Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

CCP Report Summary

Project ID: 719057

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CCP (Feasibility assessment on sustainable bulk products, made from coconut fibers)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Transport pallets are used worldwide in many different industries. In many global industries, 80 to 90% of all goods is shipped on wooden pallets, and bundled in containers. High-quality end products (i.e. electronics, clothing) are almost entirely transported on pallets. Annually, large producing countries import or build huge quantities of pallets. Worldwide, approximately 6 billion pallets per year are used. Such massive volumes have several negative environmental effects, like largescale deforestation, transport/export energy use, and low-value waste after use. CocoPeople (CCP) has developed a new process to eliminate these negative effects, based on a new industrial application of a abundantly available bio-material to construct a competitive biodegradable, cradle2cradle, reusable, nail free and stackable pallet, based on a very affordable bio-waste feedstock and low cost process. For this, CCP uses a material that is considered low-value organic waste during coconut production: the husk, or more specifically the coconut fibers in the husk.

CocoPeople identified several low value and high value B2B and B2C business cases, e.g. transport pallets, semi-structural automotive components, roof tiling, and furniture. Based on the evaluation of product specifications and characteristics of these applications with potential customers in the most relevant market segments, we concluded at an early stage that CocoPallets are the most viable first application for coconut composite materials. Further research and advancements in coconut composites technology will eventually allow for market penetration of high-value applications of pressed coconut fiber material in the long run, such as semi-structural automotive components.

Although transport pallets belong to a specific niche market, the impact of making pallets from coconut waste can be very large, especially from an environmental point of view. Transport pallets are a large scale application, that currently claim a vast amount of resources. CocoPallets will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, due to (1) the reduction of deforestation and transportation, (2) the use of waste materials, (3) the absence of harmful resins and synthetic materials and (4) the elimination of pest pretreatments. The current focus of CocoPeople on marketing their CocoPalelts has only been temporarily limited and will be broadened in the long term future, to include high value B2C products. The likelihood of success of these ventures will only increase with the experience from pallets.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The most important activities conducted during this SME Instrument phase 1 study, consist of the following:
- Explore the business cases for pallets made of coconut composites.
- Elaboration of a business plan, based on transport pallets as most promising field of application in the short term, and the Asian export market for pallets as the most appropriate niche.

CocoPeople identified several low value and high value B2B and B2C business cases, e.g. transport pallets, semi-structural automotive components, roof tiling, and furniture. Based on the evaluation of product specifications and characteristics of these applications with potential customers in the most relevant market segments, we concluded at an early stage that CocoPallets are the most viable first application for coconut composite materials. A dynamic financial model was built to project profit and loss, cash flows and study the elasticity/sensitivity of different parameters. The data obtained from the market, showed that CocoPeople is likely to be a profitable venture.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The mission of CoCoPeople B.V. is to make sustainability in the global transport sector price competitive by pressing high quality stackable pallets using the available natural lignin in the coconut fibers as a bio-binder. The process is not only sustainable, but also eliminates the synthetic resin as the main cost component of regular pressed wood pallets, and saves on global wood transports to countries with little forest resources in Southeast Asia.

Progress has been realized in the development of the manufacturing processes. The most important activities and the corresponding achievements are the set up of a production partnership with a Malaysian wood processing company, the building of the first production cell (which is capable of pressing pallets from coconut husk waste), the successfull production of a batch serie of 200 CocoPallets (while optimizing the production process parameters), and the creation of a conceptual factory outline based on the in depth understanding of the production process.

Effort has also been put in investigating the feasibility of a coconut husk supply chain, including the quantitative modelling of the supply chain. This indicated that the raw materials of coconut husks should be compacted in bales and transported over water in barges. This lead to the conclusion that a factory should ideally be located on the shore to enable direct offloading.

Related information

Record Number: 190357 / Last updated on: 2016-10-25
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