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Biodiesel racing car made of linseed oil acrylate | 21



Vol. 2

ISSN 1862-5258

01 | 2007

Bioplastics in Automotive Applications | 14 How much „bio“ is in there? | 36

Natural product – natural packaging If you’re selling fresh produce, why not choose a straight-from-nature packaging! biophan is a fully biodegradable product made from starch, which micro-organisms convert into CO2 and H2O during composting. biophan is not only naturally biodegradable, it also has outstanding packaging qualities. When wrapped in breathable biophan, fresh produce stays fresh longer and the packaging’s crackling sound enhances the freshness impression. biophan’s high gloss and transparency also add to the appeal of fresh produce. Back-to-nature packaging with big benefits for your produce!

We’re part of your product


dear readers When talking about bioplastics, most people immediately think of biobased and/or biodegradable packaging. This is quite understandable, as most examples currently reported in the press and available in the market are of packaging applications. However, other industries are also carefully evaluating bioplastics, or even using them already. The automotive industry, for example, uses a huge amount of plastics. In 2005, in Western Europe alone, 2.5 million tonnes of plastics went into automotive applications. Today almost every car manufacturer sees environmental responsibility and sustainability as important aspects of their industry, and as a result the automotive industry - the OEMs and their suppliers - is not only interested in bioplastics, but an increasing number of companies are evaluating the use of new, ecologically sound materials. Some are using bioplastics already. That’s why bioplastics MAGAZINE has a special editorial focus in this issue, highlighting the first positive steps, from resins through tyres to series production applications. Our cover photo shows a 270 PS biodiesel racing car that has a body made from linseed oil acrylate reinforced with flax fibre – demonstrating that the use of renewable resources in the automotive industry, even today, can go far beyond conventional fibre-reinforced parts such as inner door trim, rear shelves or spare wheel covers. 01 | 2007

ISSN 1862-5258

For all of these automotive applications biodegradability or compostability is not, at this stage, the most important aspect. The fact that the materials come from renewable resources, their positive effect on the climate, and a reduced dependency on crude oil, are much more important right now.

Biodiesel racing car ate | 10 made of linseed oil acryl

Michael Thielen Publisher

2 bioplastics magazine Vol.

But there is more to talk about than cars, and this issue also covers new materials and applications in nonautomotive markets, as well as articles about basics, logos, events, and hopefully everything else you’d expect from magazine like this.

Bioplastics in s | 10 Automotive Application there? | 15 How much „bio“ is in

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

PLA – cast film lines

bioplastics MAGAZINE tries to use British spelling. However, in articles based on information from the USA, American spelling may also be used.

The fact that product names may not be identified in our editorial as trade marks is not an indication that such names are not registered trade marks.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE is read in 72 countries.

bioplastics magazine is published 4 times in 2007 and 6 times a year from 2008. This publication is sent to qualified subscribers (149 Euro for 6 issues).

bioplastics magazine ISSN 1862-5258

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Impressum Content

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05 1st European Bioplastics Conference, Brussels 10

42 Bioplastics 2006, Frankfurt 11


Bioplastics in Automotive Applications 14

Bio-Tyres save energy and CO2 19

Rapeseed oil gives grip on wintry roads 20

Flax and Linseed Oil-Acrylate put Race Car in Pole Position 21


Polyamide 11 for automotive fuel line applications 24

CaprowaxTM 26

EcoPolTM 27



Report Applications

Novamont Biorefinery 32 Transparent heat-sealable compostable film 30

From Science & Research

Advancing Bioplastics from Down-Under 34


How much “biocontent” is in there? 36



Letters to the editor 38


European Bioplastics Column

Bioplastics showed signs of a boom in 2006

PLA Wedding Dress presented in Brussels

The bioplastics industry in Europe has experienced its first boom in market development during the year 2006. This result emerged from a survey conducted by the industry association European Bioplastics amongst its 66 members. The questions covered issues such as production, new products, converters, development of sales, and market highlights of the year 2006, as well as expectations for 2007. Growth of up to 100% on the previous year is anticipated by manufacturers, particularly in biopackaging. Numerous chains of stores throughout Europe are introducing biopackaging in response to the growing number of consumers who are concerned with depletion of fossil resources and climate change. Most companies in this sector expect continued strong positive growth in 2007. Businesses attribute this largely to three aspects: raised consumer environmental awareness, companies being increasingly prepared to actively support sustainable development, and the sharp rise in raw material and energy prices. Bioplastics are regarded as an innovative solution. Similarly to organic food and bioenergy, the emergence of bioplastics is a result of changing attitudes in business and society. Both the use of renewable resources as well as the biodegradability and compostability of many bioplastics products have become convincing sales and benefits arguments. Bioplastics are well on the way to achieving the leap from niche market presence to a broader introduction in the medium term. Encouraged by rapidly growing demand, manufacturers have continued to expand production capacities. However to exploit the application potential that has become evident, further significant investments will be required in the future. Dr. Harald Kaeb, Chairman of European Bioplastics

bioplastics MAGAZINE is no official publication of any association. However, we offer associations like European Bioplastics, BCPN, BPI etc. space to publish their messages.

photo: bioplastics MAGAZINE

Outlook is excellent - Further investment required to expand capacities

A wedding dress made from a tissue of delicate fabric created with Ingeo™ fiber made from NatureWorksŽ PLA, took centre stage at the start of the first European Bioplastics conference in Brussels on 21st and 22nd November, 2006. This apparel creation symbolizes the creative potential and drive behind NatureWorks LLC, as the company proclaimed. The dress was designed by Franco Francesca and sponsored by Coldiretti, one of the main agricultural associations in Europe. Ingeo fiber is the world’s first man-made fiber derived from 100% annually renewable resources. Ingeo fiber combines the qualities of natural and synthetic fibers in a new way. Strength and resilience are balanced with comfort, softness and drape in textiles. In addition, Ingeo fiber has good moisture management characteristics. This means that Ingeo fiber is ideally suited to fabrics from fashion to furnishings.

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BPI Compostable BBQ, a great success! On January 23rd, as part of the US Composting Council’s (USCC) Annual Meeting, the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and its members hosted the “All Compostable Barbeque”. Under the warm skies of Orlando, FL, 325 meals were served, successfully. All the foodservice items carried the BPI symbol, including the plates, hot and cold drink cups, and cutlery. Then all the leftovers were put in compostable bags and destined for Reedy Creek’s composting operation. Participants were pleased to attend the first “Zero Waste” meal, hosted by the BPI in conjunction with the USCC. Moreover, this event has helped to set a new commitment on the part of the USCC to hold its meetings in areas that practice food scrap diversion. For example, next year’s meeting will be in Oakland, CA, which is implementing food scrap diversion programs, along with San Francisco. “This event demonstrated the feasibility of source separated food scraps diversion programs in hotel operations”, stated Dr. Stuart Buckner, the USCC Executive Director. Studies show that large restaurant operations annually generate approx. 1,995 kg (4,400 lbs) of waste per employee in the USA. Of that, 66% are food scraps, another 6% are plastics and 5% are compostable paper items. By implementing a diversion program and substituting compostable food service items for its disposable plastics, restaurants could divert over 75% of its wastes to composting facilities. “Organic waste streams from hotels, grocery stores and restaurants represent new revenue and profit opportunities for the composting industry,” Dr. Buckner added. One of the goals of the “All Compostable” BBQ was to highlight the growing array of certified compostable foodservice items. “The industry has grown significantly and can now set the table,” said Steve Mojo, BPI Executive Director. All the participants were impressed with the sturdiness of the cutlery and plates. According to the US EPA, the United States generates approximately 26 million tons of food waste annually. Diverting these materials from landfills has many benefits. First, the resulting compost can be applied to farms to feed the soil and grow more food; second, the creation of methane in the landfill, a powerful greenhouse gas, is reduced. In fact, countries that have signed the Kyoto protocol are promoting the diversion of food scraps from landfills as a way of achieving their overall reduction goals. “Once consumers and businesses understand the numerous environmental benefits of composting, I expect to see more residential and commercial food scrap diversion and composting programs where the diverted food scraps, ultimately are used in the vineyards and farm fields to produce food locally,” stated Matt Cotton, USCC President. This event would not have been possible without the contributions and support of the “Gold Sponsors”, including BASF, Huhtamaki Foodservice (Chinet®), NatureWorks LLC, Northern Technologies International, Novamont NA and Poly-America.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

The People for Biodegradables

Sustainable Materials for Innovative Applications


With the collaboration of Plastic Suppliers, Inc., Columbus OH, Polypack Inc. from Pinellas Park FL, has developed a series of shrink packaging machines capable of running biodegradable, compostable Earth-First® PLA film, made with NatureWorks® PLA resin. Polypack‘s Bio-Wrapper series includes both total closure (form/fill/seal) retail wrappers and sleeve (bullseye) wrap bundlers. The stainless steel Bio-Wrapper is engineered as a complete unit with a double insulated shrink tunnel that reduces energy consumption and was displayed at PACK EXPO in Chicago from 29 October – 2 November 2006.

Biodegradable Lipstick Tube CARGO cosmetics from Toronto, Canada is doing its part to reduce the amount of waste generated by cosmetics. The company recently released the world‘s first completely biodegradable lipstick tube. Instead of petroleum based plastic, these botanical lipstick tubes are made from PLA. The lipsticks marketed under the name “PlantLove Botanical Lipstick” come boxed in flower paper, a recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds. Simply moisten, plant, and wait for a bouquet of wild flowers to grow!

