Development of barrier materials for bio-based beverage packages

Packaging (Bottles, Draft, Cans) Session
Ali J Harlin, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Co-author(s): Thomas Gädda, Mika Vähä-Nissi, and Annika Wilhelmson, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland

ABSTRACT: Bio-based materials, like polylactic acid (PLA) and lately bio-based PET, are increasingly present in beverage applications due to environmental sustainability requirements of consumers and the demands of increased green image by brand owners. Simultaneously retailers and society have an increasing interest in finding solutions for waste management. Bio-based PET is finding its way into carbonated soft drinks. PLA is still used for water bottles because of material limited barrier properties. In order to apply the polyesters in the future for even more demanding applications improved barrier properties are required. VTT has actively developed bio-based barrier solutions. Novel barrier polymers such as polyglycolic acid (PGA) has shown exceptionally good oxygen barrier properties. Thin layer barriers like atomic layer deposition (ALD) oxygen barrier properties have been previously demonstrated with PLA. This work reports novel barrier results for development materials based on their potential for future beverage packaging. Suitability for brewery products will be discussed.

Ali Harlin is a research professor for bio-based materials and heads the Industrial Biomaterials spearhead program in VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, targeting industrial applications for materials produced using renewable raw materials to generate new, sustainable value chains and to reduce our dependency on oil and the carbon footprint of consumption. The spearhead program focuses on the development of materials and production technologies based on fibers and nano-cellulose, as well as biomass-based monomers and polymers. The aim is to integrate these new value chains into existing bio-refineries. Ali previously worked in industries ranging from petro-chemistry to forest industry and in several academic positions at different universities.