11th Workshop on Fats and Oils as Renewable Feedstock for the Chemical Industry Dortmund, Germany, May 30 – June 01, 2022

The NICL group presented its activity in oleochemistry at  11th Workshop on Fats and Oils as Renewable Feedstock for the Chemical Industry . The conference was a moment of interesting exchanges of information and opinions in the sector of the circular economy and bioeconomy.

The comunication of prof. Di Serio was centered on CARDIGAN Project

Epoxidized Vegetable oils as additive for Bioplastics  Rosa Turco, Gabriella Santagata2 , Cinzia Pezzella, Riccardo Tesser, Martino Di Serio


Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus L. from Asteraceae family, represents a challenging, nonfood chain competitive crop, able to grow in dry, marginal lands and/or polluted soils of many Mediterranean regions, already exploited for industrial pulp and paper production. The recently founded national Italian project “CARDIGAN” aims at exploiting a “Cardoon biorefinery model” by a holistic approach. The idea is to valorize all fractions derived by cardoon to obtain high added value products. In this scenario, the CARDIGAN project aims to design bioplastics from Cardoon, by biological and chemical transformation of its different fractions, such as roots and seeds. Cardoon seeds contain high oil content (25–33%), and their composition in fatty acids of the Cardoon oil (CO) is like that of the soybean oil.
Therefore, CO represents an interesting potential non-food plant oil. The aim of this work concerns the study of bio-plasticizers for bioplastics such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) to improve the overall properties and broaden their industrial applications as a biodegradable packaging material. Bio-plasticizers were prepared by epoxidation  this cost-effective and environmentally friendly oil, using both peracids and hydrogen peroxide directly as an oxidizing agent. PHB has also been obtained by a simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) of inulin derived from cardoon roots. Hence, ECO and CO, PLA, or PHB have been formulated in blends to develop biobased films with optimized, chemical-physical, and mechanical properties. The cardoon biomass recovery, separations into different components, and their following recombination in upgraded materials can be framed in a holistic approach of zero waste circular economy