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From oils unfit for consumption to lubricants for the construction industry

New formulations resulting from collaborative research by AGRIBTP have been patented for applications in the construction industry and used successfully to create novel biolubricant agents for construction concrete and road coatings. Partner SMEs were involved from the launch of the project in creating a production and marketing company dedicated to these innovative products.

Valorisation des huiles usagées agro-industrielles en biolubrifiants pour le secteur du bâtiment et des travaux publics
Updated on 01/22/2018
Published on 10/23/2017

France produces 35,000 tonnes of used edible oils every year. The similarities between the molecular structures of these biosourced oils and those obtained using petroleum have encouraged numerous research teams and companies, driven by the REACH regulations, to recycle these by-products.

The ambitions of the project

The AGRIBTP project focused on recycling used edible oils to develop bioproducts without the toxic components -  VOC and CMR(1) – that are present in current formulations. AGRIBTP also worked on optimising existing technological adjuvants linked to the evolution of new European regulations. Technical concerns did not mask the societal challenge of the project, which in the long term was to create a local sector for recycling, from the collection of raw materials to their transformation and functionalisation and ultimately the production and sale of efficient products.
Four main areas of development structured this project:

  • The design of novel functionalised compounds,
  • The development of new synthetic processes,
  • The design, laboratory testing and then on-site testing of innovative products,
  • Evaluation of the economic and environmental sustainability of this new sector.  

AGRIBTP focused on producing three types of bioproducts: curing and form removal agents for concrete structures and release agents for asphalt.  The first are used to prevent the cracking of concrete while it sets, and the second are applied to the surfaces of moulds to limit adherence phenomena when demoulding concrete components. Finally, the development of release agents for asphalt was intended to replace those currently on the market which have the notable drawback of dissolving the asphalt.

A well-balanced and efficient consortium

During the first part of the project, work was carried out by three laboratories, two of which – the Chemical Engineering Laboratory (LGC) and the Joint Research Unit for Agro-Industrial Chemistry (LCA) – are members of the 3BCAR Carnot network (see insert). They developed several mixtures of bolaform amphiphilic compounds with both surface-active and film-forming properties. These formulations were the subject of a patent filed for construction and civil engineering applications (see insert).

The complementarity of the industrial partners enabled coverage of the entire value chain, from the supply of raw materials, formulation, testing and manufacture of a range of technological adjuvants to their development at the pilot and then industrial scales. This complementarity was also decisive in sizing the production facilities.

As early as 2013, the three SMEs involved in the project decided to set up a company, Kemerid, in order to sell these innovative products for the future.

Highly practical outcomes

To date, the findings of the AGRIBTP project have resulted in:

  • Development of a formulation for a concrete release agent. This wholly biosourced product, devoid of VOC and CMR, is 95% biodegradable. It is now on the market;
  • The development of an anti-adherent agent that can limit the adhesion of asphalt and facilitate the maintenance of construction equipment. Marketing of this product is now under way ;
  • The development of a curing agent.

Kemerid now has its own production unit, and is already considering new products for which it is seeking an appropriate commercial partnership.
(1) VOC: volatile organic compound; CMR: carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances

Scientific contact(s):

  • Zéphirin Mouloungui INRA-INP Toulouse Joint Research Unit for Agro-Industrial Chemistry (UMR 1010; LCA) - Inra et INPToulouse, 4 allée Emile Monso - BP 44362 31030 Toulouse Cedex 4
Kemerid: 9 Rue du Développement, 31320 Castanet-Tolosan:
Serge Da Silva
Associated Division(s):
Science for Food and Bioproduct Engineering
Associated Centre(s):

En savoir plus sur le projet AGRIBTP

.. © INRA

Objective: Formulation of bioproducts for the construction and civil engineering industry by transforming lipid by-products from the agrifood industry.
List of partners:
3 SME: LR Vision, Coreva Technologies, 6TMIC,
2 subsidiaries of the Spie Batignolles Group: Malet and SPIE SCGPM,
3 academic research laboratories based in Toulouse: LMDC, LGC, LCA, attached to CNRS, INP Toulouse, INRA, INSA Toulouse, Université Toulouse 3  
Duration of the project: 2011-2015
Funders: Special Ministerial Fund and Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council. This project was accredited by the Advancity and Agrimip Sud-Ouest Innovation competitiveness clusters
Overall budget: €3,215,000

project coordinator:

  • Dr Serge DA SILVA - Kemerid - 9, rue du développement-ZI de Vic-31320 Castanet Tolosan-Tel : +33 (0)5 34 43 63 39 / +33(0)6 71 60 04 12

Patent reference

Mouloungui Z., Valentin R., Nyame Mendendy Boussambe G., Bertron A., Fabre JF., et al.
Utilisation d'une composition comprenant un mono- à tétra- alkylénate en C7-C15 de mono- à tétra- (trialkanol en C3-C6) comme auxiliaire de mise en œuvre de produits bitumineux et/ou de béton. FR 3 035 659-A1 (04/11/2016)

. © INRA

L’Institut Carnot 3BCAR©

The aim of the 3BCAR© Carnot Institute is to facilitate and promote partnership research and offer access to research laboratories for industry. Each year, it funds several upstream (revitalisation) projects which aim to generate innovations for the future that can be transferred to industry.

3BCAR© can offer SME or major industrial groups access to its transversal skills relative to renewable chemistry.

Contact: Alexandre Brosse – manager - alexandre.brosse@inra.fr – tel : +33(0)1 42 75 93 82
Inra Transfert - 28, rue du Docteur Finlay -75015 Paris – France

3BCAR© networks:

510 research scientists
400 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows
12 research laboratories
4 transfer centers
1 industrial technical center

key figures:

300 research contracts with 200 private sector actors
600 A-ranking publications
25 current patents