Conducting an eco-efficiency assessment of bagasse products (BagassePlast)

© Marscheider-Weidemann

Bagasse is regarded as a typical example of biomass waste. This is the pulpy residue left after extracting sugar from sugar cane. In Brazil, for example, the bagasse waste in 2009 left from producing ethanol using sugar cane amounted to 167 million metric tonnes. Only about 10 % of this is used as animal feed and 90 % is a waste product.

To generate value added from this biowaste, on the one hand, the BagassePlast project aims to modify the bagasse and convert it into a material that can be processed thermo-plastically in an extruder and by injection molding and can then be used as a bio-based plastic. On the other hand, the bagasse, which basically consists of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, will be separated into its single fractions and these will be used directly as reinforcing material in bio-based plastics like bio-PE (polyethylene), PLA (polylactide) and especially in the new bagasse esters, which are developed in the project.

As well as the direct use of the bagasse fractions, these will also be transformed into nanoscale materials in a further treatment step and also used as composite material. Another research approach is to transform the single fractions via chemical modification into materials that can be processed thermo-plastically.

At the beginning of the project, studies are carried out in the laboratory or on a small scale at the Fraunhofer Institute IAP, the Brazilian partner CNPEM and TECNARO. Scaling up the processes to commercial plants will be taken into account in the project. The most promising approaches will be scaled up over the course of the project and adapted accordingly. At the end of the project, demonstrator components can be manufactured based on the new bagasse materials.

The project consortium working on BagassePlast is made up of the German partners Fraunhofer and TECNARO and the Brazilian partners CNPEM, Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos and Odebrecht Agroindustrial. Fraunhofer ISI compiles detailed substance flow diagrams of the relevant products for ecological and economic analysis.

Still ongoing


01.09.2014 - 31.08.2017


  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


  • LNNano-CNPEM (Brazil)
  • Tecnaro

Project coordinator

  • Fraunhofer IAP