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Development and pilot production of SUStainable bio BINDer systems for wood based panels

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SusBind (Development and pilot production of SUStainable bio BINDer systems for wood based panels)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-10-31

The overall objective of the SusBind project is to produce and test, in an industrially relevant environment (TRL5), bio-based binders as alternative to formaldehyde based binder currently used in the production of wood-based panel board (abbreviated as wood board). A lot has been done on this subject, but so far a bio-based binder able to compete at industrial scale with incumbent chemicals, does not exist. The reason to believe on the success of this project is backed: on the selection of the partners, which involves actors across the whole supply chain, and their extensive technological background developed during the last years.
Objective 1: To select the most sustainable feedstock from starch-based and vegetable oil-based bio-refineries.
Objective 2: To develop, scale up and validate (TRL5) chemical routes for the synthesis of carbohydrate-based amino-plastic, and other wood adhesive systems.
Objective 3: To develop, scale up and validate (TRL5) a new enzymatic technology..
Objective 4: To validate the novel bio-based binders.
Objective 5: To ensure that the produced bio-based resin developed has a lower carbon footprint and human health impact
Objective 6: To develop and implement a DEC strategy & plan to enhance innovation capacity.
Related to each objective the work performed within the period 1 (M1-M18):

Objective 1 To select the most sustainable feedstock from starch-based and vegetable oil-based bio-refineries - achieved.
Work package 1 finished within Period 1 (M16). The deliverables: D1.1 Feedstocks from the Starch-based Biorefineries, D1.2 Feedstocks from Vegetable Oil-based Bio-refineries, D1.3 Feedstocks from Vegetable Oil-based Bio-refineries, Pretreatments were delivered in time. Suitable enzymes and reaction conditions were selected resulting in high conversion rates. The selected enzymes were successfully applied to the above-mentioned oil-based feedstocks. The main scientific result: a) selected bio based feedstocks: Fructose Solution, FF95; Glucose Solution, GU95; Maltodextrin, MDX17; b) pre-selected oil based (from 6 crude and refined oils) : sunflower and rapeseed oil. Moreover, progress was made in reaching the success factor ii. and objectives 2, 3 and 5 by work carried out in the new conversion technology and novel epoxidizing enzymes (the work packages 2, 3. and 5).

Objective 2 To develop, scale up and validate (TRL5) chemical routes:
Work package 2, contributing to this objective achievement is in implementation, Deliverable D2.1 Laboratory-scale Carbohydrate conversion for in-situ reaction was submitted on time. Tasks 2.1 2.2 2.3 started accordingly with the project implementation plan. The conversion of fructose was investigated using three different reactor systems. Optimised conversion conditions were identified. Crosslinked resins were produced based on fructose and urea. Different condensation methods were investigated at different temperatures and ratios between components. Preliminary tests demonstrate that the resins are suitable to bond wood, but are still inferior to formaldehyde-based resins in adhesive strength and curing time. Conversion conditions were reported and first resins were produced on 0.1 kg. scale. Work done consolidate and contribute the objective 1.

Objective 3 To develop, scale up and validate (TRL5) a new enzymatic technology:
Several fungal strains and genomes were investigated, UPOs from fungi were selected and site-directed mutated variants were created. The production of several enzymes in bio-reactors at pilot-scale was carried out and has brought about successful results. Furthermore, immobilization of enzymes using different scaffolds, in order to improve the recyclability and stability of the enzymes has been carried out. Therefore, the use of these biocatalysts for the production of epoxidised products for the binders is foreseen.

Objective 4: To validate the novel bio-based binders: The implementation of work package 4 will start in period 2, to achieve Objective 4.

Objective 5: To ensure that the produced bio-based resin developed has a lower carbon footprint and human health impact:
First results from work package 5, D5.1 LCA current state-of the-art resins and D5.2 LCA proposed feedstocks were submitted on time. A benchmark carbon footprint and toxicity score were set for the state-of-the-art production that can be used to compare the bio-based adhesive systems with that will be developed in SUSBIND. To this end an LCA has been conducted on the climate change impact and human health impact of the current state-of-the-art production of both UF and MUF binders and their application in particle board and MDF. Recommendations on feedstocks selection and adhesives types were made and submitted to partners.

Objective 6. To develop and implement a DEC strategy & plan:
Work package 6 (DEC) has a cross project implementation timeline. The D6.1 Initial DEC Plan; D6.2 P1 report on dissemination & communication tools & measures and D6.3 DEC Plan Update 1 were submitted on time. Standard Operational Procedures for Exploitation and Dissemination, described in the DEC Handbook included in the Initial DEC Plan. The work done for achieving objective 6 was focusing establishing work procedures (SOPs) for dissemination, communication and results exploitation purposes. As tangible results SUSBIND profile was created and used within 5 social media dissemination channels, dissemination materials (flyers, fact sheets, roll-ups, posters, video and website) were produces and used in 10 external events which were attended, 3 internal events (ConMeetings) organised and 3 scientific publications were made. A new Dec plan tool was implemented staring with month 18, responsive to the need of a better overview of implemented and planned DEC activities for all partners. As well the new tool is used for monitoring purposes.

Project Coordination:
The work carried out lead to on time submission of all deliverables including D7.1 Project management manual; D7.2 Data management plan – Draft, exemption D7.3 Period 1 consortium meeting minutes which was postponed for meeting the consortium contractual purposes. We have to underline that the delay was not affecting other work packages or tasks, not being crosslinked with any. 3 consortium meetings were organised and held in line with DoA. To create and maintain a good communication framework within consortium as well as for work monitoring purposes, 13 general assembly telcons were held and activity plans were discussed. Moreover, one presentation on key aspects of exploitation was held during the SUSBIND kick-off meeting in May 2018, one presentation on exploitation and confidentiality in line with GA and CA was carried out within first general assembly meeting and a trade secrets workshop at the 2nd consortium meeting in February 2019.
The SusBind resulting binder system is expected to will prove better perform better ance in PB and MDF in terms of:
1. 50 - 75% reduction of formaldehyde emissions of particle and MDF boards as mass consumption product (better performance)
2. Minimum cost increase of production
3. 25% reduction of carbon footprint is possible
4. Two new cross sector cooperations: Cargill-EGGER & Cargill-Valpoban
5. Two new bio-based value chains
- Carbohydrates > bio-based binder> wood based panel boards (PB & MDF)
- Vegetable oils > bio-based binder> wood based panel boards (PB & MDF)