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ISSN 1862-5258

Nov/Dec

06 | 2017

Highlights Films / Flexibles / Bags | 12 Polyurethanes / Elastomers | 14 Basics Blown Film Extrusion | 48

ITALY / FRANCESpecial

w e i v e r P eak

bioplastics

MAGAZINE

Vol. 12

Sn

2 countries

... is read in 9


BIO-FLEX NEXT GENER ATION ✓ 40 % bio-based ✓ Home compostable ✓ Outstanding contact transparency ✓ Meets the requirements of the French Energy Transmission Law


Editorial

dear readers Films, Flexibles, Bags is traditionally the first highlight topic of every December issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. While it is one that, in the past, has always proven to be among the most popular, this year apparently there was surprisingly little news to report. Fortunately, this was more than made up for by the unexpected outpour of contributions we received on the topic Polyurethanes/Elastomers and related building blocks, which will bring our readers up to date on the latest developments in this area. WWW.MATERBI.COM

ISSN 1862-5258

COME TO VISIT US AT

28 • 29 november 2017 MARITIM PROARTE HOTEL • BERLIN

Nov/Dec

06 | 2017

Highlights Films / Flexibles / Bags | 12 Polyurethanes / Elasto mers | 14 Basics Blown Film Extrusion | 48

Then, for those of you, who missed it… On page 10 we present this year’s winner of the Global Bioplastics Award. As always, we’ve rounded up some of the most recent news items on materials and applications to keep you abreast of the latest innovations and ongoing advances in the world of bioplastics.

ITALY / FRANCESpecial

bioplastics

MAGAZINE

Vol. 12

Lastly, I’d like to remind you of the 5th PLA World Congress in Munich/Germany next May – the call for papers is still open. If you have an interesting topic to report on, please let us know. The same goes for the first PHA platform World Congress in Cologne/ Germany next September. EcoComunicazione.it

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a relaxing time over the holidays as this year comes to an end. Together with you, our readers, we look forward with confidence to a new year of challenges, innovations - and events. On our calendar, we’ve already marked down Chinaplas, taking place next year at a new location in Shanghai, NPE in Orlando, NatureWorks’ ITR in September and a host of other conferences. We’ll be covering these events, and more - and we hope to see you there, too. sticmagazine_11.12.2017_21

r2_11.2017

... is read in 92 countries

adv mela settore_biopla

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03/11/17 15:22

Until then, please enjoy reading this latest issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. Sincerely yours

Michael Thielen

In this issue we have a closer look to France and Italy. .

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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Content

Imprint

Nov / Dec

06|2017

Publisher / Editorial Dr. Michael Thielen (MT) Samuel Brangenberg (SB)

Head Office Polymedia Publisher GmbH Dammer Str. 112 41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany phone: +49 (0)2161 6884469 fax: +49 (0)2161 6884468 info@bioplasticsmagazine.com www.bioplasticsmagazine.com

Bioplastic Award 10 And the winner is ...

Media Adviser Samsales (German language) phone: +49(0)2161-6884467 fax: +49(0)2161 6884468 s.brangenberg@samsales.de

Films/Flexibles/Bags

12 Compostable film resins from Malaysia 13 Mulch films and more

Polyurethanes/Elastomers 14 16 17 18 20 23 24 26

Biobased EP(D)M

3 Editorial 5 News 28 Material News

Renewable Polyols Congratulations - 10 years soy foam in Ford cars

37 Application News

Biobased thermoplastic elastomer compounds

48 Basics

Bio-succinic acid

52 Opinion

New biobased lactide polyol polyesters Injection molders who have made bioplastics work Sugar for extra grip

55 Brand Owner

56 10 years ago 57 Survey

Processing

58 Suppliers Guide

27 Optimize Processability

61 Event Calendar

Materials

52 Companies in this issue

30 Biobased adhesives

From Science & Research 34 36 36 37

PEF: an alternative with a future Aconitic acid as a building block for bioplastics Flexible barrier film From municipal waste to bioplastics

