- story by Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy
Biocomposite is a collective term to refer to fibre-reinforced materials with a natural origin. Basically any material that consists of fibres and a binding component (i.e. resin) can be called a composite. If both the fibres and the resin are extracted from biomass, it classifies as a biocomposite. Preferably residual waste is used to obtain raw materials.
One of the interesting biocomposites, the object of research at the CoEBBE, is called Nabasco. This is a composite that consists of a resin, a fibre and a filler. The ingredients can vary depending on the desired properties and esthetics. One of the possibilities is to use recycled toilet paper as cellulose fibres and chalk as a filler. Both materials can be obtained from wastewater treatment facilities.
Another interesting group of biocomposites are the mycelium composites. These materials consist of fibres that are held together by fungus hyphae. Basically the resin is replaced by a living organism. Mycelium composites have interesting thermal and acoustic insulation properties as well as flame retardant potential.