Project Summary

ISSUE: Packaging waste generated in Europe is estimated at 87 For biobased packaging, such as bioplastic PLA, industrial composting is often used. However, when plastic is composted the non-biodegradable, synthetic colorants are released, many of which contain toxic components that cumulate in the environment. In paper recycling these colorants end up in wastewater.
CHANGE: The few biodegradable colorants available do not meet the quality criteria for applications in paper and plastic, hence the industry has no choice. Curcumin, a yellow natural colorant, is used in food and pharma. Wider use is hindered mainly due to the poor UV stability. Recent research shows possibility to improve stability and generate other colors (red, blue) based on curcumin. CURCOL demonstrates: ECONOMIC POTENTIAL by identifying supply chains from regionally grown plants to biobased colorants in packaging. TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY in 3 pilots addressing colorant production and application in packaging. MARKET by identifying barriers and business cases and developing introduction actions. OUTPUTS: 3 application pilots for colorants. 5 bioproducts with the novel colorants, tailored to the market specifications, supported by Life-Cycle (LCA) and Techno-Economic Assessment (TEA). Guidelines and business plan for greenhouse production of curcuma crop developed. Regulation/market aspects are reviewed in TEA. LONG TERM EFFECTS:  CURCOL aims to valorise biobased colorants in biodegradable packaging, introduce a new high value crop in the greenhouse industry and identify new supply chains resulting to 100-150 jobs and economic growth 25M€/y in 5 years after the project. New knowledge and transnational partnerships will support the change to the circular economy. CURCOL focuses in packaging, however use in a range of applications e.g. textile and cosmetics is possible.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Stichting Avans 13 Professor Cobbenhagenlaan
5037 DA
Name Contact Name Email Country
Provinciaal Proefcentrum voor de Groenteteelt Oost-Vlaanderen vzw Saskia Buijsens Belgium
Centexbel Isabel De Schrijver Belgium
Rubia 100% Natural Colours Rudolph de Jong Netherlands
Athlone Institute of Technology Margaret Fournet Ireland
Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials e.V. Yvonne van der Meer Germany
DeltaQ T/A Quality Additives Patrik Rohrer Ireland
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster Bodo Philipp Germany

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