Applications

44 Hot compost bin 45 Race Tesla with bio-composites

Report

Chris Shaw (English language) Chris Shaw Media Ltd Media Sales Representative phone: +44 (0) 1270 522130 mobile: +44 (0) 7983 967471 and Michael Thielen (see head office)

Layout/Production Kerstin Neumeister

Print Poligrāfijas grupa Mūkusala Ltd. 1004 Riga, Latvia bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on chlorine-free FSC certified paper. Print run: 3.500 copies

bioplastics magazine ISSN 1862-5258 bM is published 6 times a year. This publication is sent to qualified subscribers (149 Euro for 6 issues). From Jan 2018 on: EUR 169 for 6 issues bioplastics MAGAZINE is read in 92 countries. Every effort is made to verify all Information published, but Polymedia Publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any losses that may arise as a result. All articles appearing in bioplastics MAGAZINE, or on the website www.bioplasticsmagazine.com are strictly covered by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied, scanned, photographed and/or stored in any form, including electronic format, without the prior consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect those of Polymedia Publisher. bioplastics MAGAZINE welcomes contributions for publication. Submissions are accepted on the basis of full assignment of copyright to Polymedia Publisher GmbH unless otherwise agreed in advance and in writing. We reserve the right to edit items for reasons of space, clarity or legality. Please contact the editorial office via mt@ bioplasticsmagazine.com.

46 Product communication 50 Situation in France

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

Envelopes A part of this print run is mailed to the readers wrapped in bioplastic envelopes sponsored by Taghleef Industries, S.p.A., Maropack GmbH & Co. KG, and SFVVerpackungen

Cover shutterstock / Michaelpuche

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daily upated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com

News

Ellen MacArthur Foundation issues call to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging A new statement from the Ellen MacArthur foundation that proposes banning oxo-degradable plastic packaging worldwide was endorsed by over 150 organisations around the globe. Signatories include leading businesses, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials.

In total, over 150 organisations, including leading businesses representing every step of the plastics supply chain, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials have endorsed the statement calling for global action to avoid widescale environmental risk.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, including carrier bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution, with claims that such plastics degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, as outlined in a new statement by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, significant evidence indicates that oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead fragment into tiny pieces of plastic and contribute to microplastic pollution, posing a risk to the ocean and other ecosystems, potentially for decades to come.

“Using oxo-degradable additives is not a solution for litter. Their use in waste management systems will likely cause negative outcomes for the environment and communities,” said Erin Simon, Director of Sustainability Research and Development, World Wildlife Fund. “When public policy supports the cascading use of materials – systems where materials get reused over and over, this strengthens economies and drives the development of smarter materials management systems. This leads to wins for both the environment and society.”

“The available evidence overwhelmingly suggests oxodegradable plastics do not achieve what their producers claim and instead contribute to microplastic pollution. In addition, these materials are not suited for effective longterm reuse, recycling at scale or composting, meaning they cannot be part of a circular economy,” said Rob Opsomer, Lead for Systemic Initiatives at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. In other words: “Oxo-degradable plastic packaging is not a solution to plastic pollution, and does not fit in a circular economy.” Signatories of the Foundation’s statement include M&S, PepsiCo, Unilever, Veolia, British Plastics Federation, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, Packaging South Africa, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and ten Members of the European Parliament.

