Bio-LUSH: Eco-Fibres for Circular Economy

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Sustainable bio-based fibres
Image courtesy of Shutterstock/3rdtimeluckystudio

Bio-LUSH, an ambitious Horizon Europe project spearheaded by Stockholm University, is at the forefront of revolutionising the sustainable bioeconomy.

With a focus on extracting resources from diverse plants, the project aims to produce eco-friendly bio-based fibres that can be utilised in textiles, food packaging, and reinforced composites, driving a circular bioeconomy and supply chain.

Supported by the EU-funded Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), Bio-LUSH seeks to capitalise on underexplored biomass feedstocks like hemp hurd, forest residues, nettle, and seagrasses. By utilising these feedstocks, the project not only ensures ecological benefits but also avoids competing with food production.

The core of the project lies in optimising biomass value chains, employing green processing methods, and utilising traditional breeding techniques to enhance the properties of these feedstocks. Such sustainable practices are essential to supporting a bioeconomy that is environmentally conscious and economically viable.

Professor Aji Mathew, the coordinator of the Bio-LUSH Project, articulated the primary goal: "We aim to maximise the potential of underexploited biomass feedstocks and transform them into sustainable bio-based fibres for diverse applications." An additional advantage of the Bio-LUSH approach is its cost-effectiveness, making it suitable for small-scale productions. This approach reduces transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, as materials can be sourced regionally.

Notably, the Bio-LUSH Project introduces groundbreaking innovations to the bio-based economy, capitalising on novel plant feedstock and "circular by design" principles. The creation of sustainable bio-based fibres aligns perfectly with minimising pollution and promoting environmentally friendly practices.

Moreover, the project promotes efficient decision-making by implementing quality indexing and sustainability indexing, which benefit bio-based SMEs, industries, and manufacturing processes.

Advancing the sustainable manufacturing industry is another critical objective of the Bio-LUSH Project. By scaling up sustainable bio-based fibres to meet specific processing and performance requirements, the project empowers various manufacturing processes, including melt processing, spinning, and 3D printing.

Professor Mathew emphasised the importance of their industrial partners' engagement in the transition towards a bio-fibrous economy, recognising it as a sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

To ensure minimal environmental impact, Bio-LUSH actively collaborates with the agro-sector and farmer communities, emphasising regional material processing and access to EU feedstock.

Through a user-centred approach, the Bio-LUSH Project prioritises close collaboration and testing with end-users throughout the design and development process. This dynamic consortium, consisting of research, industry, policy, and technical leaders, is dedicated to delivering practical results that meet the evolving needs of the industry, providing optimal solutions for maximum impact.

In summary, Bio-LUSH is a pioneering initiative that promises to shape a sustainable future by producing bio-based fibres and fostering a circular bioeconomy through environmentally friendly practices and innovative collaborations.

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Source: Innovation News Network

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