Pira offer Report on Biodegradable Packaging UK based consultancy Intertech Pira offer a study entitled “The Future of Global Markets for Biodegradable Packaging“. According to an abstract from this report, the global production capacity for biodegradable polymers has grown dramatically since the mid-1990s. In 2006, global production capacity for biodegradable polymers was around 360,000 tonnes compared with 20,000 tonnes in 1995. Future projects indicate that total production capacity is set to reach 600,000 tonnes by 2008. Renewable resource based biopolymers such as starch and PLA account for around 85% of the total production capacity with synthetic biopolymers accounting for the remaining 15%. This biodegradable packaging report covers all types of packaging materials, including rigid, flexible and foamed materials. Processes covered include thermoforming, injection moulding, blow moulding, and extruded blown or cast film used for pre-packed fresh foods, other foods, non-foods and food service. Measuring market volumes in terms of plastic processors’ consumption of biodegradable polymers for packaging production, The Future of Global Markets for Biodegradable Packaging provides in-depth analysis of biodegradable packaging markets to 2011. The study as available at for 5,200 € / 6,500 US-$.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

photo: Cargo Cosmetics

World’s first automatic shrink wrapper for PLA film


The +1 Water™ “bio-bottle”, a first in Canada bioplastics MAGAZINE invites to

1st PLA Bottle Conference PLA for bottle applications are a highly topical subject, especially in the light of increasing crude oil prices. The stretch blow moulded PLA bottles used by Biota or Natural Iowa (USA), Belu (UK) +1 Water (Canada) and Vitamore (Germany), as well as reports in the trade press, have aroused significant interest from the PET and beverage industry. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE is organising the 1st PLA Bottle Conference to discuss the possibilities, limitations and future prospects of PLA for bottle applications. The conference is being held on the 12th and 13th of September 2007 in the Grand Elysee Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. During the 1½ day conference experts from companies such as Purac, Uhde Inventa-Fischer, Natureworks, Netstal, SIG Corpoplast, Wiedmer, Treofan, Sidaplax, SIG Plasmax, Doehler, Colormatrix, Polyone, Ihr Platz, Interseroh, and more, will share their knowledge and contribute to a comprehensive overview of today‘s opportunities and challenges.

+1 Water™ bottled water company from Montreal, Canada, announced it is the first and only company in Canada to use fully compostable plastic water bottle. Fresh spring +1 Water bottles are made from Natureworks PLA. A second socially responsible dimension of +1 Water is their affiliation with WaterCan and Ryan‘s Well Foundation in Canada, and Operation Hunger in South Africa. +1 Water donates 20% of their profits to these organizations to help provide communities in need with access to safe, clean water. Unlike most people living in North America and Europe, there are over one billion people in the world that do not have access to safe drinking water, as stated on the +1 Water-website Because of this, an estimated 4,500 children die every day due to lack of water or water borne diseases! With each bottle of +1 Water consumed customers are guaranteed to get refreshing, 100% pure natural spring water and at the same time ensure +1 more person gets access to life sustaining, safe drinking water as well.

On the afternoon of Thursday September 13th delegates will visit SIG Corpoplast, the manufacturer of the stretch blow moulding equipment that is used to produce the Biota and the Belu bottles.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2


1st European Bioplastics Conference confirmed huge growth in interest 300 attendees discussed progress in bioplastics


ioplastics are making great progress both in their technical development and market introduction into Europe. This was confirmed by many of the speakers and attendees at the „First European Bioplastics Conference“ on 21 und 22 November 2006 in Brussels. The event, that was attended by about 300 participants from 27 countries was organised by the association European Bioplastics, the representation of the bioplastics industry in Europe. The huge interest confirmed the results of a survey done by European Bioplastics concerning market development in 2006, where many Association members reported a boom-like increase in interest. In his inaugural address, Heinz Zourek, DirectorGeneral of DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, emphasised the significance of bioplastics for sustainable development. „Bioplastics contribute to climate protection, save fossil resources and create jobs in future-oriented sectors“, stated Zourek. „We hope that bioplastics can increase their market share in Europe“. Biobased and biodegradable plastics are among the most promising lead markets for innovations in Europe. European Bioplastics‘ Chairman, Harald Kaeb, was delighted about the conference that was accompanied by an exhibition with 25 exhibitors: „This was the largest bioplastics conference ever to take place in Europe“. He announced that the second conference will be held at the end of this year.


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Bioplastics 2006 Conference and Bioplastics Awards

Chris Smith (left) hands over the Best Bioplastics Processor Award to Detlef Busch of Treofan (photo: Emap)


n audience of 115 people drawn from 25 countries around the world took part in the 8th Bioplastics conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on 6 and 7 December 2006. They heard a series of high level presentations exploring use and potential of bio-sourced plastics in packaging and engineering applications and participated in detailed discussions of some of the issues the potential users face.


Nominees & Winners

Best Innovation in Bioplastics

Metabolix Alcan Packaging Biobag International Biomer Sukano

Best Bioplastics Processor

Treofan Autobar Biobag International Groen Creatie

Best Bioplastics Application – Food Packaging

Coopbox Europe Alcan Packaging Cereplast Huhtamaki Nestle

Best Bioplastics Application – Non Food Packaging

Innovia Films Alcan Packaging RPC Cresstale

Best Bioplastics Application – Non Packaging

Arkema Batelle Ecozema Unitika

Best Bioplastics Marketing Initiative

BioBag International Belu Novamont Treofan

Best Bioplastics Retailer

Sainsbury’s Albert Heijn Coop Italia Delhaize

Sponsored by BIOP Biopolymer Technologies

Personal Contribution to the Bioplastics Industry

Dr Catia Bastioli, General Manager, Novamont

Key themes to emerge from the Bioplastics 2006 conference included the increasingly apparent global shortages of PLA bioplastics materials, the ongoing concern over genetic modification and its role in the bioplastics sector, and the growing interest outside the US in bioplastics for durable applications.

The World‘s first Bioplastics Awards The conference dinner on the evening of the first day of Bioplastics 2006 played host to the world’s first Bioplastics Awards. Launched to recognise innovation in this fast moving sector, awards were presented by European Plastics News editor Chris Smith. UK retail group Sainsbury’s picked up the prestigious award for Best Bioplastics Retailer 2006, a category sponsored by German bioplastics producer BIOP Bioploymer Technologies, for its recently announced move to bioplastics for 500 product lines. German film producer Treofan collected the Best Bioplastics Processor 2006 award for the development and capabilities of its Biophan PLA film business. Biobag International won the Best Bioplastics Marketing Initiative for its brand building programme. And Novamont general manager Catia Bastioli collected a special award for Personal Contribution to the Bioplastics Industry for her work inside and outside of Novamont in developing knowledge, standards and infrastructure around biopolymers.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2



SEM-photo of a bioplastics surface, affected by micro organisms (photo: FH Hannover)

photo: Instron

D Generation of a new Biopolymer Database

photo: FH Hannover


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

uring the last 10-15 years a lot of different biopolymers were introduced to the market. Unfortunately, only very little qualified information about these materials in terms of mechanical or thermal properties, permeability, degradation or processing behaviour is available to the decision makers in the industry. Even though there has been remarkable research effort in the past, the results seem not to be accessible in a structured and well organised form. “Also the quality of the available information is doubtful, many files are out of date or incomplete. Interested users need to spend too much time searching for qualified material data and very often will not find answers to their questions” as Professor Hans-Josef Endres, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, Germany (Department of Bio-Process Engineering), points out. In order to improve the situation, the faculty started to create a Biopolymer Database which contains a full overview of the market. The guideline is the well known CAMPUS® database, which has become the international standard information system for conventional Engineering Polymers. “The new Biopolymer Database will allow quick and easy access to information about biopolymer producers, contact persons and material properties, like mechanical properties, permeability, degradation or processing behaviour,” says Dipl.-Ing. Andrea Siebert, research engineer at the same faculty. The main goal of the project is to collect complete information about available biopolymers, using uniform standards and to generate comparable and complete material data. The result will be a database, which is compatible with the internationally accepted CAMPUS system and will be accessible through the internet. The project, that started at the end of 2006 is supported by the German Government (Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, coordinated by the Agency of Renewable Resources - FNR). Project participants are M-Base Engineering + Software from Aachen, Germany and European Bioplastics, Berlin. Dipl.-Ing. Andrea Siebert: “It is important to point out, that during this project, in contrast to old and recently published studies, only all the latest materials, which are really available on the market will be considered. In close cooperation with the biopolymer producers crucial processing, utilisation and disposal material data will be generated in a complete new test program organised and conducted by the project team.” For questions, suggestions or potential cooperation contact

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Bioplastics in Automotive Applications First components are on the market, OEMs are evaluating and considering

Flax 64,2% Hemp 9,5% Jute/Kenaf 11,2% Sisal 7,3% Other 7,9% source: nova-Institut

T Components of the Mercedes S-Class made of renewable raw materials (photo: Daimler Chrysler)

he use of materials from renewable resources is really nothing new in the automotive industry. Natural fibres have been used for many years for their low density, their excellent mechanical and thermal properties, and of course their relatively low prices. Natural fibres that are used for automotive applications are flax, hemp, jute/kenaf, sisal etc. as well as wood and cotton. In a recent market study on natural fibres in the automotive industry the German „nova-Institut für Ökologie und Innovation“ published some figures on market volumes in Germany. nova-Institut found out that by the year 2005 approximately 30,000 tonnes of natural fibres were used in automotive applications in that country. The chart on the left shows the distribution of 19,000 tonnes of natural fibres, not including wood and cotton (for these two the institute could not obtain sufficient figures within their survey). However, nova-Institut estimates the quantity for 2005 at about 27,000 tonnes of wood fibre and about 40,000 tonnes of respective wood fibre composites. For cotton, previous studies (2004) had stated about 45,000 tonnes of cotton and about 79,000 tonnes of respective composites for the year 2003. “And the amount of natural fibres in cars has been continuously increasing over recent years”, says Michael Carus from the nova-Institut, “The matrix is still PP in most cases, but it might well be PLA in a few years,” he adds.


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Applications of natural fibre composites include inner door linings (1.2 - 1.8 kg of natural fibres front and 0.8 - 1.5 kg in rear doors), trunk liners (up to 2 kg of natural fibres), rear shelves, roofliners, instrument panels, all kind of covers as well as injection moulded applications such as ventilation grilles.

Pioneers in “automotive bioplastics” It was as early as in the first decade of the 20th century when Henry Ford started experimenting with the use of agricultural products for automotive applications. In 1915 a first production application was a coil housing for the Model-T Ford, made from a wheat gluten resin reinforced with asbestos fibres. Later Ford intensified his research on the use of a so-called soy meal. As fillers at up to 50 to 60 percent, cellulose fibres from hemp, wood flour or pulp from pine, cotton, flax, ramie, and even wheat, were used in combination with the soy meal. Soy meal plastics were used for a steadily increasing number of automobile parts, such as glove-box doors, gear-shift knobs, horn buttons, accelerator pedals, distributor heads, interior trim, steering wheels, instrument panels, and eventually a prototype exterior rear-deck lid (www.

