Bioplastics from plant residues

Latin America

TECNARO GmbH was set up by the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology to use technology based on renewable raw materials. The company uses plant residues to create materials for the plastics processing industry. In two development partnerships with sequa, the company also introduced this technology to Brazil.


Brazil is the world’s largest sugar producer. Each year, the pressed plant fibres generate 150 million tonnes of biowaste. In collaboration with a Brazilian partner, the SENAI-CIMATEC training centre, TECNARO has developed environmentally friendly ways of processing the waste material. The principle is simple: the plant material is used to produce pellets that can subsequently be thermoformed to produce all kinds of moulded parts used in furniture, toys, fittings, engine components and domestic goods. The pellets are suitable for use in conventional machines that currently only process plastics. In an initial project from 2007 to 2009, sequa supported TECNARO in helping to develop a pilot facility at SENAI-CIMATEC in Brazil and to train SENAI employees who will pass on their knowledge.


The focus of the second project, which runs from 2010 to 2013, is to develop other products from local, renewable raw materials and to further expand the technology throughout Brazil. SENAI is now equipped with an efficient facility that allows anyone interested to test the materials and enables SENAI to conduct further research activities. The Brazilian-based company Coza is already using the material to manufacture a series of officeware. TECNARO has also concluded a long-term partnership with the Brazilian company Braskem, a global market leader in bioplastics.



‘sequa helped us enormously with setting up the project and reducing the entrepreneurial risk involved in such technology transfer.’

Dr Lars Ziegler, TECNARO’s head of development



Partner: TECNARO GmbH and sequa

Country: Brazil

Duration: December 2010 – June 2013



• A pilot system has been installed for research and testing purposes;

• Over 250 formulations to create bioplastics from Brazilian raw materials have been developed and tested; four standard formulations have been chosen;

• The biomaterials are used by Brazilian companies in series production.