ECOBIOFOR project focuses on the development and production of bio-based solvents, by the easiest chemical and biotech production way. The new Ecopaint Bio-based Formulations will include renewable versions of the traditional organic solvents (with a lower carbon footprint), bearing the same chemical structure and physical properties and a brand new alternative of reactive solvent, not emitting VOCs.
The aim of the ECOBIOFOR project is to give support to the SMEs belonging to the biotech and paint SME-AGs (1009 SMEs, of which 359 are Biotech and 898 are paint manufacturers SMEs) to develop environmental, technical and economically feasible solutions for solvents in the coatings industry and to disseminate the applicable results to a large number of SMEs of the paints and coatings industry.
ECOBIOFOR project aims to prepare solvents for coatings with 3 characteristics:
- Bio-based (coming from renewable resources),
- Synthesized according to the principles of Green Chemistry,
- New formulations with lower VOC emissions.
Context of the Project:
The EU solvents market totalled 5.0 Million Tons in 2010. The bio-based solvent consumption was only 0.63 Million Tons (12.6%), mainly devoted to cleaning operations, however the consumption of bio-solvents is estimated to grow annually 4.8% up to 1.1 million by 2020 (EU Innova-Biochem 2010).
The Coatings/Inks/Adhesives Industry represents 58% of the global solvent consumption, since they use solvents as the main constituent in their formulations (50-70wt %), which will be released in fine to the atmosphere.
The environmental and economic consequences are clear. European Directives (IPPC, SE Solvents and Paints Directives) are pushing companies to develop greener solutions but up to now; despite this concern, only the 1.5% of biosolvents is used in paints. So, the Coatings sector emphasizes the need for new and specific biosolvents.
Few large companies are devoted to the transformation of biomass into basic chemical products with established industrial uses. But the business model of a great number of chemical and biotechnological SMEs is based on the development of products ready to be used in specific markets.
ECOBIOFOR supports this large group of EU SMEs, working in the goal shift conventional productive processes into new ones based on renewable resources. Moreover, the project profits from the impulse of coating SMEs, which are ready to introduce greener products in their own formulations.