Henry Ford tests his car made from plant-based materials- including hemp „The axe bounced, and there was no dent...“ photo from „A Modern Introduction To Hemp“ by Paul Benhaim available

Polyurethane Even today, Ford Motor Company is investigating the use of soy for natural-based automotive applications. Ford researchers have formulated the chemistry to replace a staggering 40% of the standard petroleum-based polyol (one of the basic components of polyurethane) with a soy-derived material. While many in the auto industry are experimenting with a 5% soy-based polyol, “at 40%, we have the ability to make a significant impact on the environment, while reducing our dependency on imported petroleum”, says Dr. Matthew Zaluzec, manager of Ford‘s Materials Research & Advanced Engineering Department.

PLA and kenaf Another pioneer of modern bioplastics for automotive applications is Toyota Motor Corporation. The Toyota RAUM, a domestic model introduced in 2003 is equipped with a cover for the spare tyre made of Toyota Eco-Plastic. This PLA material is based on sugar beet and, for the spare wheel cover, combined with kenaf fibres. At their own PLA pilot plant, the “Hirose Plant” with an annual output of 1,000 tonnes, Toyota have researched and tried various raw materials including sweet potatoes grown in Indonesia.

photos: Toyota

The output of the plant is mainly for Toyota‘s internal use and external non-automotive applications such as on-desk cell-phone chargers, tennis racket strings or inner cases for cosmetics products, all of these being sold only in Japan. Toyota also produced floor mats making use of PLA in order to demonstrate this application to customers. This project has since been terminated, according to Hiroshi Higuchi, General Manager of Toyota‘s Bio-Plastic Project Department, Biotechnology & Afforestation Division.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2



photo: Toyota

For the future, Toyota is investigating the use of other bioplastics and their potentials, as well as further PLA applications for more model ranges. Details, however were not disclosed. In 1998, with the goal of helping to solve global environmental issues and alleviate food shortages, Toyota began research and development into biotechnology and afforestation. Toyota built the Toyota Biotechnology and Afforestation Laboratory to establish an R&D structure and has been working to accelerate business. The biotechnology and afforestation businesses are ventures with growth potential but also represent Toyota’s efforts to help build a recycling-based society. Toyota is aiming to realise the coexistence of environmental protection and economic growth by utilising environmental technologies, including biotechnology. Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that an industry-government-academia joint research project in Hiroshima Prefecture, in which Mazda is participating, has achieved an improved exterior surface quality, high-strength, heat-resistant bioplastic made of natural materials that can be used for vehicle interior parts such as the door module part shown in the picture on the left. This newly-developed bioplastic is made from 88 % corn-based PLA and 12 % petroleum-based additives. Mainly using corn-based polylactic acids, Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd, Hiroshima and Kinki Universities focused their efforts on developing a new nucleating agent for crystallisation and a compatibiliser compound to raise the strength and heat resistance of the new plastic, dramatically increasing the amount of applications for automobile manufacturing. photo: Mazda


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The material is said to feature three times the shock impact resistance along with 25 % higher heat resistance when compared with contemporary bioplastics used for items such as electrical appliances. In addition, it is made by a fermentation process that, compared with the process to make polypropylene, reduces energy use by 30 %. In contrast to current petroleum-based polypropylene, the new bioplastic also has comparatively higher rigidity, resulting in thinner mouldings and fewer materials used. These attributes hold great promise for better productivity in the mass production of vehicle parts, since parts manufacture frequently involves injection-moulding equipment. Mazda will continue its research and development in this area for the next several years, with

Automotive any new advances to be employed in Mazda products. The use of bioplastics is one of many efforts that Mazda is undertaking as a countermeasure to global warming, according to a Mazda spokesperson. Mazda will keep up its proactive technical research on eco-friendly products for potential customers. The research program was conducted by a consortium consisting of two universities, seven companies and two research institutes, and began in 2004.

PBS (polybutylene succinate) and bamboo Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, in cooperation with the Aichi Industrial Technology Institute (Kariya, Aichi Prefecture), has developed an automotive interior material which uses polybutylene succinate (PBS), combined with bamboo fibre. PBS, the main component of the material, is a plantbased resin composed mainly of succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol. The succinic acid for the material will be created by the fermentation of sugar extracted from sugar cane or corn. The new material combines bamboo fibre with PBS in order to increase its rigidity. Bamboo grows to its full height in just a few years, compared with the tens of years required for traditional timber, and as such may be called a potentially sustainable resource. Bamboo is available and can be grown in a wide variety of areas including Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. The use of this “Green Plastic” may lead to further breakthroughs in the use of bamboo. Parts made from the material will be used in the interior of a new-concept minicar, to be launched in Japan this year. Mitsubishi Motors will continue to promote the development of environmentally friendly materials, directed toward increased practical applications. According to tests, this PBS/bamboo-fibre prototype achieves an estimated 50% cut in lifecycle CO2 emissions over polypropylene. VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels are also drastically reduced in comparison with processed wood hardboards (roughly 85% in testing). In addition to Green Plastic, Mitsubishi Motors is undertaking development of environmental technologies including the MIEV (Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle) concept, and technologies contributing to a comfortable interior environment such as Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified seating material, the Bio-clear filter, and deodorant roof-lining. Mitsubishi aims to build cars appropriate to this, the „century of the environment“.

Biobased fabrics

photo: Mitsubishi bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2



The development of a plant-based „bio-fabric“ with excellent durability and resistance to sunlight, for use as a surface material in automobile interiors has been announced by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Despite the environmental benefits offered by its CO2 balance, plant-based fabric has not been used commercially for automobile interiors due to concerns about limited durability and aesthetics. Car seat with the new bio-fabric and a spool of yarn (photo: Honda)

Honda‘s bio-fabric has overcome such issues, and achieved a soft and smooth material appropriate for the surface of automobile interiors, with high durability and excellent resistance to sunlight to prevent colour fading after prolonged use. In addition to seat surfaces, this bio-fabric can be used for the interior surface of the doors and roof, and for floor mats. A polyester material called PPT (polypropylene terephthalate) is the basic material of the bio-fabric. PPT is produced by polymerisation of corn-based 1-3PDO (propanediol) from DuPont/Tate&Lyle, and terephthalic acid, a petroleum-based component. In order to improve stability as a fabric, Honda applied a multi-thread structure for the fibre with petroleum-derived PET fibres, etc. so that the ratio of bio-based components ranges approximately from 30% to 40%. In addition, unprecedented aesthetic properties were achieved by leveraging the flexibility of this fibre. The threads from which Honda produced the fabric were developed in cooperation with DuPont and Toray Industries in a joint research project.

Sheets of the bio-fabric (photo: Honda)

Based on the concept of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), Honda has been striving to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the entire life cycle of an automobile – from production and usage to disposal. Thanks to the use of a plant-based ingredient in the production of raw materials, the newly developed bio-fabric will enable Honda to reduce the energy used during the production process by 10 to 15% compared with the production of petroleum-based polyester materials. The use of plant-based ingredients can reduce CO2 emissions by 5 kg per automobile, calculated on the Accord class of vehicles. Furthermore, the new bio-fabric does not require changes in existing fabric production processes, and is suitable for mass production. Honda will first introduce bio-fabric interiors with their new fuel cell vehicle, then gradually try to expand the application to new models from 2009 and beyond.

Conclusion There‘s a lot of development going on out there, and bioplastics MAGAZINE has not been able to report on all of it in this issue. Compared with other fields of application, such as packaging for fast moving consumer goods, one fact seems obvious, at least today: The question of sustainability, in other words the increased use of renewable resources and thus the reduction of the CO2 impact on the climate, as well as reduced consumption of fossil resources, is much more important for the automotive industry than the compostability of bioplastics. bioplastics MAGAZINE will continue to report on new developments in the automotive industry. And as always, comments, suggestions and any other contributions from our readers are more than welcome.


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s one of the world‘s largest tyre manufacturers Goodyear continuously carries out scientific research to improve the performance of its product. At the same time the company is sensitive to environmental issues, and seeks to reduce to a minimum the pollutants used in the production processes

Reduce petroleum-based components Traditional fillers in tyres are carbon black, diatomite and silica. In searching for an environmentally more sustainable solution that also achieves a high level of product quality, the collaboration between Novamont and Goodyear led to the creation of a “bio-tyre”, which uses BioTRED technology to partly replace these fillers.

Bio-Tyres save energy and CO2

Novamont‘s collaboration with Goodyear led to the creation of a bio-tyre

Mater-Bi® by Novamont, used in the production of BioTRED, is a special patented formula derived from corn. The starch is treated to obtain nano-droplets of a complexed starch. In a next step, these nano droplets are added to the rubber compound to be transformed into a biopolymeric filler.

Environmental advantages According to Novamont and Goodyear the bio-tyres, marketed in in Europe, for instance, as GT3, or in Japan (in Japan all tyres are BioTRED) as GT-HYBRID and EAGLE LS3000, feature physical properties that differ substantially from those of the traditional fillers and thus offer several environmental advantages. Not only does the tyre require less energy in its production, and not only does the cultivation of corn absorb CO2, but the tyre actually requires less energy to move the car thanks to a reduced rolling resistance. In combination with a lower tyre weight this is said to add up to a 5% saving in fuel consumption. Further advantages announced by the two companies are a reduction in noise, and therefore in sound pollution, better road-holding in the wet, improved grip and steering ability, and therefore better safety.

