Researchers are pursuing a means of creating biodegradable packaging from peat fibre for use in a range of applications.
Scientists at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed methods and product innovations for processing the most rapidly renewable surface layer of peat.
The organisation currently has three patent applications pending relating to the peat-containing biocomposites.
Reducing the use of oil-based raw materials
“The goal is to develop bio-based composite materials containing peat fibre, for example for the manufacture of consumer products and construction materials, at the same time reducing the use of oil-based raw materials in production,” according to the institute.
It claims the advantages of products containing peat fibre are their bio-origin, low cost, water resistance, impact strength, excellent fire endurance characteristics and biodegradability.
Through its various projects VTT has developed materials containing thermoplastic and panel-form fibre as well as fibre-suitable pre-processing methods.
Normal plastic processing methods
Materials containing peat fibre are suitable for processing with normal plastic processing methods, using compounding, extrusion and injection moulding, for example.
Currently no company in Finland is producing or exploiting these kinds of peat composite materials, according to VTT.
Development work has been funded partly by the TULI project of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes.