Every year, the European Union produces around 110 million tonnes of food waste in terms of animal and vegetable matter.
Some of that waste, in the form of almond shells, is already being used as a biofuel.
But could these shells also be used to produce state-of-the-art innovations in the construction or car industries?
This is the aim of the EU-supported BARBARA Project(Biopolymers with Advanced functionalities foR Building and Automotive paRts processed through Additive manufacturing).
The project focuses on the development of new materials from these waste products which, via 3D-printing, can then be used for a wide range of different uses.
For example, food waste and agricultural by-products can be used to purify pigments, fragrances, or reinforcing agents. They can then be incorporated into engineered bioplastics, derived from the corn-processing industries.
These new materials are being transformed into prototypes with lots of different uses in demanding sectors, such as the construction and car industries.(Read more)