Beet production in European Union amounts today about 116 million tons per year and is mostly used for sugar production. The EU beet sector represents 400 000 beet growers, all of them are SMEs: they are independent or gathered within small-sized cooperatives. During the production process of beet sugar, beet pulp is the final residue, representing around 7 million tons of dry matter per year. As stipulated in the Common Agricultural Policy, beet producers are the owners of beet pulp and consequently they have interest and responsibility of valorising it. Up to now, beet pulp has mainly been used to feed animals but this valorisation way generates very poor income for beet growers (1 or 2 euro per ton of beet) and tends to reduce. There is thus a need for beet growers to find news ways of valorisation that generate higher income and are able to deal with the large volume of beet pulp produced.
The project proposes a valorisation of beet pulp in a high added value product: to transform beet pulp into vegetal micro-fillers for paper production. Today, mineral charges are incorporated in many printing paper grades to improve opacity but the presence of these mineral fillers causes an environmental problem and the mechanical properties of the paper are negatively affected.
This project proposes to replace, as a whole or a part of, these mineral fillers in paper by bleached vegetal micro-fillers made of beet pulp. In comparison with currently used fillers these vegetal micro-fillers would bring several advantages i n terms of competitiveness and environmental aspects. Thanks to the project the beet producers will benefit from an innovative valorisation way bringing higher value than in cattle breeding and corresponding to a mass-market. Due to the coming sugar reform this cross-innovative valorisation way will anticipate those changes by offering the possibility for beet producers to maintain constant incomes by improving the cost effectiveness of beet co-products
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects
Entre Deux Guiers