Award and support

And just recently, the European Commission has awarded Goodyear a major research and development grant to support the company‘s initiative in the further development of environmentally friendly tyres. The grant of three million Euros is part of the European Union‘s LIFE-Environment programme. Research partner in this project is, besides Novamont, the German car maker BMW.

photo: Novamont

In July 2001 the GT3 tyres won an award from Legambiente, the biggest non-profit environmentalist organisation in Italy, and the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), the largest technical university in Italy. LIFE:

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all photos: Nokian

Rapeseed oil gives grip on wintry roads


hen Nokian Tyres from the town of Nokia in Finland, the northernmost tyre manufacturer in the world, developed their new winter tyre - the Nokian WR - creative solutions were found to produce more grip: a quadrangleshaped stud and rapeseed oil, which is a natural raw material. Finnish rapeseed oil constitutes a significant part of the oil used in the tyre’s tread. The rubber compound is made of silica and plant-based rapeseed oil as a softener. Rapeseed oil is less of a burden on the environment than the non-renewable mineral oils manufactured from petroleum. It degrades biologically. The rapeseed oil is a basic cold-pressed oil, which is refined using Nokian Tyres’ own process designed to suit its tyre production. In addition to rapeseed oil, the tread mix contains only low aromatic oils; no highly aromatic, harmful oils are used. The compound improves the tyre’s wet weather properties and enhances handling. The natural oil increases wear resistance and improves tyre grip in cool weather. The new compound reduces rolling resistance, which also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. All in all, the product has become much more environmentally friendly. Bridgestone Europe now holds 18.9% of Nokian Tyres’ share capital and voting rights.


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Flax and T Linseed OilAcrylate put Race Car in Pole Position

he special thing about this car, racing under the “BioConcept-Car” banner, is not only that it is being driven by Smudo, frontman of the famous German hip-hop band “Die Fantastischen Vier”, but also some other features closely linked to keywords such as sustainability and bioplastics. In a nutshell: The Ford Mustang GT RTDi based race car was developed in close cooperation between Four Motors PR GmbH, Invent GmbH, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). It features a 2-litre, 270 PS (266.3 HP) Ford Galaxy Biodiesel engine and a body made of linseed oil acrylate, reinforced with flax fibres – i.e. 100% bio based raw materials and - by the way – both from the same plant.

Biodiesel powered racing Mustang has a body made from bioplastics

“With this race car, for the first time, renewable resources show their capabilities in extreme situations,” said the German Undersecretary of State Dr. Peter Paziorek, when the car was first introduced in May 2006. The whole project was supported by the FNR Agency for Renewable Resources, established by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). Not only is the flax/linseed oil acrylate composite comparable to carbon fibre reinforced plastic with regard to strength and rigidity, it is also significantly lighter in weight than conventional composites. “We find it really remarkable that this BioConcept-Car competes in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with an appropriate Biodiesel fuel,” Paziorek added. The doors, wings (fenders), bumpers, bonnet (hood), hatchback and the rear spoiler of the BioConcept Mustang GT RTDi were manufactured by the company Invent GmbH of Braunschweig, Germany. In close cooperation with the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), Invent have already tested different bio-composites over the

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Even Simone, our covergirl was enthusiastic: “A phantastic car and a great day for me”

Car type: Ford Mustang GT RTDi Engine: Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI (bored up to 2 Litre) Technical Data:  Front engine, rear-wheel drive  Tuning: GERMAN TORQUE FACTORY & FOUR MOTORS  4 cylinder, 16 valves, pump-injector element  1,969 cc  260-280 PS (256.44-276.16 horsepower)  480 - 520 Nm torque  Top speed: at least 245 km/h (152.24 Mph)  Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h about 5 seconds  Sequential 5-gear transmission (DRENTH)  The most powerful Biodiesel engine in the world


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last few years. Natural fibres such as flax, hemp or cotton were combined with bioplastics to form rigid components. The first prototype applications were fire-fighter helmets and a canoe. The body parts of the race car, however, not only had to be weatherproof, but also had to fulfil all the safety requirements for automobiles. Thus for the body parts a flax-cotton fabric was soaked with linseed oil-acrylate, developed by Hobum Oleochemicals GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. While the flax fibres provide the necessary rigidity, the cotton fibres are more elastic and can absorb impact loads. Depending on the desired wall thickness, several layers of fabric were combined and put into a mould. After evacuating the mould the acrylate was introduced into the closed mould by a resin injection process. In order to compress the composite properly, the process was continued in an autoclave at elevated temperatures and pressure. Flax or hemp-fibre reinforced plastics (albeit fossil based), are well established in today’s automotive industry. Covered with leather or textiles, those components are, for example, inner door linings, rear shelves or spare wheel wells. Besides the ecological advantage, car designers appreciate the excellent mechanical properties in combination with a low density. In case of a crash


natural fibre reinforced composites do not splinter, nor do they expose sharp edges. The PSP Racing Team, together with Four Motors, headed by Thomas von Loewis, is the first racing team ever to start with a race car featuring a body partially made from renewable resources. “We wanted to prove that environmental sustainability is possible even in a racing car. Therefore we want to inform the public that the message is: we can all stay mobile, even if crude oil is in short supply within the next 35 or so years”, said Thomas. In addition to the bio-body and the “Flower-Power Biodiesel” the car is equipped with environmentally neutral lubricants by LiquiMoly, and further components are under evaluation. The Mustang GT RTDi is currently undergoing some technical improvements. The team wants to be one of the most successful challengers in the upcoming 2007 racing season at the Nürburgring. Four Motors and Ford Europe are in advanced negations regarding whether Four Motors could prepare and race a Ford Focus ST with a Bioethanol powered engine alongside the Ford Mustang GT RTDi. Four Motors hopes that this will be agreed, giving them a second bio-fuel on the “BioConceptCar” platform. So we can certainly look forward to the 2007 racing season.

Hiphop star and race driver Smudo (left)

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Bioplastic Polyamide 11 for automotive fuel line applications

Global warming and other environmental concerns drive advances in the automotive industry to minimize the environmental impact of today’s cars. Governmental regulations such as Californian Legislation or EURO 4 set restrictive limits for fuel and tailpipe emissions and are tightening towards zero emission levels. Using renewable source materials and fuel, such as biodiesel and bioethanol, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. Alternative engine technology, such as hybrid engines, is a further step towards emission-free vehicles. The use of renewable source fuels such as biodiesel and flexfuel combined with the use of Arkema’s biobased Rilsan® PA11 can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

High performance Polyamide Fuel line system

Arkema’s high performance products such as petroleum based Rilsan polyamide 12 and bio-based PA11, have been used for over 30 years as a rubber and metal substitute for low-permeation tubing applications in the transportation industry. Fuel lines and other demanding safety applications have imposed severe requirements on construction materials. These must withstand attack from chemicals, heat or fuel, as well any strong temperature variations for the lifetime of the vehicle. High performance polyamides deliver these citical properties. End-users benefit from corrosion resistance, easier assembly, and better design possibilities, all at a reduced cost. Rilsan polyamide 11 provides an outstanding level of safety, durability and versatility for highly demanding applications, and is superior to petroleum based polyamide 12 in many applications.

Polyamide 11 made from vegetable oil

“Biomass based” label from JORA


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In contrast to other high performance polyamides such as polyamide 12, Rilsan bioplastic polyamide 11 is derived from a renewable source: castor oil. In 2006, Rilsan polyamide 11 received the „Biomass Based“ label from Japan Organics Recycling Association (JORA). Eco-profile assessment provides valuable insight into the way PA11 performs environmentally compared to conventional performance plastics. Due to the fact that the starting feedstock is biomass, the consumption of fossil fuel is one of the lowest of


performance polymers. Greenhouse gas emissions for PA11 production are much lower than for all other performance polymers. The explanation for this feature is that PA11 production starts with a significant atmospheric CO2 consumption (castor seed cultivation), leading to a reduction of CO2 emission of up to –40%.

Bioplastic Rilsan PA11 for Biodiesel fuel lines

Castor Plant

Arkema’s Rilsan PA11 has been approved by several automotive manufacturers for biodiesel fuel lines in Europe and Brazil. Rilsan PA11 features excellent ageing resistance to biodiesel at high temperature, opening the way to the use of biodiesel in automotive fuel lines.

Arkema‘s polyamide grades are well known for fuel lines in diesel cars. Rilsan has been the reference material for diesel fuel lines thanks to its resistance to high temperatures in under-hood environments for several years. Rilsan PA offers significant cost savings over traditional rubber or metal assemblies. In addition, biobased Rilsan PA11 can be paired with conductive Rilsan PA11 in a multilayer structure, such as Arkema’s Rilperm 2101 multilayer technology, to comply with Standard SAE J1645 (Rilperm® 2101).

Rilsan product range for quick connectors

Quick connectors

All photos: Arkema

Today’s increasing use of biofuels has led Arkema to develop a new Rilsan grade, BESN Noir P210TL, specifically for designed biodiesel fuels. Biofuels are much more aggressive than traditional crude oil based fuels. “Rilsan BESN Noir P210TL offers superior performance compared to polyamide 12, with outstanding chemical and mechanical ageing resistance at high temperature in particular,” says Martin Baumert, Market Manager Automotive Rilsan, Orgalloy, Technical Polymers Division at Arkema. The use of renewable source fuels such as biodiesel and flexfuel combined with the use of biobased Rilsan PA11 can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Thermoplastic fuel lines are connected through quick connectors. Rilsan PA11 and PA12 resins meet the demanding requirements for connectors used in automotive fuel contact applications. Both standard and conductive grades are available.

Conclusion Arkema’s Rilsan polyamides and Rilperm fuel line technology allow customers to meet the most stringent standards and specification requirements in terms of fuel permeability, mechanical properties, and ageing resistance in increasingly demanding engine environments. The use of renewable source fuels such as biodiesel and flexfuel combined with the use of biobased Rilsan PA11 can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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The German company Polyfea of Zell im Wiesental recently introduced a novel biodegradable material system which is especially suitable for water proofed applications in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, nurseries, viniculture, greenhouse, floristry and forestry. Caprowax PTM is based on a patented mix of aliphatic polyesters and modified vegetable triglycerides and is free of nitrogen and aromatics. Two different Caprowax P compounds are currently available. Caprowax P 6002 can be used for the manufacture of thermoformed and injection moulded products such as plant pots, vases, cans, boards, edge protection and similar applications.

