Biobased binders

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Biobased binders for sustainable technical products

Biobased binders based on plant raw materials

As a result of their wide range of functionalities, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids can be used in various technical products as substitutes for fossil or synthetic product components such as binders. Especially plant proteins, which are inherently characterized by their functional properties, present a wide range of possibilities in this respect.

Their functionalities can be affected by selecting specific raw materials and by extraction and fractionation processes tailored to the target product. Moreover, we offer customized and low impact modification of the obtained protein products in order to adjust certain properties. For this, we employ wet chemical methods as well as enzymatic and physical processes.

Targeted use of residues from the agriculture and food industry

We design efficient processes for the production of protein fractions and protein isolates from various plant raw materials and residues that can be used as binders. In this context, the focus is primarily on the utilization of unused byproducts in the food and agricultural industries aiming to increase the sustainability of both food production and technical products in which the biobased binders are used.

We would be more than happy to assist you in the development of suitable product formulations to ensure the optimal applicability of the functional proteins. Our developments take place in the laboratory and can be applied in our pilot facilities up to a scale of 300 l.

Our services for biobased binders

Selection and analysis of raw materials

We offer our vast specialized knowledge of plant raw materials to help you select the right raw material for your application.


Customized functionality

We can specifically tailor the functionality to your target product through customized processing of the raw materials.


Analytics and functional characterization

Accurate qualitative and quantitative analyses as well as a precise functional characterization are necessary for the successful application of plant raw materials.

Product development

We support you in integrating plant raw materials with your technical product. We also test the interactions with other material components.

Selection of raw materials for biobased binders

In the selection of raw materials for the production of biobased binders we are increasingly relying on using agricultural residues and waste streams unsuitable for human consumption to avoid competition with food and feed production. For instance, we utilize the press cake from vegetable oil production, which contains a high level of inedible bitters.

In addition to an analysis and evaluation of the raw material composition and functional potential, economic aspects such as market volume and availability are also taken into account during the selection of raw materials.

Besides the development of functional products to use for binders, our goal is to utilize unused material flows in the spirit of the bioeconomy and the holistic use of raw materials.

Customized functionality

Proteins are particularly suitable for the production of biobased binders. Depending on the extraction and processing method, they act as emulsifiers, foaming agents, film-forming agents, gel-forming agents, adhesives or wetting agents. Proteins, with their versatile functionalities, offer great potential for the technical industry.

We can specifically tailor the following processing steps to produce customized protein products for the use in biobased binders:

  • Extraction process
  • Fractionation process
  • Modification process

The extraction of protein isolates and protein fractions is done by precipitation, ultrafiltration or combined processes. In order to obtain protein products with the highest possible yield while maintaining high functional properties with regard to the use in binders, we specifically tailor the extraction and fractionation processes to the raw materials.

By subsequent modifications, various functions of the protein products can be customized even further. For this, we apply enzymatic, chemical and physical processes.

All aspects of the tailored functionalization of proteins for use as binders are also transferable to other classes of substances such as carbohydrates and lipids.

Analytics and functional characterization

The most accurate characterization possible is necessary for successful use of the obtained plant-based products as binders. This involves the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the composition as well as establishing a functional property profile.

The most important requirement for the application of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids is their proper formulation into the respective target medium. It is therefore essential to determine the solubility profile of the produced products. Film forming properties are an important parameter for the use of plant raw materials in multiple applications to ensure a complete coating.

Depending on the surface (or substrate), the surface energy of the biobased products also plays an important role in their compatibility. This is particularly important when the plant raw materials are used as natural tensides, e.g. in personal & homecare products, or as friction reducers in biolubricants or as biobased coatings. Depending on the intended application, further specific analyses of the functionality can be performed.

Integration of biobased binders into technical products

Depending on the application and raw material, we analyze how fossil or synthetic product components can be replaced. For this, the plant-based products are integrated into model or product formulations as binders. An evaluation of the emerging patterns can be performed regarding the following aspects:

  • Determining relevant product properties 
  • Stability of the formulation (temperature, light, storage time, etc.)
  • Interactions of the plant-based ingredients with other formulation components
  • Formulation adjustment, if necessary
  • Benchmarking against commercially available samples/products
  • Profitability analysis and the possibility of industrial application