04 Feb Ford, Cosentino and the International Olive Oil Council contribute to the first Technical Seminar for the LIFE-Comp0live project
The European LIFE Comp0live project, led by Andaltec, has organised its first Technical Seminar, attended by experts from Spain, France and Germany. Top level participants from the International Olive Oil Council, the multinational company Cosentino or Ford Motor Company have joined this activity. This project’s goal is to use olive tree pruning waste as a reinforcement for biocomposites at an industrial level. This material can be employed in diverse sectors, such as the automotive or the home and street furniture ones.
This online seminar started with the project introduction by Juan Pablo Ferrer, researcher at Andaltec. Next, Carmen Capiscol, Head of Research, Development and Innovation for Citoliva, talked about olive waste and biomass generation by olive oil producers. Furthermore, Pablo Morello, Head of the department of Technology and Environment for the International Olive Oil Council, highlighted the support this organisation is providing for the LIFE Comp0live project.
Then, María Dolores La Rubia, professor and researcher at University of Jaén, informed the attendants about the chemical treatment of olive tree pruning fibres which is being carried out for this R&D project. Francisco Javier Navas, Head for New Materials Development in Andaltec, discussed escalation in biocomposites production. Thomas Baranowski and Inga Wehmeyer, delegates for Ford-Werke GmbH, covered the use of biomaterials developed for the automotive industry thanks to Comp0live. Finally, Paz Carreras, R&D director for Cosentino, presented a success story about the use of recycled materials in Silestone, which is one the most successful products from this multinational company, present in 80 countries around the world.
One of the major breakthroughs derived from this project is that, when the olive tree pruning fibre is addtivated to a polymer as a reinforcement, it is created a bioplastic material with significantly improved properties. Besides, an innovate aspect and texture is obtained, even when working with recycled plastics. Researchers have made important advances as for material development, and they are currently working in manufacturing escalation.
LIFE Comp0live project stems from the need to give value to olive tree waste, given the enormous amount generated annually in the Mediterranean region, and the scarce applications for such materials existing at the moment. Thus, the project’s main goal is the development of a new generation of biocomposites based on olive tree pruning waste for industrial applications. These materials would replace non-renewables resources with sustainable wood-based fibre products. Hence, such waste products would be given a new value, and the CO2 emissions caused by the current burning of waste material would be reduced.
On another note, it is intended to create three new business models related to waste management within the olive oil sector’s new value chain: fibres for the automotive industry, street and home furniture, What’s more, another goal is to improve the primary sector’s consciousness towards a better economic and environmental management of olive tree pruning waste. The project’s consortium is constituted by Andaltec, Caliplast (France), Plasturgia (France), Ford-Werke GmbH (Germany), and University of Jaén, Citoliva and Matricería Peña (Spain).