Novel biodegradable material ...for textile systems, composites, thin-walled containers and wrappings

Monofilaments and fibres for fabrics can be produced with Caprowax P 6006. Potential applications are nonmetallic binding wires, threads, strings, knotted and bound systems, tracery, webs and different fabrics made from round, flat, tear-proof and compressible monofilaments. Bottles, tubes, balloons, pipes, hoses etc. can be manufactured by extrusion or stretch blow moulding.This compound is also available as a powder and can be used as a matrix for composites with natural fibres, for bonding purposes or as a carrier material. For the processing of Caprowax P pre-drying is not necessary. Processing temperatures are between 80° and 150°C, which allows gentle processing at low viscosities. Materbatches in many different colours are also available. Caprowax P compounds are waterproofed, flexible at low temperatures and do not tend to develop mildew. „Our products are made from 53% to 77% renewable resources, protected by European patents and Caprowax P 6006 is compostable according to EN 13432 in profiles up to 500 µm thick“ comments Albrecht Dinkelaker, General Manager and Owner of Polyfea.


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“Let’s Be One with Mother Nature” EcoPolTM is an aliphatic polyester copolymer which Econeer Co., Ltd from USA / South Korea developed by using ethylene glycol, dimethyl isophthalate, adipic acid as main ingredients with the goal of making progress for the environment under the motto of “Let’s Be One with Mother Nature”. Most of the base ingredients are from renewable resources such as corn and beans. The synthesis of the EcoPol base resin goes through a two stage reaction called esterification and polycondensation. With simple processes which are characteristic for polyester synthesis, various kinds of monomers can be copolymerized. By controlling the composition of the materials and the catalytic system the mechanical properties can be adjusted in order to meet the requirements of potential applications. Left: Songchul Kim, president of Econeer Korea right: Eugene Lee, president of Econeer USA

EcoPol compound is available for instance as film with different thicknesses and physical properties and can thus adjust its biodegradation speed for example in soil. So it can be used not only for agricultural applications such as mulching film but also for packaging materials such as compost bag, disposable table cover etc, continuously broadening its scope of applications. Especially, the disposable EcoPol table cover gets a good reputation from customers due to its excellent water proof properties, resistance to oil, strength and rigidity, as the company states. Compared to other biodegradable plastics currently sold on the market which are susceptible to heat and difficult to process in injection moulding, EcoPol not only offers excellent heat stability with a softening point of 100-110°C. With its adjustable melt index, it can be can be used for a number of applications such as film, coating material, adhesive, ink binder, injection moulded, extruded and thermoformed products. “With these advantages in addition to a competitive price, Econneer aims to expand its marktes,” says Eugene Lee, president of Econeer USA, Inc.. “We are contstantly trying to improve the mechanical and thermal properties as well as the processability of our resins alongside with efforts to reduce the cost”, he adds. The name Econeer stands for Ecology + Pioneer which means that the company strives for being one of the leading companies in the development of new technologies for the preservation of the environment. “Our products will be the frontrunner to realize the company motto of harmonizing human with nature and will grow to be the main contributing product for greener world and more affluent human life”, as Eugene puts it.

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nvironmental protection is getting more and more important, at the same time crude oil prices are highly volatile and raw material costs are as high as never before. Therefore, the future of packaging materials relies on environmentally friendly resources.

Sample applications for cast PLA film (all packaging pictures: Natureworks)

Article contributed by Volker Siebott, Brückner Formtec, Siegsdorf, Germany

PLA Casting Unit with Pinning Technology (photo: Brückner)

As there are a couple of biodegradable materials like Cellophane, Cellulose Acetate, starch based PVOH and PHB/PHA, PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) is the most cost competitive material to be used in commodity applications. PLA is made from annually renewable resources, preferably corn, and 100% biodegradable. It offers best material properties, that are comparable to PET and better than PS and thus is perfectly suitable to replace these materials in a wide range of applications. Outstanding properties like high stiffness and tensile strength and even higher transparency and exceptional surface gloss (haze less than 5 %) as well as good chemical resistance against greases, fats and oils are arguments for the market success of PLA. Excellent barrier properties, especially of aroma and flavour, the high water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) as well as FDA approval for food contact make it perfectly suitable for packaging of organically grown „green“ foodstuff and thus provide good shelf impact, while demonstrating environment responsibility when disposing. Regarding converting features it can be said that it is fully thermoformable with existing equipment, provides low sealing temperature and high seal strength and can be thermolaminated to paper or cardboard. Furthermore it offers an inherent dyne level of 38 and thus is easily printable and offers good lay flat properties. As economical reasons the independency of crude oil prices and the ability to reduce material consumption by down-gauging due to the high stiffness can be named. But also marketing reasons like the growing environmental awareness and the trend towards „green“ food (bio-food in biopackaging) as well as governmental subsidies will heat up the demand and need for rigid PLA packaging. Natureworks LLC is the world leader in producing such materials with an annual production capacity of 140,000 tons of Poly Lactic Acid per annum, and plans to further extend this production capacity to 210,000 tons. Brückner Formtec GmbH from


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The Future of Rigid Packaging? Brückner Formtec develops line concept tailored to PLA Siegsdorf, Germany, has developed a process to produce PLA film and sheet in a very cost effective way. This technology has been presented to public for the first time on the 3rd CEE Film and Sheet conference in Budapest, Hungary in April 2006.

Processing of PLA sheet and film

Furthermore packaging of bread and other bakery goods that are packed warm are promising due to the antifog properties of PLA. In the area of cheese and salami packaging, PLA enables riping and thus enhances shelf life.

The main requirements for the new process were best product properties and, at the same time low production costs. The best way to cut production costs per unit is to increase productivity through higher output volume and higher line speed. Due to process limitations, the regular calandering process is only capable of a maximum diameter of about 800 mm for the first cooling roller and thus the cooling capacity is limited. Considering the state of the art roll stack widths and speeds, result in a maximum output of around 900 kg/h. The reason for such a low output is to be found in the very low heat transfer coefficient of PLA and the tendency of PLA to stick at the polishing roller. These reasons limit the production speed even further.

Brückner Formtec PLA Cast lines key features:

Due to the vast experience in biaxial orienting technology and excellent results in producing such biaxially oriented PLA (BOPLA) films on the Brückner Group laboratory line, Brückner Formtec decided to go for the proven and reliable cast film technology with pinning as the basis to develop a new concept.

The range of machinery covers cast film and sheet extrusion, focussing on the rapidly growing CPP, LLDPE and PET markets. Twin screw technology is an important feature for PET extrusion, eliminating the need for raw material pre-drying.

Furthermore Bückner’s engineers took a closer look at the material and found out that the overall energy consumption can be reduced drastically by using a twin screw extruder, avoiding the slow and energy intensive predrying of the hygroscopic raw material. A further benefit of the twin screw technology is that problems with sticky regrind are omitted and the equipment for predrying and crystallizing is not necessary. To avoid degradation due to long residence time and high shearing, Brückner developed a new, shorter extruder with special, smooth screw design. Compared to other materials, PLA can be processed at a temperature of 220°C.

 Twin screw extrusion for highest efficiency  High efficiency cast film technology  Output up to 2,000 kg/h, speed up to 75 m/min.  Thickness range from 250 µm up to 1,200 µm  Proven pinning technology  Unchallenged cost per unit Brückner Formtec, member of the German Brückner Group, was founded in 2001 and is a global supplier of flat film extrusion systems.

Twinscrew (photo: Brückner)

Brückner Formtec expects a rapid growth of PLA applications in rigid packaging. Especially in the area of disposable convenience packaging for fresh food with a short shelf life significant growth rates are expected. A further argument for the use in agricultural packaging is that the high stiffness suggests freshness.

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photos: Innovia

Transparent heat-sealable compostable film New biodegradable and compostable film for food applications under chill conditions


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A new grade of Innovia Films‘ NatureFlexTM biodegradable was launched by the company in last October. NatureFlex NVS film has been specifically formulated to offer improved stiffness under chill cabinet conditions and features a heat-sealable conversion-friendly coating on both sides. While the film is semi permeable to moisture, providing good anti-mist properties, on the other had it offers a good barrier to gases and aromas. Target applications include the flow packing of fresh produce, window bags and bakery. The high gloss film with enhanced transparency has inherent anti-static properties, good dead-fold properties and is resistant against oil and greases. Enhanced printability and controlled slip properties ensure easier conversion. NatureFlex NVS is currently available in 23 and 30 micron thicknesses. The cellulose based NatureFlex films are derived from renewable wood pulp which is sourced from managed plantations operating good forestry principals (FSC or equivalent). In addition to meeting EN13432, ASTM D6400 and Australian AS4736 standards for compostable packaging, NatureFlex is also suitable for home composting. One of the first supermarkets to adopt the new film is Sainsbury‘s in the UK. In September Sainsbury‘s announced that they would change over 500 product lines to biopackaging. The objective is to save 4,000 tons of fossil-based plastics annually. For Sainsbury‘s, Innovia Films deliver the film to Natura A.S.P. Ltd for conversion to the packers requirements. The film is printed first with the compostable logo and reference numbers before being micro-perforated at A.S.P.‘s plant in Watford, in order to tailor gas permeability to the products‘ requirements. The film is then used by Sainsbury‘s to flow-wrap a wide range of own brand organic fruit and vegetables. Andy Sweetman, Innovia Films‘ Market Development Manager, Sustainable Technologies says „Innovia Films have been supplying Sainsbury‘s packers with NatureFlex through A.S.P. for use on organic produce for nearly five years. Their recent declaration to considerably increase the use of biodegradable and compostable packaging is a strong indication that environmental issues are seriously being considered by the major retail chains. Our new NatureFlex NVS grade significantly improves packaging performance in such applications.“

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From thick rigid plastic cards to flexible protective wrap, EcoWorks® 70 by Cortec® Research Chemists offers universal, biodegradable replacement to traditional plastic and polyethylene films. This patent pending breakthrough meets ASTM D6400 and DIN V 54 900. EcoWorks® 70 does not contain polyethylene or starch but relies heavily on renewable, bio-based polyester from corn. 100% biodegradable, it turns into water and carbon dioxide in commercial composting.