However, oxo-degradable plastics are still produced in many European countries, including the UK, and marketed across the world as safely biodegradable. Several countries in the Middle-East and Africa, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, areas of Pakistan, Yemen, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana and Togo, are still promoting the use of oxo-degradable plastics or have even made their use mandatory. To create a plastics system that works, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, together with the signing organisations, supports innovation that designs out waste and pollution, and keeps products and materials in high-value use in line with the principles of a circular economy MT The complete statement can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/ban-oxodegr

Bio-on completes construction of the world's largest PHA fermenters Bio-on (Bologna, Italy), one of the main players in the new eco-sustainable chemical industry, recently announced the completion of the fermenters that are at the heart of the production technology for 100% biodegradable and natural bioplastic at the Bio-on plant set to open next year. This big technological challenge has enabled the world's largest fermenters to be built with a capacity of over 100 thousand litres and a height of over 13 metres. These large silos will house the fermentation process in which bacteria produce PHA bioplastics. The new fermenters have been designed by Bio-on's technical staff (ENG Business Unit) in collaboration with RAF, the inhouse team of scientists that developed the various stages of aerobic fermentation over the last 4 years. The two fermenters, which have just been delivered, will be transported and installed at the Bio-on Plants site in Castel San Pietro Terme, Bologna and will contribute towards the upcoming production of biopolymers for cosmetic use. MT www.bio-on.it

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News

daily upated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com

European Parliament supports use of biodegradable mulch films On October 24, 2017, the Plenary of the European Parliament voted in favour of supporting biodegradable mulch films in the revision of the EU Fertilizers Regulation. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the outcome. “The inclusion of biodegradable mulches in the EU Fertilizers Regulation will help to harmonise regulations across the EU Member States and to create a single market for bio-based and biodegradable materials used in agriculture”, says François de Bie, Chairman of EUBP. The amendments, which have already been approved by the Parliament’s Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in July earlier this year, acknowledge the innovative potential of biodegradable mulch films to provide positive agronomical effects and to help avoid the accumulation of microplastics on fields. Biodegradable mulch films have been available on the EU market for many years, meeting a high level of acceptance among European farmers. They play an essential role in modern agriculture as help to increase yield, improve the quality of crops, enhance weed control, and reduce water irrigation and pesticides. Additionally, they offer distinctive advantages at the end of the crop cycle as they can be left on the field and ploughed under. The approved amendments on biodegradable mulch films are linked to the criteria of the upcoming European standard CEN FprEN 17033 on biodegradation of plastic mulch films in soil developed by CEN-Technical Committee 249 on Plastics. The standard is expected to be published at the beginning of 2018. MT www.european-bioplastics.org

BPI taps DIN CERTCO for third-party compostability verification The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)’s Board of Directors recently announced that DIN CERTCO has been hired for the administration of technical reviews under the BPI certification program, effective December 1, 2017. BPI (New York, USA) operates North America’s leading certification for compostable products, with over 6,500 products currently approved based on ASTM’s scientific standards. DIN CERTCO (Berlin, Germany) has more than 2 decades of experience administering compostability certification for groups such as European Bioplastics Association and Australasia Bioplastics, as well as its own certifications. Certification for compostable products is critical for ensuring that items have been properly tested, meet international standards, and can be identified as such by composters, municipalities, restaurants, consumers, and others engaged in the diversion of organic waste. US-states like California and Maryland have laws requiring any product marketed as compostable to meet these standards, and BPI certification is widely acknowledged as the best means of doing so. “We are excited to partner with DIN CERTCO for this next phase of our certification program, as they are a recognized leader in the compostability field,” says Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of BPI. “This will not change the appearance of the BPI certification to those who trust and rely on it. However, offices in China and Taiwan will assist with the growing number of companies located overseas, and technical expertise will ensure continued strength in compostability claims for products and packaging that are increasingly complex in nature.” “This is an excellent opportunity for BPI and DIN CERTCO to provide our customers the best service possible. We are convinced that we are able to provide a value added service with our experts, since we have been active in the field of industrial compostable products for more than 20 years.” adds Robert Zorn, Managing Director of DIN CERTCO. “Together with BPI we will be able to provide customers a one-stop solution to access several markets in one go.” MT www.bpiworld.org | www.dincertco.de/en

