Merseburg, 15 June 2022. Pierre de Kettenis was visibly touched: "We see this honor as a reward for years of effort," said the founder and CEO of the Belgian company Home Eos after accepting the main prize of the BIOPOLYMER Innovation Awards 2022 at yesterday’s "BIOPOLYMER - Processing and Molding" congress.
The decision was awaited with particular excitement by the congress participants, who had tuned in from over 40 countries from Australia to Africa and Europe to Latin America. Since 2019, the award ceremony for the BIOPOLYMER Innovation Awards has been a highlight of the international congress, which yesterday took place for the fourth time. As in 2021, the conference was supported by Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), the economic development agency of the Federal Republic of Germany and took place in the professional equipped TV Studio of Merseburg University of Applied Sciences.
The jury of experts for the award, which was launched by the German non-profit organization POLYKUM, was again spoiled for choice this year. On June 1, the jury initially nominated three winners from among the high-quality entries from five countries. Yesterday, POLYKUM chairman and congress host Peter Putsch and moderator Julita Witt revealed the decision about winners and places:
The Main Prize
worth 2,000 Euros goes to Home Eos SA from Farciennes, Belgium, and their product “stopsound” in 2022.
In her laudatory speech, jury member Simone Fischer explained the decision as follows: “The main prize goes to a product that inspires all jury members equally. It is a biodegradable foam developed for a wide and important field of application - sound and heat insulation. The material formulation is an in-house development that is not based on conventional bioplastics. The formulation is a combination of proteins, polyol, water, starch and a filler that have not previously been made into a polymer but are used in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Up to eight times less energy is used in production of stopsound than in the fabrication of comparable plastics. According to the material data sheet, the foam has, among other benefits, good flame resistance, low smoke development and does not drip/flame off within 600 seconds. Furthermore, due to its raw materials, no toxic gases are released when burned. The biodegradable, technical product is ready for series production and has passed numerous technical tests for use in vehicles, industry and buildings. Congratulations on this promising development.”
After the award, Pierre de Kettenis, the head of Home EOS, gave a small preview of the future: "We see a lot of other possible uses, not only in the area of sound insulation, but also in fire protection, in the packaging sector and numerous other applications for industry and for end users.”
The 2nd Prize
was awarded to SachsenLeinen GmbH from Markkleeberg (Germany) for their newly developed "FUSE HMP-Thermo UD-Tape".
Laudator Simone Fischer paid tribute to the innovation as follows:
“SachsenLeinen uses natural fibers and biopolymers to produce UD tapes for lightweight construction, which represent an alternative to the material combinations of polypropylene and glass fibers that are frequently used nowadays. SachsenLeinen’s fiber composite material can be manufactured and processed with established manufacturing technologies. Among other thingsMitteldeutsches Braunkohlenrevier, the jury was impressed by the evenness with which the fibers are coated with the biopolymer. The development is also a signal for many regions around the world that, like the Central German lignite mining area, have tackled the transformation from fossil to bio-based raw materials or are planning to do so. In Markkleeberg, natural, regionally growing materials such as hemp or flax are combined with bioplastics to create highly technical products that can be recycled for a second and third life as short-fiber-reinforced plastic. Depending on the used plastic the UD-tapes cen be even biologically recycled at the end of their life cycle. An innovation that we are happy to honor.”
The 3rd Prize
goes to Earth Renewable Technology (ERT) from Curitiba, Brazil for their "Short Fiber Reinforced (SFRP) in FC 10130 biopolymer composite".
In her laudatory speech, Simone Fischer explained the jury's decision as follows:
"With the technology awarded here, it is possible to improve the mechanical properties of biopolymers with bio-based fibers. For example, disposable products such as straws or disposable cutlery can still be manufactured with the advantages of a plastic that is naturally decomposed by microbes and enzymes instead of breaking down into microplastics. The company, which was founded twelve years ago in the USA, has been active in Brazil since 2021 because it has set itself the goal of solving the plastic problem in a country where single-use plastic tableware is to be banned. ERT now offers several recipes here. From the point of view of the jury, the compound made of PLA fibers in a PLA matrix, which is made from sugar cane, is a real further development and represents a good perspective for further possible uses of this bioplastic, which is currently the most widely used worldwide. Because the properties of the reinforcing fibers remain with the compound - as well as product manufacturing. They connect well with the matrix WITHOUT merging with it. With the 3rd prize we honor this biodegradable and bioreinforced mono-material.”