Novamont Biorefinery Beyond oil – towards a bioeconomy


“Beyond oil, towards a bioeconomy: the Bio-Refinery integrated in the territory” was the topic of a meeting organized by Novamont S.p.A. at their headquarters in Novara, Italy in October of 2006. On the occasion of the opening of their new premises in Novara, Novamont announced the launch of their so-called “Green Bio-Refinery” in Terni, Italy. Once the plant is working at its full capacity, scheduled for 2008, Novamont will reach an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes of bioplastics, which are completely biodegradable, can be used as fertilizers and have a limited environmental impact throughout their cycle of life, as the company stated during the meeting.

Create Synergies The basic idea was to exploit synergies between the agricultural and the industrial sectors in the province of Terni and generate a possibility of growth for both. Thus a collaboration between Coldiretti, representing 600 local farmers, and Novamont (and others represented by the Industrial Association of the Province of Terni) was created in early 2006. For the agricultural sector that suffers from “set aside” zones (agricultural land that is left uncultivated) this collaboration will create new applications for agricultural products, which could compensate for the high cost of production and the low returns from the food market. In Italy alone, more than 800,000 hectares (approx. 1.98 million acres) of agricultural land are left uncultivated due to legislative decisions of the European Union (EU), for the time being attenuated by some contributions from the EU to the farmers.


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Novamont Biorefinery in Terni will use the agricultural products of the region to produce bioplastics such as OrigoBi® and MaterBi®, both components of a vast range of products of everyday use and of intermediate products for the chemical industry. The Biorefinery is an environment friendly and financially valid model which aims at solving in an effective way the various problems related to the economy such as the high price of petrol and its limited supply, the said crisis in the agricultural sector due to the creation of “set-aside” zones and other serious environmental issues as a spokesman of Novamont pointed out. With the Novamont Biorefinery system, theoretically, it is possible to produce approximately 2 million tonnes of bioplastics, by re-converting these hectares of land into sweet corn and oleaginous plants cultures. This amount is equal to a quarter of the entire Italian demand of plastics, half of the entire quantity of disposable products. This project is, therefore, perfectly compatible with other kinds of cultures and may start an entire economic industrial chain, according to a systematic environmental competitiveness.


all photos: Novamont

The Biorefinery ...

... is a role-model for others Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont said “We have signed an agreement with Coldiretti with a view to promoting specific cultivation destined for the production of bioplastics. This is an important resource for the local agricultural sector considering that the fact very soon incentives from the European Union will come to an end. Thus an agreement of collaboration has a strategic importance in facing the agricultural crisis, solving the growing problems of environmental pollution, understanding the needs of having to use renewable resources for production and avoiding wastage of energy”. And she added that Novamont Biorefinery is a model that can be reproduced in other territories, according to the availability of the appropriate agricultural space, the appropriate cultures and the attention to the environmental quality of the territory itself.

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From Science & Research

New Developments in Environmentally Intelligent Bioplastic Additives & Compounds

Advancing Bioplastics Scion, based in Rotorua, New Zealand, is a research organisation with approx. 390 employees firmly focused on a biomaterials future and has been working with bioplastics for about 10 years.

Controlled (soil) biodegradation CO2 production in bioplastic-additive degradation trials mmol CO2

Scion recognised at an early stage that bioplastics represented a huge opportunity for New Zealand, with its traditional strengths in all aspects of the agriculture, horticulture, and forestry industries’ value chains. Each year large volumes of a wide range of biomasses are processed for an increasing range of end uses in New Zealand. Such resources, and the residues from the harvesting and downstream processing, represent valuable sources of fibres, fillers, polymers and functional chemical additives for use in industrial biopolymer products, such as bioplastics.


Bioplastic with various additives

7.00 6.00

Bioplastic only

5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00


2 3















Time (days)

Fig 1

Impact strength PLA compounds Impact Resistance (kJ/m2) 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5








Fig 2

Article contributed by Dr. Alan Fernyhough, Unit Manager of the Bioplastics Engineering Group, Scion, Rotorua, New Zealand


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The core focus of Scion has been on additives and compounding formulations for enhanced performance in commercial bioplastics. One of the early areas of research was the compatibilised combination of wood and other natural fibres with a range of commercial bioplastics such as MaterBi, Solanyl, Biopol (PHA), PLA and others. Scion then developed a novel technology for wood-fibre (as opposed to wood flour) pellet manufacture for bioplastics compounding and moulding- showing markedly superior performance to wood flour and to agri-fibre reinforced bioplastics. A database of properties and formulations for a wide range of biobased additives, fillers/fibres, compatibilisers etc was established with data on mechanical properties, processability, water and biodegradation responses, durability/weathering (UV/humidity) and other properties such as flame retardancy. Now the database comprises in excess of 300 formulations with such data, using major commercial bioplastics, variously compounded with novel (biobased) additives, or combinations of additives, sourced primarily from readily available biomasses. With moulders and compounders Scion is developing several applications in New Zealand, ranging from controllably degradable plant pots, erosion control products, underground temporary fixtures, office furniture and stationery products. The knowhow in enhancing bioplastics performance, together with an ability to control the degradation (accelerate or decelerate) profiles of commercial bioplastics, in soil and aqueous media, is now being applied to such product developments. Most interest has been for injection moulding, but there is increasing interest

from Down-Under: in extrusions and thermoforming. Examples of some of Scion’s developments are:

Controlled Degradation Compounds The biodegradation of PLA and other bioplastics in soil media can be controlled by (biobased) additive technologies, while maintaining processability and mechanical integrity. For example Figure 1 shows examples of different biodegradation profiles, in soil, of PLA compounds with the addition of biomass additive systems, selected from the database.

High Impact PLA Another outcome from Scions screening work has been clues to improving the impact resistance of brittle bioplastics, such as PLA. While it is relatively straightforward to improve stiffness and strength in PLA, for example by compatibilised addition of natural fibres or fillers, it is less easy to improve impact strength at the same time. However, researchers at Scion have identified some approaches which can do this. Figure 2 shows example data on impact strength for some injection moulded PLA formulations.

Visualising Biopolymers in Natural Fibres A unique approach to ‘track’ biopolymers in moulded compounds has been developed by Dr Grigsby and Armin Thumm. Natural fibres differ from glass and carbon fibres in that they are permeable, and have cell walls and hollow centres of various dimensions (lumen). Confocal microscopy has been applied (Figure 3) to visualise differences in interfacial behaviours, at a fibre cell wall level. Use of selected flow modifiers, and/or certain processing conditions can lead to lower instances of voids between the biopolymer and fibre, and, can promote (or reduce) lumen filling. The implications of such differences on properties are being evaluated.

Fig 3

all pictures: Scion

Biofoam Developments Work on biofoams has focused on a new PLA foaming technology which uses carbon dioxide as blowing agent. Dr Witt has led this work and developed novel routes to the manufacture of very low density moulded blocks (~20g/l; Figure 4). Scion also works with a major foam moulder in New Zealand to further develop their bioplastic foaming technology for packaging products. Much of this is undertaken within Biopolymer Network Ltd, a JV between Scion and two other NZ research institutes, AgResearch and Crop & Food Research.

About Scion Scion was established in 1947 as the New Zealand Forest Research Institute. From its forestry science roots, the government-owned Institute branched out into other areas of research: exploring the potential of trees, and other plants, crops and biomass residues to produce new bio-based materials. To mark this shift in emphasis, the organisation changed its trading name to “Scion”, which refers to a piece of plant material that is grafted onto an established rootstock. This new name symbolises the growth of research towards a future world where bio-based materials are required to replace non-renewable synthetics. This article could only give a condensed and incomplete overview of Scions activities. In future issues bioplastics MAGAZINE will address one or the other activity in more detail. Fig 4

New Functional Additives for Bioplastics Scion continues to screen biomass streams for functional additives of potential use in bioplastics. Scion has developed extractions, fractionations and derivatisations of such extracts and has developed novel ways of using them. For example, they can be used as components in high performance adhesive formulations and as functional additives for bioplastic compounds.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2



How much “biocontent” is in there?


iobased and biodegradable plastics can form the basis for an environmentally preferable, sustainable alternative to petroleum based plastics. These biobased materials offer value in the sustainability/life-cycle equation by being part of the biological carbon cycle, especially as it relates to carbon-based polymeric materials such as plastics for example. However, not all “so-called” bioplastics materials currently available are 100% biobased. There are for example blends of plastics made of renewable resources with those made of fossil oil or composites with different kind of fibers. But it would be too simple – or better incorrect – to say that a blend of 30 grams of a material made of renewable resources and 70 grams of a fossil based plastic would be 30% biobased.

Global Carbon Cycle – Biobased Products Rationale Carbon is the major basic element that is the building block of polymeric materials -- biobased products, petroleum based products, biotechnology products, fuels, even life itself. Therefore, discussions on sustainability, sustainable development, and environmental responsibility centers on the issue of managing carbon (carbon based materials) in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. Natural ecosystems manage carbon through its biological carbon cycle, and so it makes sense to review how carbon based polymeric materials fit into nature’s carbon cycle and address any issues that may arise. Carbon is present in the atmosphere as CO2. Plants, for example fix this inorganic carbon to organic carbon (carbohydrates) using sunlight for energy.

CO2 + H2O + sunlight energy -> (CH2O)x + O2 Over geological time frames (>106 years) this organic matter (plant materials) is fossilized to provide our petroleum, natural gas and coal. We consume these fossil resources to make our polymers, chemicals and fuel and release the carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2 in a short time frame of 1-10 years. However, the rate at which biomass is converted to fossil resources is in total imbalance with the rate at which they are consumed and liberated (> 106 years vs. 1-10 years).


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

A scientifically proper calculation of the biobased content is more complex than one thinks...

Thus, we release more CO2 than we sequester as fossil resources – a kinetics problem. Clearly, this is not sustainable, and we are not managing carbon in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. However, if we use annually renewable crops or biomass as the feedstocks for manufacturing our carbon based polymers, chemicals, and fuels, the rate at which CO2 is fixed equals the rate at which it is consumed and liberated – this is sustainable and the use of annually renewable crops/biomass would allow us to manage carbon in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, if we manage our biomass resources effectively by making sure that we plant more biomass (trees, crops) than we utilize, we can begin to start reversing the CO2 rate equation and move towards a net balance between CO2 fixation/sequestration and release due to consumption.

