The president of Faconauto, Gerardo Pérez, learned about the progress of the LIFE Comp0live R&D project during his visit to the headquarters of the ANDALTEC Technology Center in Martos. Pérez was accompanied by Laura Peral, Head of Projects and Corporate Social Responsibility, and Raúl Morales, Director of Communication at Faconauto. Those responsible for the employers’ association that integrates the associations of official car dealers in Spain have been received by Víctor Torres, mayor of Martos and vice president of the Andaltec Foundation, and José María Navarro, manager of Andaltec.
The researcher Francisco Javier Navas has presented the COMP0LIVE European project, led by the ANDALTEC Technology Center, which works on the development of biocomposites reinforced with olive pruning, with applications in the automotive and domestic and urban furniture sectors. The objective is to manufacture automotive components with the biocomposites developed within the framework of this project, in which Ford-Werke GmbH (Germany), the University of Jaén, Citoliva and Matricería Peña (Spain), Caliplast and Plasturgia (France) also participate. . Gerardo Pérez has been able to see the facilities in which the project is being developed, samples of the biocomposites developed, as well as some components made from said materials.
Comp0live intends to value the pruning of the olive grove to convert it into a raw material with the potential to be introduced into polymeric matrices and improve its properties, also reducing the environmental impact, for example by reducing CO2 emissions caused by practices such as burning pruning, which is still carried out today. One of the most significant advances of this project is that, when this suitably treated olive pruning fiber can be added to a polymeric matrix as reinforcement, a composite material results with a significant improvement in its properties and a lower associated environmental impact. In addition, the material allows innovative aspects and textures to be achieved, even when the polymeric matrices used are recycled plastics. The researchers have so far made important advances in the development of materials and are currently working on the phase of scaling up the processes involved in the manufacture of the materials.
Gerardo Pérez has been very impressed by the LIFE COMP0LIVE project and the progress made to date, since it unites two elements in which Spain has a dominant position, such as car manufacturing and the generation of by-products from olive groves. In this sense, it must be remembered that Spain is the world’s leading producer of olive oil, since it annually contributes around 45% of the planet’s harvest.