At the following link, it is possible to appreciate the final explanatory video of the LEGUVAL project.

For the last three years, RTD performers from Europe (CNR-IPCF of Pisa, SSICA, Tecnalia, and Polieko) have been working together with three industry associations (Consebro, PCS, ASSOCOMAPLAST) and five companies (Iris, Tehnos, RDX, Tuba, Lagrana) to find more sustainable, and renewable, sources for the plastics industry.

In particular, the main achieved goal of the LEGUVAL project has been the valorisation of by-products that are currently discarded by the legume processing industry, in order to use them in the preparation of materials for agriculture, packaging and automotive applications for the plastics industry.

The researchers involved in the project have adjusted the formulation so as to produce plastic materials easy to be processed at pilot scale, with the aim of integrating such materials into current industrial facilities. Moreover, the leftover biomass is being employed as additive for the preparation of composites and evaluated as a source of energy by anaerobic digestion, which will add new value to legume by-products .

Further studies have been finalised and developed during the second half of the project to validate the results at industrial scale.

The most relevant achievements of the LEGUVAL research were the following:

  1. A simple and sustainable method for extracting proteins and fibers from legume by-products, achieving high percentages in the final extracts.

  2. A recyclable, non toxic and environmentally friendly multilayer system based on PLA and LEGUVAL coating with improved barrier properties.

  3. A biodegradable formulation to convert legume protein powder into thermoplastic material, and suitable processing conditions for its plasticization and transformation.

  4. A formulation to prepare bio-based and biodegradable composites based on a plasticised bio-based polymer matrix added with legume fibers, and suitable processing condition for the transformation of the developed biodegradable formulation

  5. Fibers-rich  fractions isolated during the treatments of legumes by-product were used as source of biogas in continuous mode reactors.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 315241 (www.leguval.eu).