“New” and “old” carbon Based on the above discussion, one can define biobased materials as follows: Biobased Materials – organic materials in which the carbon comes from contemporary (non-fossil) biological sources “new carbon” Organic Materials – materials containing carbon based compounds in which the carbon is attached to other carbon atoms, hydrogen, oxygen, or other elements Therefore, to be classified as biobased, the materials must be organic and contain recently fixed “new carbon” from biological sources. Of course, organic materials from fossil (petroleum, coal, natural gas) resources contain “old (fossil) carbon” The question then arises:  How does one distinguish between “new” (contemporary) and “old” (fossil) carbon – i.e. identify biobased carbon?  How does one quantify biobased carbon content? Here, the so called radiocarbon method can help. Basically carbon exists in form of three different isotopes: 12C, 13C (which shall be neglected here) and 14C. In the atmosphere the 12 C carbon in CO2 is in equilibrium with 14C carbon. Therefore,

Basics Global carbon cycle photosynthesis


biomass/ Bio-organic

1 - 10 years



cal i hemi


> 106 years

Polymers, Polymers, Chemicals& Chemicals &Fuels Fuels

chemical industry

carbon entering the earth‘s plant and animal lifeways through photosynthesis contains radioactive 14C. Since the half life of 14 C carbon is around 5730 years, the fossil feedstocks which form over millions of years will have no 14C but only 12C - “old carbon�. Thus, by using this methodology one can identify and quantify biocarbon (biobased) content. ASTM D6866 describes a test method to quantify biocontent (biobased) content using this approach.

Biobased content of material It, therefore, follows that the biobased content of a material is based on the amount of biobased carbon (which contains 14 C) present, and defined as follows: Biobased content or gross biobased content is the amount of biobased carbon in the material or product as a fraction weight (mass) or percent weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the material or product (ASTM D6866). Biobased Products are products made by transforming (chemically, biologically or physically blending) biobased materials, either exclusively or in combination with non-biobased materials. Some examples shall illustrate the determination of the biobased content: Product A is a fiber reinforced composite consisting of 30% biofiber (cellulose fiber) and 70% PLA (biobased material). The biobased content of this Product A is 100% - all the carbon in the product comes from bio-resources. Product B is a fiber reinforced composite consisting of 30% glass fiber and 70% PLA (biobased material). The biobased

Fossil Recourses (Petroleum, Coal, Natural gas)

content of this Product B is 100%, not 70%. This is because the biobased content is on the basis of carbon, and glass fiber has no carbon associated with it. However, in all cases, one must define biobased content and organic content. Thus, the biobased content of Product B is 100% but organic content is 70% because the 30% of glass is inorganic. Product C is a fiber reinforced composite consisting of 30% biofiber (cellulose) and 70% polypropylene (petroleum based organic). Product C biobased content is 18.17% and not 30%. Here the cellulose fibers consist of 44.4% biocarbon (14C) and the Polypropylene consists of 85.7% of fossil based (12C) carbon. So the equation is ______________________ 0.3 * 0.444 = 0.1817 = 18.17% 0.3 * 0.444 + 0.7 * 0.857 The justification and rationale for using carbon and not the weight or moles or other elements like oxygen, or hydrogen as the basis for establishing bio (biobased) content of products should now be very self evident. As discussed in earlier sections, the rationale for using biobased products is to manage carbon in a sustainable and efficient manner as part of the natural carbon cycle, therefore it makes sense to use carbon (14C vs. 12C) as the basis for determining biobased content. Acknowledgements: This article is based on a paper by Prof. Ramani Narayan (, presented at the National American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry meeting, San Diego (2005); ACS Symposium Ser (An American Chemical Society Publication), 939 June 2006

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2



Letters to the editor

! ! I think the definition of biodegradable plastics vs compostable plastics (in issue 02/2006) is correct, but it is written to sound like: “compostable is better than biodegradable, or, a compostable plastic is certainly biodegradable.” Instead, I would like to stress the fact that a biodegradable plastic is, as you say, completely assimilated, in ordinary conditions of temperature and pH, with forms of life typically present in everyday soil. And, in brief periods of time, i.e. weeks at the most. Composting conditions are easier, so to speak: 60°C, defined microrganisms. I would say that biodegradable plastics are necessarily and readily composted, NOT viceversa. For example, PLA is degraded only in a very specific, industrial composting site. It is as biodegradable as PET ! In the sense that, if kept in regular soil, nothing will happen to it for years. And like PLA, (this applies to) many other compostable plastics. These compostable bioplastics risk becoming a dangerous factor of confusion in the consumers’ mind, and therefore could contribute to environmental litter. Dr.-Ing. Michelle Marrone R&D Application Projects Europe M&G Group, Italy

Ramani Narayan, Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University basically agrees with this comment. He wrote: I would like to clarify the issue and put the subject on a more sound scientific footing because there seems to be confusion.  Biodegradation or bioassimilation (assimilated as food by microorganisms) has no meaning unless you define the environment and time for complete biodegradation. So one needs to present the subject as: - Biodegradation under composting conditions (compostable); - biodegradation under anaerobic digestion conditions, - biodegradation under soil or marine and so on in other words one must define the disposal environment when discussing biodegradation.  Time is the second important defining element – the rate and time required for complete biodegradation (or better bioassimilation) in the defined disposal environment! – the element of completeness in a short defined time frame (one season) is essential because hydrophobic breakdown fragments released into the environment has been shown to have serious environmental consequences (if they are not completely assimilated by the microorganisms in the disposal environment in one crop growing season).  Both these points are covered in detail in my presentations (e.g. 1st European Bioplastics Conference, Brussels, 2006) or in my publications (see one example at  The National (ASTM D6400, EN 13432) and International (ISO 17088) specification standards are in complete harmony with the above definitions and understanding


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2







Basics A certain number of products made of bioplastics are already available in the market. Almost all of them are labelled with some kind of a logo that tells the consumer about the special character of the plastics material used. These logos and their background are introduced by bioplastics MAGAZINE in this series. Here questions such as: What is the origin and history of a logo? What does it mean? Which rules are involved with it? will be adressed.

Logos Part 3:

The “OK Compost” The history of the “OK Compost” logo goes back to the early 1990s, when the Belgian port city of Antwerp opened a tendering procedure for the supply of compostable bags for collecting garden waste. As some of the applicants came up with somewhat „quaint“ ideas, the city turned to Vinçotte (formerly AIB-Vinçotte) in Brussels with the question: „How can we be sure that the bags on offer are genuinely compostable?“ Therefore, Vinçotte, an independent organisation employing over 1,800 people worldwide, developed the “OK Compost” conformity mark.

Market demand The “OK Compost” conformity mark is the response to a demand made by a city of one million people. The distribution chains soon took over, leading to a fast-growing interest, while helping to boost the mark‘s appeal and raise its profile.

Needed: A clear and universally understandable logo “Several surveys have shown that even people not familiar with the „OK Compost“ logo recognise what it means when they see it,” says Philippe Dewolfs, Manager of the Product Certification Dept., of Vinçotte. This offers several advantages. The logo gets the message across in every language, without the need for huge efforts to educate the customer.

An independent organisation already in existence Vinçotte as the certifying body was not created ad hoc. The company offers inspection, certification and testing services in many different fields. Its independent status and expertise are internationally acknowledged.

A single reference: EN 13432 From the outset Vinçotte adopted a European approach. The certification of compostable packaging material strictly follows the rules of the European standard EN 13432 (compostability of packaging). „OK Compost“ = EN 13432, no more, no less”, as Philippe Dewolfs comments, “This slogan also sends out a strong message as to the reliability of a product: no need to have to consult the report to discover what references and methods are used.” „OK Compost“ certificates are accepted by international agencies, such as BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute), USA, AFNOR, France, and others without requiring any further trials or analyses. Philippe Dewolfs: “Independence, clarity, visibility and traceability are at the root of the growing success of the „OK Compost“ logo. The number of certificates has increased threefold and the number of licensees fivefold within only five years.”

„OK Compost HOME”: keeping waste at bay In countries like Belgium and the UK, more and more peo-


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2


logo of Vinçotte, Belgium ple are composting their green waste in their backyard. Temperatures specified in the EN 13432 standard are not reached during home composting, hence products complying with this standard might not be suitable for home composting. Vinçotte has therefore sought to revamp the EN 13432 standard‘s requirements to use it for the determination of the home compostability for such products. The result is the „OK Compost HOME“ mark, that has already been awarded to several products during its three-year existence. “But the most amazing development is that even though no more than 10% of the people asked actually knew the logo, 78% of the people interviewed understood exactly what it meant,” as Philippe Dewolfs proudly adds.

“OK Compost” - a logo with a guarantee Looking beyond the initial certification process, a conformity mark also has to guarantee that production is in keeping with the requirements. This means:  Are the products on the market identical to those originally certified? and  Are all the products „declaring“ their compliance with the mark genuinely certified? Periodical inspections, sampling in the marketplace or at the supplier‘s end ensure the first question. The second question is now a lot easier to answer as a result of the growing trend to rely on the Internet to market products. Vinçotte regularly checks out cyber advertisements and all referring to „OK Compost“ (about 1000 reference at present) are seriously scrutinised. If the „OK Compost“ mark is being misused or likely to cause confusion, Vinçotte react straightaway so as to safeguard the mark‘s integrity and credibility.

all pictures: Vinçotte

“Clear logo, visibility, single reference, expertise, independence and market surveillance – all of these items should be the basic ingredients of any conformity mark,” as Philippe Dewolfs summarizes. “This is the case with the „OK Compost“ category, all in the service of promoting new producer and consumer behaviour patterns.”