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News

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe partner to develop biobased MEG Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) and Haldor Topsoe (Lyngby, Denmark) have signed a technological cooperation agreement to develop a pioneering route to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant in Denmark, with operation slated to begin in 2019. MEG is a key component of e.g. PET resin. The project is based on a two-step process developed at Topsoe’s labs along with own catalysts, and focuses on the conversion of sugar into MEG at a single industrial unit, which will reduce initial investment in the production and boost the competitiveness of the process. “This novel biobased initiative allies a cutting-edge technology with deep expertise in process design, scaleup and industrial operation, which will allow us to push the renewable chemistry to a whole new level. After the Green Polyethylene, this is another major step forward in our vision of using renewable polymers as a carbon capture tool and keep contributing to a more sustainable future.” said Mateus Lopes, head of Innovation in Renewable Chemicals at Braskem. With the agreement, Braskem wants to expand its portfolio of renewable products to offer new solutions that complement its biobased polyethylene marketed with the I’m greenTM seal. “With this new partnership, we strengthen our position as protagonists in the development of innovative solutions that will leverage the competitiveness of different biomasses and complement the traditional solutions offered by the petrochemical industry,” said Gustavo Sergi, director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem.

“Catalysis will play an extremely important role in the development of sustainable solutions that produce important chemicals from renewable sources such as sugars. We are proud to deliver the ground-breaking technology for the project with Braskem, and we look forward to applying our world-leading competencies within catalysis and process engineering in the further commercialization of this important technology,” said Kim Knudsen, Executive Vice President at Haldor Topsoe. The demonstration plant will conduct tests to validate the technology and confirm its technical and economic feasibility, which is a critical step before launching production on an industrial scale and commercial operations. The unit will be flexible to validate the technology in different raw materials such as sucrose, dextrose and second-generation sugars. MT www.braskem.com.br | www.topsoe.com

biocompositescc.com

Sustainable eyeware solutions API (Mussolente, Italy) an Italian company that specializes in the production of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics that was acquired by global materials company Trinseo (headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA) in July 2017, has announced a green partnership with EMS-GRIVORY (Domat/Ems, Switzerland), a leading Swiss manufacturer of high performance polymers and supplier of structural materials in the eyewear industry. The partnership aims at developing a series of sustainable eyewear solutions with a lower environmental impact, providing customers with cutting-edge materials. The demand to combine soft elastomeric compounds with hard substrates has been constantly increasing. Engineers from both companies will collaborate on combining the adhesion modified soft-touch TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers) with the harder Ems Grilamid TR® or Grilamid® BTR materials, thereby fully complying with the VDI 2019 standard. API and Ems-Grivory will work on the development

of specific bio-solutions, both on a fossil and renewable basis. “We are excited to partner with Ems-Grivory as we focus our combined expertise serving a broader and greener product range,” says Giancarlo Busa, Business Unit Manager, Footwear & Sporting Goods, API. “Our materials will satisfy social, economic and environmental benefits, without imposing performance limitations. We strongly believe in the future of innovative and sustainable solutions for eyewear.” Ems-Grivory showcased their eyewear products HKTDC at the 25th Hong Kong Optical Fair (8‑10 November 2017). www.APIplastic.com www.trinseo.com/API-plastic www.emsgrivory.com

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News

daily upated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com

Erratum

New PHA plant

In our last issue we published an article about Cathay Biotech: "Advances in textile applications for biobased polyamide". However we made a mistake in the title of Fig 3.

Hydal Corporation (headquartered in Singapore) will start the production of a PHA biopolymer (PHB) in Slovakia on the site of its Slovak partner. It is the first industrial plant for production of this biopolymer. Hydal biotechnology enables the production from used cooking oil.

We sincerely apologize. Please find the correct picture below. MT K/S

25 —

The Hydal Corporation was founded by two EU partners: NAFIGATE Corporation – owner of biopolymer PHA production technology know-how and Panara Ltd. – owner of biopolymer blends process technology know-how.

