waste collection schemes is required. There are also consequential reductions in direct and indirect waste management costs.
Development of Rebiofoam was financed by the European Union as part of the 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by Novamont. The ReBioFoam Project involved a 10-strong consortium made up of partners from 8 different countries (Italy,
Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). Partners included Novamont, C-Tech Innovation, FEN and Chemtex Italia, Fraunhofer Institut, Czech Technical University, ITENE, Complas Pack, Recticel and Electrolux.