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2


Suppliers Guide Tel.: +49-2359-2996-0 or Simply contact:

1. Raw Materials

Transmare Compounding B.V. Ringweg 7, 6045 JL Roermond, The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0)475 345 900 Fax: +31 (0)475 345 910 Du Pont de Nemours International S.A. 2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50 CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland 1.3 PLA Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5176 Fax: + 41(0) 22 580 2360 Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH

R.O.J. Jongboom Holding B.V. Biopearls Damstraat 28 6671 AE Zetten The Netherlands Tel.: +31 488 451318 Mob: +31 646104345

For only 6,– EUR per mm, per issue you can be present among top suppliers in the field of bioplastics. 1.7 reinforcing fibres/fillers made from RRM

1.1 bio based monomers

1.2 compounds

Stay permanently listed in the Suppliers Guide with your company logo and contact information.

Holzhauser Str. 157 - 159 13509 Berlin Germany Tel.: +49 (0)30 43567 5 fax: +49 (0)30 43567 699

2. Additives / Secondary raw materials INNOVIA FILMS LTD Wigton Cumbria CA7 9BG Du Pont de Nemours International S.A. England 2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50 Contact: Andy Sweetman CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex, Tel.: +44 16973 41549 Geneva, Switzerland Fax: +44 16973 41452 Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5176 Fax: + 41(0) 22 580 2360 4. Bioplastics products 3. Semi finished products 3.1 films

1.4 starch-based bioplastics Maag GmbH Leckingser Straße 12 58640 Iserlohn Germany Tel.: + 49 2371 9779-30 Fax: + 49 2371 9779-97

BIOTEC Biologische Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32 46446 Emmerich Germany Tel.: +49 2822 92510 Treofan Germany GmbH & Co. KG Fax: +49 2822 51840 Am Prime Parc 17 65479 Raunheim BIOTEC Biologische Tel +49 6142 200-0 Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG 1.5 PHA Fax +49 6142 200-3299 Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32 46446 Emmerich 1.6 masterbatches Germany Tel.: +49 2822 92510 Fax: +49 2822 51840

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH Siemensring 79 D - 47 877 Willich Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-26 Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-51


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

PolyOne Avenue Melville Wilson, 2 Zoning de la Fagne 5330 Assesse Belgium Tel.: + 32 83 660 211

Sukano Products Ltd. Chaltenbodenstrasse 23 CH-8834 Schindellegi Phone +41 44 787 57 77 Fax +41 44 787 57 78

3.1.1 cellulose based films Sidaplax UK : +44 (1) 604 76 66 99 Sidaplax Belgium: +32 9 210 80 10 Plastic Suppliers: 1 866 378 4178

Huhtamaki Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG Tel. +49 6542 802 0 Fax +49 6542 802 310

natura Verpackungs GmbH Industriestr. 55 - 57 48432 Rheine Tel.: +49 5975 303-57 Fax: +49 5975 303-42

Veriplast Holland BV Stadhoudersmolenweg 70 NL - 7317 AW Apeldoorn 4.1 trays 5. Traders 5.1 wholesale 6. Machinery & Molds

Molds, Change Parts and Turnkey Solutions for the PET/Bioplastic Container Industry 284 Pinebush Road Cambridge Ontario Canada N1T 1Z6 Tel: +1 905 624 9720 Fax: +1 519 624 9721

Credits Companies in this issue: Company


+1 Water AgResearch Aichi Industrial Technology Institute Albert Heijn Alcan Packaging Arkema Autobar BASF Batelle Belu Biobag International Biomer Biop Biopearls bioplastics 24 Biopolymer Network Biotec BMW BPI Bridgestone Brückner Formtec Cargo Cosmetics Center for Management Technology Cereplast Coldiretti Colormatrix Coop Italia Coopbox Europe Cortec Crop & Food Reseacrh Daimler-Chrysler Delhaize DLR Doehler Drenth DuPont Econeer Ecozema European Bioplastics European Plastics News FH Hannover FNR Ford Four Motors German Torque Factory Goodyear Groen Creatie


9 35 17 11 11 11, 24 11 6 11 11 11 11 11 31 31 35 7 19 6 20 28 8 13 11 5, 32 9 11 11 31 35 14 11 21 9 22 18 27 11 5, 10, 12 11, 12 12 12, 21 15, 21 21 22 19 11

Company Hobum Oleochemicals Honda Huhtamaki Ihr Platz Innovia Films Instron Interseroh Intertech Pira Invent LiquiMoly M&G Mazda M-Base Metabolix Mitsubishi natura Natureworks Nestlé Netstal Nishikawa Rubber Nokian Northern Technologies nova Institut Novamont Pira plasticker Plastics Suppliers Poly America Polyfea Polyone Polypack Purac RPC Cresstale Sainsbury’s Scion Sidaplax SIG Corpoplast SIG Plasmax Sukano Tate&Lyle Toray Toyota Treofan Uhde Inventa-Fischer Unitika USCC Vinçotte Wiedmer

Editorial 22 18 6, 11 9 11, 30 12 9 8 21 23 38 16 12 11 17 30 5, 6, 9, 28 11 9 16 20 6 14 6, 11, 19 6



48 31

8 6 26 9 8 9 11 11, 30 34 9 9 9 11 18 18 15, 16 9,11 9 11 6 40 9

2 47

Next Issue

For the next issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE (among others) the following subjects are scheduled:




Next issues:

Bottles, labels, caps

Agricultural space vs. bioplastics production (some calculations and figures)

Review and preview of events like exhibitions and conferences

02/07 03/07 04/07 01/08

Logos Part 4

June 2007 October 2007 December 2007 February 2008

bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2




March 26-27, 2007 PETnology Europe 2007 featuring in Session 6: Potential and Developments for Renewable Plastics in Packaging Holiday Inn - Munich City Center, Munich, Germany

October 24-31, 2007 K‘2007, International Trade Fair No 1 for Plastic and Rubber Worldwide Düsseldorf, Germany meet bioplastics MAGAZINE in Hall 7, 07C09

April 2-3, 2007 2nd World Congress on „Wood Plastics Composites“ Crowne Plaza, Seattle, Washington, USA

November, 2007 2nd European Bioplastics 2007 Paris, France

April 24-25, 2007 BioRefinetec Amsterdam, The Netherlands

December 5-6, 2007 Bioplastics 2007 including Bioplastics Awards 2007 Frankfurt/Main, Germany for the awards contact

April 26-27, 2007 Biomaterials in Industrial Applications Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London, UK May 2-4, 2007 2nd Automotive Congress: „Plastics-in-Motion“ Hotel Quirinale, Rome, Italy

March 3-4, 2008 3rd International Seminar on Biodegradable Polymers Valencia, Spain

May 10, 2007 SustainPack SP6 conference New Technologies and Applications in Communicative packaging Wageningen, The Netherlands May 15-16, 2007 BioPolymers Markets Hong Kong May 23-24, 2007 Biofuels & Feedstock Philippines Manila, Philippines September 12-13, 2007 1st PLA-Bottle Conference Possibilities - Limitations - Prospects Grand Elysee Hotel, Hamburg Germany October 17-19, 2007 BioEnvironmental Polymer Society 14th Annual Meeting International Samposium on Polymers and the environment: Emerging Technology and Science Hilton Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver, Washington Call for Papers:


bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/07] Vol. 2

One of the biggest events for the plastics industry is certainly the K’2007 in Düsseldorf, Germany from 24-31 October, 2007. At the “number 1 for plastics and rubber worldwide” more than 2,900 exhibitors will show their expertise and products on an extended fairground of 265,000 square metres. The last “K-Show” in 2004 attracted almost 231,000 visitors from all over the world. bioplastics MAGAZINE will prepare a K’2007 show preview to be published in our issue 03/2007 (1 October 2007). Therefore we ask all suppliers of products or services exhibiting at K’2007 to send us your press releases, information about your exhibits etc.. Come and see us at K’2007. bioplastics MAGAZINE would be happy to welcome you in hall 7, booth 7C09.

12 - 13 September 2007

1st PLA-Bottle-Conference possibilities | limitations | prospects

powered by

PLA (Polylactide), a compostable plastic made from renewable resources such as corn, is a highly topical subject right now, especially in the light of increasing crude oil prices. The stretch blow moulded PLA bottles used by Biota or Natural Iowa (USA), Belu (UK) and Vitamore (Germany), as well as reports in the trade press, have aroused significant interest from the PET and beverage industry. Would you like to find out more about the possibilities, limitations and future prospects of PLA for bottle applications? That‘s exactly why bioplastics MAGAZINE is organising the 1st PLA Bottle Conference on the 12th and 13th of September 2007 in the Grand Elysee Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. This 1½ day conference offers a comprehensive overview of today‘s opportunities and challenges. Experts from companies such as Purac, Uhde Inventa-Fischer, Natureworks, Netstal, SIG Corpoplast, Wiedmer, Treofan, Sidaplax, SIG Plasmax, Doehler, Colormatrix, Polyone, Ihr Platz, Interseroh, and more, will share their knowledge and … …on the afternoon of Thursday September 13th delegates will visit SIG Corpoplast, the manufacturer of the stretch blow moulding equipment that is used to produce for example the Biota and the Belu bottles.

There will be sessions covering: Sponsors

 Raw materials, from corn to PLA  PLA preform manufacture  Stretch blow moulding of PLA  Caps, labels, shrink-sleeves made from biodegradable plastics  Barrier solutions for PLA bottles  Temperature stability of PLA  Additives, from processing agents to colorants

Supported by

 Reports „from the market“  End of life options, recycling, energy recovery, composting

More information and registration:

early bird

0.00 €boo75 kings before May 31st, 2007

Bookings made from June 1st, 2007: € 850.00


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A real sign of sustainable development.

There is such a thing as genuinely sustainable development. Since 1989, Novamont researchers have been working on an ambitious project that combines the chemical industry, agriculture and the environment: “Living Chemistry for Quality of Life”. Its objective has been to create products that have a low environmental impact. The innovative result of Novamont’s research is the new bioplastic Mater-Bi ®.The Mater-Bi ® polymer comes from maize starch and other vegetable starches; it is completely biodegradable and compostable. Mater-Bi ® performs like plastic, but it saves energy, contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect, and at the end of its life cycle, it closes the loop by changing into fertile humus. Everyone’s dream has become a reality. Mater-Bi ®: certified and recommended biodegradability and compostability.

Living Chemistry for Quality of Life.


bioplastics MAGAZINE is the only independent trade magazine worldwide dedicated to bioplastics