20 — 15 — 10 — 5— 0— 0

The production capacity of the factory in the first phase will be 1.000 tonnes with up-scaling up to 10.000 tonnes of PHB per year. Production will begin at the end of 2018. PHB will be used to develop and manufacture their own nonoilen bioplastic solution and for cosmetic applications.

2

3 Terryl

PA6

4

8

PA66

Figure 3: Terryl uses less dye to achieve the same dyeing performance www.cathaybiotech.com/en

Contribution of both companies in the form of patented, unique industrial know-how gives Hydal Corporation very big potential to succeed in the worldwide market expansion. Besides technology know-how, both partners are experts in the area of bio-technologies and bio-plastics processing. Both founders have strong R&D base and technical support which increases the potential of successful investments into project in each phase of its realization. www.hydalbiotech.com

Picks & clicks Most frequently clicked news

Online toolbox for easier biobased procurement

Here’s a look at our most popular online content of the past two months. The story that got the most clicks from the visitors to bioplasticsmagazine.com was:

The European project InnProBio has launched an online toolbox for biobased procurement in the public sector.

New Studies Confirm: Biodegradable Plastics Boost Organic Recycling and Improve Mechanical Recycling (17 Oct 2017)

The toolbox includes an online database of biobased products and suppliers, good practice examples, procurement instruments and standard tender text blocks. The toolbox is available in English, German, Dutch and Polish.

Biodegradable plastics offer innovative solutions to improve recycling quality by facilitating the means for more efficient separate waste collection. This has been confirmed by a new study concerning the effects of biodegradable plastics on plastics recycling streams in Italy, where all single-use carrier bags have to be compostable since 2011....

more at tinyurl.com/news-20171017

The toolbox is a starting point for public buyers to get informed about the various biobased products available on the market. It includes a database of products and suppliers of biobased products. Information about the biobased content, sustainability, functionality and end-of-life aspects such as biodegradability are also included. Claims are supported by references to standards, technical sheets, labels and certificates. Producers and suppliers of biobased products are invited to add their products to the database. In addition, the toolbox provides instruments that can support the procurement of biobased products: good practice examples showing how biobased procurement is successfully implemented in practice, information on procurement instruments most relevant in biobased procurement, and sample tender text blocks that can be used when putting together tender documents. http://tools.innprobio.eu

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organized by

5th PLA World Congress 29-30 MAY* 2018 MUNICH › GERMANY

PLA

is a versatile bioplastics raw material from renewable resources. It is being used for films and rigid packaging, for fibres in woven and non-woven applications. Automotive industry and consumer electronics are thoroughly investigating and even already applying PLA. New methods of polymerizing, compounding or blending of PLA have broadened the range of properties and thus the range of possible applications. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE is now organizing the 5th PLA World Congress on:

29-30 May* 2018 in Munich / Germany Experts from all involved fields will share their knowledge and contribute to a comprehensive overview of today‘s opportunities and challenges and discuss the possibilities, limitations and future prospects of PLA for all kind of applications. Like the four previous congresses the 5th PLA World Congress will also offer excellent networking opportunities for all delegates and speakers as well as exhibitors of the table-top exhibition. The team of bioplastics MAGAZINE is looking forward to seeing you in Munich.

The conference will comprise high class presentations on

› Latest developments › Market overview

s call for paper

› High temperature behaviour

still open

› Blends and comounds › Additives / Colorants › Applications (film and rigid packaging, textile, automotive,electronics, toys, and many more)

Contact us at: mt@bioplasticsmagazine.com for exhibition and sponsoring opportunities

www.pla-world-congress.com

› Fibers, fabrics, textiles, nonwovens › Reinforcements › End of life options (recycling,composting, incineration etc)

* date subject to changes

Sponsor:

Supported by:

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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Award

And the winner is ... The 12th Global Bioplastics Award 2017 goes to MAIP Srl for a newly developed PHBHCompound for ABB Light switch covers

