Toys And Furniture Made From Popcorn: Latest Breakthrough In Biomaterials From University Of Göttingen

Forest scientists at the University of Göttingen in Germany have long been investigating sustainable and efficient processes for making bioproducts from popcorn pellets. This material, according to scientists, could have multiple uses: from packaging to insulating panels for construction.

Some prototypes of these innovative products will be exhibited during the Forum Wissen, the knowledge museum of the University of Göttingen that will open its doors to the public at the beginning of June.

However, the main novelty is that the University said it had found a new partner to license the technology in a totally different sector. GreenTec GmbH, part of the Loick Group, which has already been working together with the university, plans to use this technology in the future to make toys, furniture, sports and fitness equipment, and children’s car seats and headrests.

Loick has been producing sustainable toys as part of the PlayMais® brand for more than 20 years. This natural craft toy can be shaped, pressed, cut and much more. PlayMais® is made from corn using a technique known as high-pressure foaming and is 100 percent biodegradable. The license from the University of Göttingen will allow the company to expand its range of toys in the future to include larger compression-moulded popcorn-based items for arts and crafts.

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In fact, completely new directions are planned for the future: Loick would like to produce items for car interiors (child seats and headrests), sports and fitness equipment, and furniture (dashboards, seats) all with popcorn. . To do this, the new material will be produced and offered as sheet material or as three-dimensional molded parts.

‘This new process, which is based on techniques used in the plastics industry, can now be used as a cost-effective way to produce new sustainable children’s toys or sports and fitness equipment as well as furniture on an industrial scale,’ explained Professor Alireza. Kharazipour, Head of the Composites Chemical and Process Engineering Research Group at the University of Göttingen. “Especially for the furniture sector, this can ensure that alternative natural materials beyond plastic, and even beyond chipboard and fibreboard, are no longer just niche products.”

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Hubert Loick, Managing Director of license partner Loick Green Tec GmbH, added: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Göttingen to launch new products in the gaming and leisure sector and in the construction of innovative furniture with these innovative molding processes. for popcorn.”

The license agreement between the University and Loick was negotiated by MBM ScienceBridge, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Göttingen. The patent exploitation agency acts on behalf of a total of nine universities and scientific institutions in Lower Saxony. The agency examines scientific inventions for patent opportunities and their economic potential. He then handles global marketing and negotiates, monitors and controls license agreements. Its current portfolio includes projects from the fields of biomedicine, medical technology, measurement technology, chemistry, physics, forestry and agricultural sciences.

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