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Bio-based polymers


Bio-based materials are obtained from natural and renewable raw materials as more sustainable options and alternatives to oil and aligned with the European Circular Bioeconomy strategies.

Following the value chain of bio-based products from raw material sources:

From Biomass:

  • GAIKER has experience in the fragmentation of agro-industrial lignocellulosic waste through the use of sustainable eutectic solvents for the recovery of its fractions in new materials.
  • This line of work focuses on the development of medium and short chain PHAs from different biomasses, ranging from fermentation to obtaining applications in the bioplastics sector for packaging, fibres, etc.

Primary conversion processes:

At GAIKER, we have the capacity and experience to carry out the synthesis of biopolymers (diols, polyols, lactic acid, and other products derived from bio-based monomers and other organic macromolecules.

Secondary processes to obtain formulated materials:

  • Formulation and compounding of bioplastics and biomaterials (PLA, PHA, PBS, chitosan, starch and ligno-cellulosic materials), and coatings and binders (e.g. PUDs, NIPUs) even adapted to specific applications in different sectors, seeking improvements in functionality, processability on a pilot scale and at the end-of-life (biodegradability and recyclability).
  • Improvement of functional properties based on compounding with bio-based additives and sustainable modifiers with reactive groups, other biopolymers and compatibilisers. Ways of obtaining the final material, in pellets, powders, sheets, filaments, foams, adhesives and coatings.
  • Formulation of bio-based materials for their end-of-life by recycling and/or biodegradability under industrial or mesophilic composting conditions.

Development and validation of final products:

  • Transition from biopolymer to processable bioplastic. Compounding, processing and characterisation for industrial sectors (packaging, bio-coatings, textiles and for agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries).
  • Development of new applications based on bioplastics from CO2 sources.
  • Development and validation of final prototypes. Development of bio-based value chains.


Major Projects

Foto 127 materiales biobasados

This key research project was created with the aim of deploying the Basque bioeconomy strategy by developing innovative bioprocesses and physical and chemical processes. This strategy will make it possible to set up integrated biorefineries focused on valorising critical biomasses in order to develop chemical materials and intermediates for use in the packaging sector.

Subsidised by the Basque Government
Basque Government

Foto 163 bogears 1

Provide the European aquaculture sector with innovative products (aquaculture ropes) and new value chains based on biodegradable or renewable materials.

This project received funding from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research and development programme under contract number 863708

The aim of this project is to validate and demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental viability of a new lignocellulosic waste biomass biorefinery scheme. GAIKER is working on synthesising bio-polyesters from the bio-based monomers obtained from an innovative biomass fractionation and transformation process, to develop new coatings, adhesives and more sustainable plastic materials for various industrial sectors.

This project received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under contract number 101023202.

Scale up production and commercially validate two innovative food packaging solutions based on PHBV, a type of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bio-based polymer – a fully compostable food contact film and tray. This new packaging will use by-products from the food industry (cheese whey and almond shells), ensure biodegradability and reduce food waste as part of the EU's circular economy strategy.

GAIKER was responsible for developing and validating 100% biodegradable packaging on a pilot plant scale by means of thermoforming and flow pack, with improved properties.

  • Flow pack: applying a CNC coating and subsequent lamination to form the multilayer flow pack film.
  • Tray: developing a monolayer and multilayer film to form a tray

This project received funding from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research and development programme under contract number 773872
Foto 160 bioplas 1

The aim of BIOPLAST is to promote the circular economy in the agricultural sector by producing bio-based polymers from agricultural crop waste and subsequently producing bioplastics to be used to manufacture new products for the agricultural sector, as well as developing new ways of recovering and treating these bioplastics (methanisation, composting) with a return to the soil of residual biomasses (digestate, compost).

Foto 153 utensilios de catering

The aim of this project is to reduce the use of polluting packaging derived from fossil fuels by developing more sustainable alternatives from by-products and waste from the agri-food sector to meet the packaging needs of the food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and textile industries.

GAIKER is responsible for synthesising a new range of photo-reactive bio-based polyesters from hydroxylated molecules derived from coumarin to be incorporated into new bio-based and bio-degradable plastic materials and coatings for the packaging sector, with the aim of modifying their properties. It is also working on processing different formulations and manufacturing demonstrator products from the new materials to showcase new sustainable packaging concepts.

This project received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) as part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research and development programme under contract number 836884.

El objetivo de la Red Cervera Marfil es desarrollar un programa estratégico de investigación, desarrollo e innovación para la creación de materias primas a partir de fuentes alternativas al petróleo, con un menor impacto. Concretamente, esta investigación se centra en el desarrollo de biopolímeros, aditivos y refuerzos y su finalidad principal es impulsar la competitividad de los biopolímeros desarrollados a nivel nacional.

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