Sustainability assessment of the BIOGEARS ropes

Published 13/12/2021

An important element of the BIOGEARS project is the assessment of the sustainability of the biogears prototypes, developed for mussel and algae culture. The sustainability assessment (taking place in WP5, led by GAIKER) covers technical, economic, and environmental perspectives and aims at comparing the benefits of using biobased instead of conventional fossil-based materials in the whole life-cycle of aquaculture gears. The sustainability assessment will continue throughout the remainder of the project, and will monitor the ropes during the sea validation which is commenced in July 2021 and will run for 1.5 years.

During the last year, GAIKER along with AZTI, CENTEXBEL and ITSASKORDA have carried out a number of activities to assess the sustainability of the biogears.

For the Technical assessment the rope prototypes were tested before validation at sea and the mechanical properties of the ropes will continue to be monitored at specific times during the whole validation at sea period. While for the Economic assessment a first definition of the BIOGEARS concept in a circular economy context was completed. Finally, for the Environmental assessment, preliminary tests at lab scale to study the compostability of the developed biobased materials (of two BIOGEARS yarns) was carried out following recognised standards:

  • Disintegrability test in simulated lab composting conditions (ISO 20200:2015). BIOGEARS yarns (2 prototypes) were disintegrated >90% to a particle size <2mm in less than 45 days, showing fast disintegration under industrial composting conditions (T=58C ±2C).

Disintegrability test in simulated lab composting conditions of BIOGEARS yarns.

  • Soil burial test (BS 6085-2), to evaluate the resistance to microbiological deterioration in soil (ongoing).
  • Degradation rate after exposure to marine environments matrices under laboratory conditions (ISO 23832:2021) (ongoing).

In the next few months, the main actions for the sustainability assessment activities (and the WP5 goals) will be to conduct:

  1. The technical evaluation of the BIOGEARS ropes performance in the sea.
  2. Biodegradability tests in composting conditions (ISO 14855) for the prototypes.
  3. Economic data collection to define the cost-effectiveness of the BIOGEARS products.
  4. Updates on the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data for the life cycle stages of the BIOGEARS prototypes (Manufacturing, Use, End-of-life).

We will share more once further results becomes available on the sustainability of the BIOGEARS prototypes. So check back in to our project website for the latest!




Last edited 13/12/2021

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