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SpaPlast - Investigation of the processing and utilisation of asparagus secondary products for bio-based semi-finished extrusion products (to reduce nitrogen input into the environment)

Dried asparagus peels as a residual material for (bio)plastics technology, source: IfBB
Dried asparagus peels as a residual material for (bio)plastics technology, source: IfBB

The aim of the SpaPlast project is to contribute to a circular, sustainable bioeconomy for application-related product development. To this end, the project is investigating the extent to which asparagus peels, which are produced in large quantities during the industrial processing of asparagus, can serve as fillers for biocomposite materials. The main focus is on creating the technical prerequisites for the use of biogenic residues.

During the industrial processing of asparagus, large quantities of asparagus peels accumulate as an asparagus secondary product. Usually, these peels are spread back on the field to be disposed of at low cost and used as additional fertiliser for the next growing season. However, this creates several challenges: Firstly, the nitrogen content in the applied asparagus peels cannot be defined, which can lead to additional - possibly unnecessary - fertilisation and thus possibly to eutrophication. Secondly, although higher disposal costs can be avoided in this way, no profitable additional benefit can be achieved. This is precisely where the SpaPlast project comes in.

It is investigating the extent to which asparagus peels can serve as fillers for biocomposites. The main focus is on creating the technical prerequisites for the use of biogenic residues. To this end, the asparagus peels are first technically prepared, then processed by means of extrusion and injection moulding technology and subsequently characterised with regard to their properties. In addition, they will be examined for their marketability. This will be accompanied by a sustainability assessment, which will evaluate the extent to which the reduction of nitrogen input can positively influence agricultural soils and groundwater.

The aim of the project is to contribute to a cycle-oriented, sustainable bioeconomy for application-related product development.

Project summary

  • Project title: SpaPlast - Investigation of the processing and utilisation of asparagus secondary products for bio-based semi-finished extrusion products (to reduce nitrogen input into the environment)
  • Sponsorship: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz aus Mitteln des Maßnahmenpaketes Stadt.Land.ZUKUNFT
  • Project management: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andrea Siebert-Raths
  • Project realization: Dipl-Ing. (FH) Marco Neudecker
  • Project partner: Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen, Bezirksstelle Hannover
  • Duration: 01/02/2022 – 30/04/2023

Contact

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marco Neudecker, +49 (0)511 9296-2232, marco.neudecker@hs-hannover.de