Futuris, the Euronews programme showcasing leading scientific and technological research projects in Europe, has devoted one episode to the BBI JU BARBARA project. The video report shows the process that transforms food waste, like almond shells, into bio-based car components. It also highlights the innovative potential and sustainability of the project.
To demonstrate the high value of the project and its breakthroughs, Futuris visits the agricultural cooperative beneficiary in BARBARA Vega de Pliego, located in Southern Spain. Here, four million kilograms of almonds are processed every year. Out of this, 75% is almond shells - exactly the type of waste that is useful for the BARBARA project.
Almond shells are used by researchers at the University of Alicante to extract natural materials. They do the same process with other by-products from broccoli, lemon and pomegranate. These additives are then mixed with bioplastics at the Aitiip Technology Centre in Zaragoza, the coordinator of BARBARA project, and result in a thread that can be 3D-printed into bio-based car parts.
By converting residues from agricultural production into bioplastic materials for the construction and car industries, the BARBARA project demonstrates that residues from food production can be used to produce bio-based, innovative materials, thus contributing to a production model that is circular and sustainable.
Euronews shows the promising way forward of the innovations carried out by BBI JU-funded BARBARA project. According to the project coordinator Marta Redrado, the ‘next step is to scale up what we have developed in the lab to a semi-industrial level. In four to five years, products like the ones we have developed could come to the market.’