I

am NATURE is a special PHBH based compound, available in tailor made grades and suitable for high temperature applications. It offers a sustainable solution preserving the technical properties of a traditional thermoplastic material. Maip has developed different bioplastics that are sold under the name of I am NATURE for several years. These PHBH based grades are compounded with mineral fillers, with water-repellent properties, natural fillers, natural based colours and additives of vegetal origin as well as functional components for specific requirements. The PHBH can also be blended with other biobased products such as PLA or with other biodegradable materials such as PBS, PBSA, PBAT, and others. For a new series of switch cover frames that should have an advanced design and a remarkable environment sustainability connotation, ABB was looking for a bioplastic material that could replace technopolymers such as ABS or PC/ ABS. In a joint development ABB and Maip succeeded in creating a special I am NATURE grade that is suitable to satisfy all the multiple requirements of the component. The new compound exhibits particular properties such as high dimensional stability, thermal resistance (about 130 °C),

superior UV and light resistance, easy colourability and easy mouldability in multi cavity moulds. Easy processability and specific electric features such as for example a glow wire of 650 °C at 2 mm. The most severe test of all, the scratch resistance, led to the development of special grades that show surprising mar / scratch resistance values also in case of matte textures. The main properties that were achieved, allow the definition of the new I am NATURE as an actual Bio-Technopolymer that also allows to eliminate the painting (because of its good mass colourability) dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the component. The switch covers were officially introduced to the market in Europe in September 2017. The judges were convinced of the concept. The application of the ABB light switch covers shows that the right combination of Polyhydroxyalkanoate polymers with other naturally based ingredients can lead to sophisticated applications. The prize was awarded to the winning company on November 28th, 2017 during the 12th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, Germany. MT www.maipsrl.com

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Save the Date8 1

04-05 Sep 20

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www.pha-world-congress.com

PHA (Poly-Hydroxy-Alkanoates or polyhydroxy fatty acids) is a family of biobased polyesters. As in many mammals, including humans, that hold energy reserves in the form of body fat there are also bacteria that hold intracellular reserves of polyhydroxy alkanoates. Here the micro-organisms store a particularly high level of energy reserves (up to 80% of their own body weight) for when their sources of nutrition become scarce. Examples for such Polyhydroxyalkanoates are PHB, PHV, PHBV, PHBH and many more. That’s why we speak about the PHA platform. This PHA-platform is made up of a large variety of bioplastics raw materials made from many different renewable resources. Depending on the type of PHA, they can be used for applications in films and rigid packaging, biomedical applications, automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, toys, glues, adhesives, paints, coatings, fibers for woven and non-woven and inks. So PHAs cover a broad range of properties and applications. That’s why bioplastics MAGAZINE and Jan Ravenstijn are now organizing the 1st PHA-platform World Congress on 4-5 September 2018 in Cologne / Germany. This congress will address the progress, challenges and market opportunities for the formation of this new polymer platform in the world. Every step in the value chain will be addressed. Raw materials, polymer manufacturing, compounding, polymer processing, applications, opportunities and end-of-life options will be discussed by parties active in each of these areas. Progress in underlying technology challenges will also be addressed.

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

organized by Co-organized by Jan Ravenstijn

!


Films/Flexibles/Bags

Mulch films and more Barbier Group Bioplastic films

B

arbier Group is a French family-owned company founded in 1955 and headquartered in Sainte-Sigolène near Lyon, Barbier extrudes, prints and recycles polyethylene films. Its activity focuses on three complementary markets: agriculture films, industrial packaging films and retailing (mainly garbage and carrier bags).

