Rehap partners gathered for the official launch of the project in Brussels on October 5, 2016, where detailed discussion took place about the work programme that will be developed over the next four years.
The meeting was chaired by Rehap’s coordinator Dr. Aitor Barrio of Spanish research organisation Tecnalia. Each Work Package leader was able to present the plan of action for each work flow and inter-dependencies between partners and their activities were explored.
Project partners also heard from a senior director of the SPIRE initiative, a public-private partnership representing innovative process industries in Europe with a mission to ensure the development of enabling technologies and best practices along all the stages of large-scale existing value chain productions that will contribute to a resource efficient process industry.
By collaborating with SPIRE, Rehap will be able to reach a large database of relevant target stakeholders with information about its work and results. Rehap’s dissemination leader Insight Publishers will manage this collaboration and Rehap will appear on the SPIRE website soon.
Partners also heard from the Rehap Project Officer Mr Carmine Marzano, who spoke about the business processes and project management aspects of the next four years. This was a valuable session, touching on the commercial potential of Rehap solutions and the need for effective exploitation of this potential.
Agricultural and forestry residues are being used in many new and innovative ways and this bio-based chemical industry is now showing greater growth than the petrochemical industry. The development of chemicals and materials from lignocellulosic biomass (plant dry matter) is a particularly important area in terms of research, thanks to the abundance of these resources and because they do not compete with the food chain. However, the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass is not easy and still has little commercial viability.
REHAP aims to strengthen the European bio-economy industry by creating novel materials from agricultural and forestry waste, and considering how they can be used commercially in the green building sector.
The project has five technical objectives to do this:
- Develop methods to convert natural wastes into sustainable polyurethanes. These can be used to develop insulation foams and adhesives, as well as fire retardant products.
- Develop new high-performance bio-resins to produce eco-friendly wooden panels.
- Produce eco-friendly sustainable cement with improved properties.
- Design and assemble an environmentally sustainable and fire resistant construction solution.
- Demonstrate the development of eco-friendly products and their sustainability and business potential compared to existing solutions.