WP9 Scale-Up, technology optimisation

Leader of consortium:

Fatra, a.s.

Consortium members:

SYNPO, akciová společnost, Biomedica, spol. s r. o., Centrum organické chemie s.r.o., INOTEX spol. s r.o.

Responsible person:

Ing. Michael Tupý, Ph.D.

Duration of the work package:

01/2016 – 12/2019


Work package will be focused on the transfer of the results of laboratory research into pilot plant scale. This transfer, up scaling, will be closely connected with optimization of the production technology and with a long term testing of product properties. The products will be prepared in a larger volume during this work, what allow their usage for further testing. Application results are closely linked and each of them has noticeable impact on others. Work package is divided in the tasks according to aim of up scaling activities.

Task 9.1 Optimization and up scaling of antimicrobial material synthesis

The project presumes three main routes of use of antimicrobial agents– polymerizable antimicrobial agents, photoactive materials and reactive silver agents. R&D of the synthetic procedures is described in WP2. The suggested syntheses will be necessary to optimize for larger apparatus volumes and verify in glass pilot plant. Obtained results will be based for final technological procedures. Separate precursors will be studied by this way:

  • Phthalocyanine photosensitizers have been prepared in COC for several years. There are two basic synthetic procedures, by solvent or solventfree technology. COC has suitable devices for syntheses up to several kilograms by both ways, which is enough for further testing in antimicrobial polymer system. Results of the previous R&D activities will answer, which substitution of this material is the most suitable for varnishes and polymeric materials. These antimicrobial agents will be used for antimicrobial modification of the polymer material surface.
  • Polymerizable antimicrobial agents will be chosen from the most effective materials. The essential condition of their application is negligible toxic impact on their user and compliance with the valid legislative directives. Close cooperation of COC, SYNPO, Fatra, Biomedica and Inotex is necessary. Synthetic procedure of chosen materials will be investigated, optimized and verified in glass pilot plant conditions. Prepared materials will be used for incorporation into polymeric matrix and for further final application in varnishes, plastic materials, cosmetic emulsions and/or textile fabrics.
  • Silver precursors for antimicrobial application will be investigated by UPOL. Chosen material for next application will be used in all considered commercial activities. UPOL will take advantage of cooperation with COC for up scaling of this material production. Both companies will find a suitable producer of this material and optimization of the production technology will be tailored directly to final producer conditions.
  • Antimicrobial agents on the polymeric carriers will be up scaled at SYNPO apparatus and the products will be used for preparation of mastebatches, varnishes and as additives for final applications.

Task 9.2 Up scaling and optimisation of varnishes and masterbatches preparation

Varnishes, which will have unique character consists from antimicrobial protection of treated surface, developed at previous R&D period will be prepared for full scale production. There will be investigated

  • Raw materials suitable for pilot plant as well as full plant conditions.
  • Procedures suitable for varnishes preparation in production volume batches.
  • Physical characteristics, which have influence on application behaviour.

All these investigation will be done in SYNPO laboratories.

Fatra will be cooperating in the application of antibacterial materials on plastics such as breathable membranes used in surgery. Materials with this surface treatment must maintain sterility and retain the required physical and mechanical properties. They must remain antimicrobially effective throughout their shelf life without posing a risk to human health or the environment. Fatra will be developing technology for antibacterial coating application, testing the physical and mechanical properties of products with the antibacterial coating and, depending on the test results, optimising the processing conditions and adjusting the formulas. The antibacterial coating efficiency will be assessed by SZÚ (WP8).

Besides antimicrobial varnishes will be tested pilot plant preparation of carrying polymeric systems with reactive group able to the covalent or ionic bond with investigated organic antimicrobial substances, antimicrobial agents phthalocyanine and reactive silver nanoparticle based, named masterbatches. Result of this activity will be procedure for production of mastebatches for foils and plastic products as carrier of antimicrobial agents.

Task 9.3 Up scaling and optimisation of foil and plastic material production

Suitable processing technology for plastic products with antimicrobial agents integrated into the polymeric matrix and optimising the processing conditions and formulas to give the end product the required properties will be done. Tests will be targeted on plastic materials with integrated antimicrobial agents, mainly BO PET packaging film. The research will consider compatibility between non-toxic antimicrobial agents without allergenic effect and the packaging material that is supposed to help extend food shelf life and ensure food safety. The result of these activities will be product, food-packaging foil and technology procedure for production of it verified in plant conditions. During these tests will be prepared foil, which will be used for next wide testing, mainly antimicrobial, but at final applicator too. Foil must have suitable mechanical characteristics.

Foil and plastic materials will be prepared from masterbatches serve as carrying polymeric systems with reactive group able to the covalent or ionic bond with investigated organic antimicrobial substances, antimicrobial agents phthalocyanine and reactive silver nanoparticle based. These masterbatches production verification is described in task 9.2.

Task 9.4 Up scaling and optimisation of antimicrobial fabrics production

Based on results of research of synthesis of new active components (WP3) and their application on textiles (WP7) and lab scale evaluation of achievable results INOTEX will support the scale up phase of implementation of new antimicrobial agents integrated into the polymeric matrix and also the PTCs able to direct link to the textile substrate. Own small lot production facilities (finishing, coating) will be used after the pre previous customisation of speciality chemicals – textile auxiliary agents realised within the INOTEX low volume production capacity. Integration of new systems into the production of multi-functional textiles will be searched. Resulted prototypes of functionalised textiles will be tested by SZU partner, tailor-made technologies will be presented as technology guidelines. WP activities will be finished by functional sample of microbial resistant fabrics and technological procedures for their production, which will be verified in pilot plant production conditions.

Task 9.5 Up scaling and optimisation of cosmetic commodities production

Biomedica has a long-time experience with manufacturing of cosmetics. Apart of cosmetics bearing Biomedica´s label, there is a huge amount of products manufactured in terms of contractory manufacturing. Technologists from Biomedica in addition with skilled laboratory staff are working on scaling up of developed formulas for many years. Their got their experience namely on producing of body lotions, body oils, body creams, skin creams, face creams, eye creams, lip balms, face cleaning milks, tonics and gels, hand and foot creams, hair shampoos, hair conditioners, shower creams, bath oils, intimate shower gels for women, cosmetics for baby and also sun screens. Biomedica will utilize its cosmetic vessels in following manner – batches will be gradually increased, starting with 20 kg batch, then 100 kg, 300 kg and finalizing with 800 kg batch. Each batch will be tested in our laboratory for stability – in case of gels the resistivity against liquefaction will be tested, in case of cosmetic emulsions their stability tests will be performed. Within the production of batches some various conditions will be applied in order to find the best conditions of productions. Obtained batches of products with incorporated new antimicrobial agents will be then tested by SZÚ. The result of these activities will be suggestion of the application procedures of alternative antimicrobial agents for cosmetic products verified in pilot plant conditions and represent by functional samples.

Project no. TE02000006 is solved with financial support
from the Technology Agency of the CR.