Workplan

img03WP1: State of the Art and Definition of Stakeholder Needs and Industrial Specifications
The state of the art search performed in the proposal stage will be updated and analysed with particular attention at the patent search. Moreover, European-wide industry consultations will be performed in order to gain a greater understanding of industry requirements and needs in terms of the current recycling of mixed plastic needs and demands, existing practices, limitations, etc. A thorough analysis of the results will allow the consortium to define the industrial specifications for the legume by-products process, in keeping with the needs, limitations and exigencies of existing plastic processing and the required performance of the targeted products to be introduced on the market.

WP2: Legume by-products Treatment
During this WP the aim will be to organize the flow of legume by-products from produce-processing companies in the European countries considered (Italy and Spain), characterize and identify the types of by-products (peas, beans and lentils) and extract the protein and the fibre from the selected by products. Both the protein and fibre fractions obtained will be characterized in chemical-physical terms.

WP3: Legume Protein Films and Coating by WET Processes
The objective of the WP is the formulation, production and application of new legume protein based water based coatings (hydrogel) to be used as barrier layer in multilayer food packaging. Coating substrates will be preferentially paper or PLA films, being biodegradable material. Additives will be fundamental to adjust the rheological and adhesion behaviour, as well as the final mechanical and gas barrier properties. They will be selected preferably among natural or ecocompatible materials such as polysaccharide, glycerol etc.

WP4: Legume Protein Films and Coating by DRY Processes
The objective of the WP is to prepare legume protein base films by adapting the technology and methods used for gelatine. In particular proteins will be extrusion blended with plasticising additives and eventually other polymers (blends) selected to fit the final applicative target properties such as mechanical strength and biodegradability kinetic which must be compatible with crop-fallow rotation time. Similar strategy but with different target properties will be used to choose the formulation and the processing parameter to prepare films for packaging. Particular work will be devoted to optimize formulation to target the rheological performance in conjunction with the selected transformation process, namely extrusion coating, blown extrusion or injection moulding.

 WP5: Biomass as filler in Composites
Production of composites based on biodegradable polymeric matrices loaded biomass leftover of protein extraction. Materials produced will be characterised for their structure, thermal properties, and mechanical properties. Also properties related to packaging and agriculture applications will be investigated with the cooperation of TEHNOS.

WP6: Biogas Production
The biomass leftover of protein extraction (WP2) will be evaluated for anaerobic digestion with biogas production and as such energy recoverability. This includes operational parameters, optimal mixing rations and post-treatment of the digested material. Within this work package the feedstock will be characterised for anaerobic digestion system in order to maximize energy yields.

WP7: Biodegradabilty and Environmental Impact
The developed products (multi-layers, films, composites) will be tested for their biodegradability and compostability in accordance with international standards (ISO 17088 (2008) and EN 13432 (2000), including an ecotoxicological evaluation on test item residuals after composting. Also the potential for treatment of the material by anaerobic digestion (with electricity production) will be evaluated. The sustainability of the materials developed in this project will be evaluated by full life-cycle analysis.

WP8: Validation and Demonstration
The objective of this workpackage is to scale-up the pilot plant implemented at laboratory level to enable the application of LEGUVAL in industrial scale. In the validation process SME-AGs, their members and the Other Enterprises and End-Users will be involved particularly first by preparing the mixture and blend at semi-industrial scale, then by using this materials in industrial process for obtaining films and agricultural items (PCS), then by verifying the possibility to use packaging films in industrial packaging lines (TUBA, RDX). Once the technology has been successfully integrated at industrial level, a comprehensive series of demonstration activities will be performed in order to share the new technological finding to a wide audience of SMEs.

WP 9: IPR, Exploitation, Dissemination, and Training
A sufficient and timely knowledge management and IPR protection activities will be planned in order to ensure the full use and exploitation of the research results by the SME-AGs leading to a clear economic impact.

WP10: Consortium Management
The project will be coordinated by IRIS and all partners will contribute to a smooth implementation of the project as will be monitored in this WP.