\ News \ DeMANS report on novel biopolymers derived from lignocellulosic biomass of potential in additive manufacturing now published

DeMANS report on novel biopolymers derived from lignocellulosic biomass of potential in additive manufacturing now published

14 Jun 2022 17:59

The first of the scientific reports from the DeMANS consortium has now been published and is available on the European Commission's CORIDS platform. This report on novel biopolymers derived from lignocellulosic biomass of potential in additive manufacturing, as part of the DeMANS Report on perspectives of additive manufacturing (AM) of biopolymers and sustainable solutions.

There is an urgent need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel derived plastics. The vast majority of these polymers cannot be recycled due to additives within them; developing more sustainable material approaches is an imperative.

DeMANS is an international and intersectoral project and has the ambitious goal of world-class innovation in the design and AM of parts, components and devices using sustainable (bio)polymer materials.

Various types of biobased polymers or materials have been used in AM; however, most of them are mixed with plastic-based component via extrusion processes to prepare hybrid biobased polymer and plastic molecules. Cellulose, which is the most abundant natural polymer and a most potential candidate for 3D printing, is currently a heavily studied material that has the potential to revolutionise AM. Traditionally, hemicellulose and lignin (the other two main components of plant resources after cellulose) have a strong appeal for the preparation of 3D printing bio-feedstocks due to their environmentally friendly credentials.

In this recent report we considered several other wood-derived biopolymers, which are still underutilized in 3D printing and have tremendous potential for use in AM; these include tannins, suberin fatty acids, and lignin-carbohydrates complexes. Tannins are typically defined as water-soluble phenolic compounds that are able to bind and precipitate proteins and other macromolecules within aqueous solutions. Suberin fatty acids are the biobased polyesters, and they could several applications in AM fabricated materials. Lignin carbohydrate complexes are the amorphous compound mixture of lignin and carbohydrates, which enables them in providing excellent behaviour such as rigid, hydrophobic nature, and flexible hydrophilic sugar moieties results in a good biological compatibility and strength.

For each of these novel biopolymeric materials, the report outlines their properties, extraction techniques and potential routes to their use in materials engineering: DeMANS will be looking in particular at consumer electronics applications.

The report identifies four key factors and advantages of AM techniques for using these three material types:

  • Enable the use of inexpensive, renewable materials in production thereby reducing reliance on fossil-fuel systems
  • Generate functional products that have inherent antimicrobial, binding or optical properties that may be useful in biomedical or packaging applications requiring controlled functionality
  • Increase the circularity and sustainability of manufacture through the use of renewable and biodegradable materials
  • Increase the use of side-streams generated from wood processing industries and enable bioeconomy and circular bio economies in countries regions

This report was prepared as part of Work Package 1, which looks at delineating appropriate materials and pre-processing techniques that allow the biopolymers to have product performances conforming to current application requirements. LUKE in Finland has primary responsibility for this Work Package.

Directly download the report

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101007584.

Views expressed on this website reflect only the author's views and neither the Research Executive Agency nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information on this website.

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