Biobased ropes for mussel production

Bizkaia, News

The European BIOGEARS project, which aimed to provide the European aquaculture sector with innovative and sustainable products and new value chains, ends with interesting results.

GAIKER Technology Centre, a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, has participated in the European BIOGEARS project, which ended last April, obtaining important results: the new bio-based ropes developed produce more mussels than conventional models (made from fossil-based plastic). In addition, this new model of bio-based ropes means a reduction in the carbon footprint of 34% per kg of mussels produced.

This project started four years ago with the aim of providing the European aquaculture sector with innovative products (cultivation ropes) and new value chains based on biodegradable materials or from renewable sources to promote the sustainability of this sector. To this end, new materials of biological origin have been developed and rope prototypes have been designed and manufactured, which have been validated in mussel aquaculture facilities in the Basque Country in longline and pan systems.

GAIKER, for its part, has collaborated both in the development of the new biodegradable or compostable materials of biological origin and, together with the Basque company ITSASKORDA, in the mechanical monitoring of the ropes during the validation process. It has also been responsible for the evaluation of sustainability through life cycle and end-of-life analysis of the products developed.

The results obtained in this research have been very positive, the new bio-based ropes have been tested for one year in real production environments and it has been demonstrated that they support higher production yields than conventional ropes, maintaining their functional characteristics and durability during this period. In addition, biodegradability tests have shown that these ropes do not degrade in seawater below 20-30°C and compostability tests have confirmed that bio-based ropes will potentially be compostable under industrial composting conditions, providing an alternative end-of-life pathway, which also contributes to the reduction of their carbon footprint.

More about the BIOGEARS project
The BIOGEARS project was launched in 2019 with the aim of developing and testing sustainable solutions based on new biodegradable and compostable materials in a circular economy context.

This research aimed to provide results to support the definition of policies on marine litter and the use of plastic and, at the same time, to provide a solution to the lack of information related to the use of bio-based materials in the sea and the generation of microplastics.

Funded by the European Union in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (EMFF-BlueEconomy-2018 call) under contract number: 863708, this project has been led by the AZTI Technology Centre and has involved the participation of the companies ITSASKORDA and ERINN Innovation, as well as the GAIKER and CENTEXBEL Technology Centres.

More information on the project:


Otras noticias