CARDIGAN aims at developing a process for the valorisation of cardoon feedstock by transforming it into high-value materials and products with low environmental impact, inserting itself into a logic of total integration within the Mediterranean basin. The CARDIGAN approach is holistic: in the various stages, different competences will be involved, such as separation science, biotechnology, catalysis, science and technology of materials. Different fractions of cardoon feedstock (seeds, roots and leaves) will be recovered and transformed to obtain bio-based products that can replace the ones from petrochemical origin or wholly new products. Transformations will be carried out using catalysts, enzymes and microbial bioprocesses following the criteria of Green Chemistry.
Diverse bio-based products will be produced: biopolymers, plasticizers, bioactive molecules, bioplastics, with final application in the field of packaging. In addition, the output of the project will be useful for the
development of a “cardoon bio-refinery model” suitable for the valorisation of other biomasses.
The project will pursue the following main objectives (Ox)  by means of specific Work Packages (WP).


O1 Production of plasticizers and lubricants by means of chemical/enzymatic epoxidation of seed oil (WP1, WP2)

O2 Production of protein-based biopolymers from seed flour(WP1,WP3)

O3 Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and lactic acid (for polylactic acid (PLA) synthesis) from root inulin by fermentation(WP1,WP4)

O4 Isolation and characterization of bioactive molecules from leaves(WP1,WP5)

O5 Formulation of novel bio-based polymers and functional bioplastic  for coatings and/or packaging(WP2, WP3, WP4, WP5,WP6)