National leader and in the top 10 producers of flexible polyethylene film in Europe, Barbier Group has always been committed to environmental issues. Indeed, in the 1980s, Barbier Group invested in a recycling plant in order to stop throwing away plastic waste. Initially focusing on post-production waste, this plant then began recycling post use plastic film as well. This marked the end of a linear model (manufacture, sell, discard) and the beginning of a circular economy (manufacture, sell, collect, recycle, manufacture …). This commitment to recycling activities carried on with the construction of a second recycling plant in 2015. In the 1990s, when the first biodegradable raw materials for flexible film applications became available on the market, Barbier Group decided to launch R&D projects aiming to develop biodegradable film. From the beginning, Barbier’s approach was the following: to use biodegradable raw materials only when they offered real benefits both for end-users and for the environment. Indeed biodegradability is only an additional function for a product and has to be promoted only when it represents the best option for product end of life. Too often biodegradability has been used primarily for marketing reasons. That is why Barbier Group works closely with its clients to understand their needs and how the product is used: ƒƒ When plastic film is easy to collect and not too soiled, a recyclable product is advised

ƒƒ When plastic film is hard to collect and very soiled, a biodegradable product is advised The product life cycle is therefore thought of since its conception. In 2000, Barbier Group introduced its first biodegradable product into the market: a biodegradable mulching film (Bionov®). Standard mulching films (films made with polyethylene resins) are laid every year by farmers and should be removed after use because they are not biodegradable. This is very time consuming for them and it is difficult to recycle these soiled films. Thus bioplastic is really the right solution: there is no need to remove the plastic film and no ground pollution. To meet the requirements of the new Energy Transition for Green Growth Act (France) and also to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly bags, Barbier Group in collaboration with Novamont (a leading European producer of compostable and biosourced resins) developed a wholly compostable bag for home composting: Ma-ter-bio®. This bag is an alternative to traditional non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastics packaging: Ma-ter-bio’s percentage of renewable content (obtained from locally sourced starch and sunflower oil), is at least 40 %, but can already be increased to over 50 %. This product reflects the commitment of Barbier to the circular economy and to a clean and environmentally friendly industry. In response to the same requirement, Barbier Group also developed a biodegradable home compostable mailing film. In 2017, and for the first time in Barbier Group’s history, biodegradable products will represent around 5 % of the company’s total production volume and the target is 8 % in www.babiergroup.com the near future.

icastics t e n g Ma for Pl er.com lastick www.p

• International Trade in Raw Materials, Machinery & Products Free of Charge. • Daily News from the Industrial Sector and the Plastics Markets. • Current Market Prices for Plastics. • Buyer’s Guide for Plastics & Additives, Machinery & Equipment, Subcontractors and Services. • Job Market for Specialists and Executive Staff in the Plastics Industry.

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Films/Flexibles/Bags

S

ustainable and eco-friendly bioplastics developer SECOS Group Limited (headquartered in Mt Waverley Victoria, Australia) recently announced its successful Malaysian operations will expand to commence manufacturing compostable resin in the first quarter of 2018. This supports Secos’ international growth strategy and follows ongoing business development at the Company’s production facility at Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur. Secos’ new strategic business unit will be named Cardia Bioplastics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and will operate under the Stellar Films (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd business the Company acquired in April 2015.

Compostable film resins from Malaysia Malaysian plant upgrade to meet demand for compostable resin

The company’s establishment of a resin manufacturing facility furthers the strong green initiatives set by the Malaysian Government and encourages sustainable manufacturing. This move represents the outcome of 18 months of government negotiations, dialogue with the Malaysian Plastics Association, and discussions with key players in the local film and bag industry. These green initiatives have culminated in the Malaysian Government awarding the new strategic business unit with Bionexus status. This recognition bestows fiscal incentives, grants and other guarantees to assist growth. Only certain qualified companies undertaking value-added biotechnology and/or life sciences activities qualify for Bionexus status. The business unit will commence operations having made strong sales of compostable resin (in excess of 35 tonnes) to large-scale bag manufacturers in Malaysia. These initial sales have followed successful production trials, using resin Secos manufactured at its Nanjing, China plant. Secos Managing Director, Stephen Walters, said: “With single-use plastic bags having become a global ecological issue, we applaud the Malaysian Government for showing leadership and making a strong commitment to bioplastics. Establishing a new compostable resin plant in Malaysia will set the Company as a leader in the Malaysian bioplastics industry and provide Secos with a significant growth opportunity. The new plant will work closely with local film and bag producers to produce and market bioplastic resins that suit the needs of the large Malaysian bag market. The Malaysian plastics industry is estimated to be worth more than 5 billion EURO (A$8 bn) and is growing at 5 % to 8 % per annum, with a large percentage of this growth coming in the bioplastics sector. The Company expects to reap the benefit of additional synergies through its Stellar Films Malaysia business accelerating its use of bioplastics in products for the hygiene market. The Company is increasingly offering products with higher blends of biohybrid resin that decrease the use of oilbased plastics in baby diapers and feminine hygiene products. This initiative will strengthen Secos’ relationship with its customers as it opens the potential for innovative new products and guarantees continuity of supply.” MT www.secosgroup.com.au

