The aim of the Poly4emi project – lead by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and funded from the EU Commission the - was to identify new business opportunities emerging from the use of biopolymers. Pulp and Paper Institute was engaged in the organization of the focused the workshops »The potential of biopolymers - from natural raw materials to advanced materials and products«, where experts from different industries and research organizations discussed opportunities for development and use of biopolymers in cross-sectoral cooperation. Six potential new value chains were identified: (1) Bio-based packaging for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, (2) Production and use of nanocellulose, (3) Encapsulation of biomaterials, (4) Bio-based materials in thermal insulation panels, (5) High-performing protection coatings, and (6) Printed electronics and advanced packaging. Further on, participating companies and R&D institutions defined number of joint development projects on each of the identified topics (21 in total). International evaluation committee selected the most promising of them which were also supported with the start-up funds.
The project which was completed in the end of 2014 was co-financed by EU/European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and individual project partners. It was focused on how to improve the quality of paper for recycling. The project was conceived and implemented in compliance with the development strategy of Central Europe. Ten partners from five countries (Italy -3, Germany-3, Hungary-1, Poland-1 and Slovenia-2) participated in the implementation of the project. The results are published in a book where guidelines concerning recycling, recyclability of paper products, eco-design, collection strategies, sustainable development as well as political recommendations are collected. During the project, partners developed and validated the EPL method for recyclability determination of packaging products, which was translated to several languages. More information is available on http://www.ecopaperloop.eu/.
KROP- Active and Inteligent Packagingh
European Social Fund and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport co-financed the activites for strengtening R & D departments in enterprises. ICP has obtained the funds to form new research team and starting R&D projects on advanced materials, ecology and technologies in packaging.
The project was implemented in the period from 2012 till 2014 and was divided into four subprojects that addressed key challenges of active and intelligent packaging.
Functionalization of the substrate surface and development of special structural and surface properties was the first subproject addressing application of nanoparticles on cellulose fibers, development of coatings based on polymeric composites and development of lower basic weight papers with improved mechanical properties. The results of the first part were crucial for the development of new methodology for the active packaging quality assesment, addressed in the second subproject. In this segment, research was focused on the development of a new methodology for determining effectiveness of antimicrobial agents. The objective of the third subproject was development of sensors and indicators and the humidity sensors printed directly on the paper and cardboard were developed. The last segment of the project focused on ecological issues associated with packaging waste. Methods for determination of genotoxicity and mutagenicity of conductive inks and for the LCA of the packaging were studied.
Three patents on printed electronics were registered as a result of the project and successful cooperation was initiated with several research institutes as well as with the industry.
CRP project Rational use of hardwoods with a focus on beech wood
ICP participates in a research project (2014-2017), which is co-financed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MKGP) and Public Research Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (ARRS). The participating partners are from different areas of the forestry-wood chain: Biotechnical Faculty UL– Department of Wood Science and Technology and Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, Slovenian Forestry Institute, Slovenian Forest Service and Pulp and Paper Institute. Beech is our most important wood species, so rational management of beech forests and available wood biomass is extremely important. The purpose of the project is evaluation of the condition of beech stands and forests, determination of quality and quantity of wood and critical survey of wood assessment methods as well as proposal of optimal solutions for modernisation of processing technologies and efficiency improvement of the entire forestry-wood chain. A particular emphasis was devoted to alternative uses of low quality biomass and residues for chemical processing. http://crp-bukev.bf.uni-lj.si/