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Sustainable Gluing with Renewable Adhesives: Advancements in Paper-Based Packaging



 

Sustainable Gluing with Renewable Adhesives: Advancements in Paper-Based Packaging


Krefeld, 22 April 2024 – Packaging is an integral part of our modern society but also impacts the environment. Paper-based packaging is one of the most commonly used types, which relies on renewable raw materials. However, auxiliary substances like adhesives are mostly made from Petro-based materials. The SUGRA (“Sustainable Gluing with Renewable Adhesives”) research project aims to develop sustainable gluing practices by exploring the potential of bio-based adhesives to enhance the sustainability of paper-based packaging. The intermittent results of the SUGRA project will be presented at drupa 2024.

 

Sustainability and circularity have become critical factors in the packaging industry, providing competitive advantages and impacting company survivability. Paper-based packaging, which already relies on renewable raw materials, must also consider auxiliary substances such as adhesives when assessing sustainability.


As most economies worldwide are heavily dependent on fossil resources, the production of various chemicals and materials used in packaging is intrinsically linked to them. However, the escalating environmental concerns and the imperative to curb our reliance on petroleum-based products are driving a significant shift. This shift involves the synthesis of polymeric materials from bio-based resources, a crucial step towards a more sustainable future. The SUGRA project is a timely response to this urgent need, offering a potential solution to the depletion of fossil fuels and the escalating concerns about global warming and its adverse effects on the environment and human health.


The emergence of the bioeconomy, which involves the production of chemicals from renewable sources, is gaining traction as a viable alternative to petrochemical options. Adhesives, often a minor component of paper-based packaging, play a significant role in enhancing the sustainability of these products. They contribute to the efficiency of production processes and enable lightweight packaging design. This, in turn, reduces substrate usage, aligning with the requirements of the new Packaging & Packaging Waste regulation.



However, there are increasing demands for sustainable adhesives. To mitigate CO2 emissions and global warming, transitioning from fossil carbon to renewable carbon in industries like chemicals is essential, recognizing the intrinsic value of using renewable over fossil carbon. Bio-based adhesives represent a promising addition to traditional dispersion-based adhesives, potentially enhancing the environmental impact of paper-based packaging. Yet, many bio-based adhesives and conversion technologies are still in experimental or pilot phases, posing significant challenges to their industrial-scale implementation and adding uncertainties in decision-making.


Comparative life cycle assessments (LCAs) of emerging bio-based products versus their fossil-based equivalents show significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the bio-economy.


Nonetheless, the variability in these benefits and the inability of bio-based products to achieve net-zero emissions necessitate nuanced evaluations in designing sustainable bio-based products. Starch, a natural and abundant polysaccharide derived from various sources like corn, wheat, tapioca, and potatoes, is increasingly used in industrial applications, including paper production. Starch also has a low impact on recycling paper-based packaging. However, bio-based does not mean that there is no impact on the environment. Despite its advantages, the extensive use of starch could potentially lead to food competition. Moreover, the CO2 footprints of starch sources vary significantly, with potatoes presenting the lowest emissions.



The research project SUGRA ("Sustainable Gluing with Renewable Adhesives"), funded by the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FKZ 2220NR168)  and led by Baumer hhs as the consortium leader, aims to develop adhesives suitable for high-speed packaging manufacturing. This project focuses on optimizing bio-based adhesives and their application techniques to swiftly achieve high technological maturity.


Live Presentation

This ongoing research will be presented at the drupa on June 3, 2024, at 13:30 h in Congresscentrum, Room 13. The CCD SÜD is located near drupa Halls 1 and 3. Presentations will be held in English. The event will highlight advancements in bio-based adhesives and their potential in combination with adapted application technologies to promote sustainable gluing practices. A live broadcast of the event on the Internet is being examined.


Please note that pre-registration is mandatory for both on-site and online participation. To guarantee a smooth and efficient check-in process, we kindly ask that you register as soon as possible using the link or QR code provided. We promise to keep you informed and up-to-date with all the information you need before the event.




Presenters:

 

Percy Dengler, Managing Director Baumer hhs GmbH

Maja Werner, Project Manager and doctoral student at Baumer hhs GmbH

Thomas Walther, Strategy & Innovation Baumer hhs GmbH

Dr. Jens Buller, Head of Department Starch Modification/Molecular Properties Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research

Dipl.-Ing. Katrin Kühnöl, Head of Print and Converting Papiertechnische Stiftung

Dipl.-Chem. Nicole Brandt, Project Manager Print and Converting Geschäftsbereich Materialprüfung und Analytik Papiertechnische Stiftung

 

Baumer hhs is fundamentally interested in promoting sustainable gluing and invites all other manufacturers and research institutes to get in touch and have their sustainable adhesives tested.

Thomas Walther (twalther@baumerhhs.com)


((Captions))


((Image SUGRA Kartoffel))

Potatoes are the preferred starch source in SUGRA due to their low environmental impact.

 

((Image SUGRA Klebstoffauftrag))

All starch adhesive variants further developed in the Sugra project are tested at Baumer hhs for suitability for adhesive application on high-speed machines.

 

((Image Viscometer))

Not only is the quality of the application examined, but also important parameters such as viscosity and long-term stability are evaluated during all application tests.


 

Baumer hhs GmbH

Baumer hhs GmbH, Krefeld/Germany, is a leading, internationally operating manufacturer of industrial gluing systems in conjunction with quality assurance and camera verification systems. Baumer hhs offers its customers a carefully coordinated portfolio of solutions for a host of different demands on cold glue and hot melt application in automated production environments, including application heads, pumps, pressure vessels, control and monitoring systems. The portfolio is rounded off by a comprehensive range of services, from consulting and the testing of innovative applications at the hhs solution centre in Krefeld, all the way to every form of after-sales service.

Solutions from Baumer hhs are used in the folding carton and corrugated board industry, in print finishing, special-purpose machines and many other applications.

For more information on the Baumer hhs company, its products and its services, go to: www.baumerhhs.com.

 

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