BioPitch is a Swedish collaboration project where the football, research and the forest industry have joined with the aim to develop a bio-based, degradable infill material that can be used on artificial turf fields for football.
The fossil based plastics used today in artificial turfs are under investigation and are being questioned by environmental authorities at both local, national and global levels. In Europe, the European Chemicals Agency ECHA has started work on gathering information to review the effects of phasing out the fossil based plastic infill material in artificial turf and what methods can be implemented to limit the spread of environmentally harmful microplastics into the environment.
In a hypothesis testing project, stage one, the project BioPitch has shown that forest raw material can be one of the solutions for future production of environmentally preferable infill material for artificial turfs. With the main constituents forest residues and Renol, an infill material was developed that, in accelerated test environments, showed properties indicating that it can work in a real football environment.
In the hypothesis testing stage two the BioPitch project will continue to build knowledge about the main constituents’ impact on the characteristics of the performance material and its biodegradability in natural environments. The final material will be tested in both lab and real-world environments in order to obtain necessary certification for football games. The project will be communicated both nationally and internationally to manufacturers of artificial turf systems, owners of artificial turf facilities and important football organizations.
Expected effects & results
At the end of the project a forest-based performance material for artificial football fields has been developed and tested for playability and biodegradability.
A process for transforming forest-waste into raw material to be used in the production of the new material has been developed through pilot testing complemented with a techno-economic analysis. The production of the new performance material has been verified in production-scale. A successful result of the project will make way for a replacement of the fossil-based performance materials that are used today.
Stockholms Fotbollförbund, RISE, Sveaskog, Lignin Industies (former RenCom), SportsLabs, Stockholms kommun, Solna kommun and Karlstads kommun.
Budget & time plan
The project’s budget is 9 MSEK and the project will run during two years – from October 2019 and October 2021.
Read about BioPitch – Step 1.