LIFE Project Cover Photo

LIFE-BIOPAINT - An innovative and sustainable continuous process for the development of novel bio based paints

Reference: LIFE17 ENV/IT/000164 | Acronym: LIFE-BIOPAINT



Chemcials are widely used by industries to manufacture everyday consumer items. Being an essential component of citizens' daily life. The chemicals industry is one of the EU’s largest manufacturing sectors, representing more than 7% of industrial production, 1.1% of EU GDP (17% of global chemical sales) and directly employing more than 1.1 million people [ECHA, 2013].

Despite such positive economic data, and the introduction of the EU regulation on chemicals, the so called REACH regulation; Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, still industrial chemicals pose a potential impact on human health and environment. This is particularly true for the paints and coatings sector, which mostly uses petrochemical derivatives as raw materials. This puts workers in contact with harmful chemicals, such as flammable and corrosive acryclic acid, and leads to significant emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) which are hazardous to human health.


LIFE-BIOPAINT is going to demonstrate a safe, sustainable and innovative continuous process for producing novel bio-based paints manufactured without petrochemicals. This will avoid NMVOC and greenhouse gas emissions, eliminate waste, reduce energy consumption and deliver improvements in product quality in the wood coating sector. A pilot plant will be installed at IVM's premises in Parona, Italy and will produce up to 20 tonnes of bio-based paints. At full capacity, it would have the ability to produce 3 000 tonnes per year.

If successful, the project will support the implementaton of REACH in the wood coating sector, as well as 7th EAP and EU 2020 targets for energy reduction.

Expected results:

  • No VOCs released during the manufacturing process (3.8 kg not emitted during the project and more than 580 kg per year saved at full capacity);
  • Substitution of bio-based materials for acryclic acid (39 tonnes at pilot scale; 5 850 tonnes per year at full capacity);
  • 30% energy reduction thanks to a complete restructuring of the industrial process and the recovery of wasted vapour generated;
  • 100% waste reduction (400 kg saved at pilot scale and 60 tonnes per year at full capacity) from the new automated closed-loop process inclusive of the embedded packaging system, yielding a 6% increase in productivity; and
  • Socioeconomic benefits in terms of reduced harm to human health.


    Reference: LIFE17 ENV/IT/000164
    Acronym: LIFE-BIOPAINT
    Start Date: 02/07/2018
    End Date: 31/03/2021
    Total Budget: 3,065,930 €
    EU Contribution: 1,839,557 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: IVM Chemicals Srl
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Via T. Tasso 10, 20123, Milano, Italia
    Contact Person: Ilaria Lombardi
    Tel: 003902903031

    LIFE Project Map



    • Chemicals
    • Waste reduction - Raw material saving


    • coating
    • chemical industry
    • raw material consumption
    • paint
    • wood product
    • biodegradability
    • energy efficiency
    • resource conservation


    • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • "Regulation 1907/2006 - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) (18.12.2006) "


    Name Type
    IVM Chemicals Srl Coordinator
    GreenDelta GmbH, Germany Participant