KBBPPS: Knowledge Based Bio-based Products’ Pre-Standardization

KBBPPS is a project focussing on pre-standardization research for bio-based products and finished in 2015.

Standardization is an important tool in order to improve reliability of product quality, facilitate harmonisation of the industry and strengthen consumer confidence.

Within three years, the project members of KBBPPS investigated testing methods for a variety of bio-based products that focus on biomass content, bio-based carbon content, bio-degradability and functionality.

The results of this researchproject were integrated into further standardization work of CEN; for example the bio-based content standards created within CEN/TC 411 bio-based products.

Objectives & scope

Led by NEN, the Netherlands Standardization Institute, the project executes pre-standardization research for bio-based products. The results automatically feed into the CEN standardization process on the same topic. The goal is to provide the European and global market with horizontal standards on bio-based carbon content, biomass content and biodegradability that have been assessed on a first set of different products, such as solvents, plastics and lubricants.

For this, a research consortium between the Agricultural University of Athens, the University of York, Wageningen University, ECN, OWS and nova-Institute has been established, managed by NEN. In addition, associations like EuropaBio, European Bioplastics and Association Chimie du Végétal (ACDV) are connected to the project, just as research groups like Scion in New Zealand, Beta-Analytic in the UK and Michigan State University in the USA cooperate in the project.

The application of standards and certification systems in the European bio-based product industry has positive long-term effects on the overall development of bio-based product markets. Trade barriers are reduced and the development of a pan-European market for bio-based products is promoted. Finally, public acceptance of bio-based products is increased through ensuring and verifying the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, the effective bio-content and clear indication of their (comparative) functionality in relation to the regular products.

Work packages

WP1: Project management
WP2: Dissemination
WP3: Bio-based carbon content
WP4: Biomass content
WP5: Bottlenecks and impacts on functionality tests
WP6: Biodegradability

Publicly available documents from KBBPPS

Information on the project objectives and achievements of the KBBPPS can be found in the final public report:

Public report results KBBPPS

At the final workshop in York, the KBBPPS project partners and audience discussed the project outcomes:

Final workshop KBBPPS 2015

Work Package 3: Bio-based carbon content

Overview of current relevant sampling and biogenic carbon standards on global level
In the following report all relevant standards on a global level are reviewed with respect to the biogenic carbon content determination. In general it is an overview of all standards that can be used when determining the biogenic carbon content and will give directions when no relevant standards are available.

This review is focused in all standards concerning the sampling, pre-treatment and 14C determination of all product types, which includes solids, liquids, gasses and mixtures of these.

Overview of current relevant sampling and biogenic carbon standards on global level


Public report on horizontal standard for bio-based carbon content determination

This  public report describes the approach proposed in CEN/EN 16640 (Bio-based products – Determination of the bio-based carbon content of products using the radiocarbon method) for the bio-based carbon content determination.

Public report on horizontal standard for bio-based carbon content determination



Work Package 4: Biomass content

Organic samples: thermal treatment methods

This report contains a brief overview of standard test methodologies relevant to the
combustion of organic samples, some specifically in order to obtain bio-based content measurements. A description of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and its hyphenation to infra-red (IR) spectroscopy to give TG-IR, as demonstrated for a variety of bio-based products is covered.

D4.1 Assessment study report on novel thermal treatments for biogenic measurement


Fractionation procedures

There are very few products on the market that are a single chemical/material com-ponent and some contain a very large number of components (i.e. a formulation). Measure-ment of the biogenic content of formulated products was suspected as being possible of cre-ating skewed results with both false positives and negatives depending on the precise formu-lation being measured. Fractionation of these formulations into simpler, ideally component, parts would facilitate measurement of biogenic content for the different formulation ingredi-ents thus also enabling data to be used horizontally for other formulations using the same components in differing quantities.

The following report (D2.2) documents the results of fractionation procedures established in the lit-erature and novel work focusing on the separation of formulated lubricants, plastics, solvents and surfactants. The outcomes varied in success rate from ineffective to satisfactory.

D4.2_Assessment study report on fractionation of formulations pre-biogenic measurement

Sample techniques for the determination of total biomass content


D4.3_Sample Preparation Techniques

Indirect declaration

This report covers approaches for the indirect calculation of total bio-based content. Indirect methods are useful when the bio-based product is not manufactured in a dedicated facility, causing potential fluctuations in the amount of biomass incorporated into the final article. The choice of poten-tial methods is large, and how they are put into practice can vary the output dramatically

D4.5 Assessment study report of indirect declaration techniques to determine total bio-based content

Work Package 5: Bottlenecks and impacts on functionality tests

First Stakeholder workshop

A first stakeholder workshop was organized within the KBBPPS project to:

  • Present the project’s objectives and scope as well as a brief description of the tasks and targets of each work package to the workshop attendees.
  • Identify the most relevant bio-based intermediates and products from different branches for the methodology, measurement and validation: Shaping of the product list presented by the nova-Institute.
  • Analysis of the need, expectations, hurdles and acceptance of bio-based certification methodologies amongst industry and consumers.

First stakeholder workshop report

Market entry barriers
The main focus of this research was on technical bottlenecks for BBP stemming from regulations, codes, norms and standards, but another aspect of the analysis were also barriers in the process chain such as access to raw materials, unsuitable political framework, lack of information, inappropriate communication and labelling as well as finance.
The main aim was to check whether existing product specifications, test standards, certifications and labelling present hurdles to bio-based variants.

Market entry barriers

Green Label report
This report presents the results of the desk research of ecolabels that can be relevant for biobased products carried out within Task 5.4 of KBBPPS. The main objective of this task was to analyse existing green labels for the selected products (Task 5.1) and to discuss the possible conflicts of including bio-based carbon or biomass content in these labels.

Green label report

Work Package 6: Biodegradation

The objective of WP “Biodegradability” within the KBBPPS project is to develop and validate a test methodology for the evaluation of biodegradability in freshwater and soil for bio-based lubricants and bio-based solvents, starting from what exists at present.

The following report summarizes the executed work and gives guidance towards the inter-laboratory testing that are planned for the follow-up project Open-BIO in the work package 5 on “in situ biodegradation”.

Biodegradability standards assessment report


Eco-toxicological impact

D6.3 Eco-toxicological impact study

In the following report the current biodegradation test methods in different environments (fresh water, marine environment, anaerobic environment, soil and compost) and the existing test procedures for evaluating environmental safety are reviewed. Existing difficulties and gaps in the current test methods are defined.

Report on current relevant biodegradation and ecotoxicity standards