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Polyurethanes / Elastomers

Biobased EP(D)M Focus on sustainability

A

RLANXEO Netherlands has made a pioneering move towards exploring a future based on renewable resources, by developing the world’s first biobased EP(D)M elastomers commercialized under the tradename Keltan® Eco.

Carbon black is produced via incomplete combustion of a hydrocarbon feed with natural gas. Silica is produced via precipitation from a silicate salt solution. Inert white fillers, such as clay, talc and chalk are extracted from the ground in open mines and milled to fine powders.

Keltan Eco is produced from biobased ethylene supplied by Braskem which originates from sugar cane (Figure 1). The sugar from sugar cane is converted to ethanol, which is then dehydrated to ethylene by Braskem in their Brazilian Triunfo plant. This biobased ethylene is transported via a pipeline to the neighboring Arlanxeo EP(D)M polymerization plant. Depending on the ethylene content of the particular grade, the bio-carbon content of Keltan Eco elastomer ranges between 48 and 70 wt-%.

Traditional extender oils for EP(D)M are refinery fractions of crude oil. All of these ingredients, lack sustainability.

Translating this to final rubber articles produced from EP(D)M compounds, a bio-carbon content of 15-20 wt-% can be achieved, if Keltan Eco is the only biobased ingredient of the compound (Figure 1). Keltan Eco gives the following benefits: ƒƒ reduced dependence on fossil resources; ƒƒ reduced carbon footprint due to use of sugar cane; ƒƒ truly sustainable as validated by a Life Cycle Assessment performed by Thinkstep; ƒƒ biobased content up to 70% measured and traced back by ASTM D6866 carbon-14 test performed by Beta Analytic. Figure 2 shows the Global Warming Potential of Keltan Eco. Depending on ethylene content the EP(D)M carbon footprint is reduced up to 82 % for Keltan Eco 5470 (70 wt-% biobased ethylene) and up to 54 % for Keltan Eco 8550 (55 wt‑% biobased ethylene). Figure 2 - Global Warming Potential of Keltan Eco 5470 and 8850 compared to crude oil-based Keltan 5470 and 8550, all produced in Triunfo plant (kg CO2-equiv. per ton polymer) (Data by Thinkstep). In essence Keltan Eco elastomers look, feel and behave like conventional crude oil-based EP(D)M, which show exceptional elasticity, flexibility, weather ability and durability. It can be mixed, moulded, extruded and calendared to produce rubber articles with excellent aesthetics. Arlanxeo has six Keltan Eco elastomers commercially available in its portfolio (Table 1). Typically, rubber articles not only consist of elastomer(s), but also of (reinforcing) filler(s), plasticizer(s), crosslinking agents and other additives. EP(D)M products may contain higher than 400 phr of compounding ingredients incorporated into 100 phr of EP(D)M elastomer.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

In further efforts to increase the sustainability of EP(D)M rubber products based on Keltan Eco, the potential of using sustainable alternatives for traditional plasticizer oils and (reinforcing) fillers have been explored. Typical issues encountered when exploring relatively polar and unsaturated natural oils and fats in EP(D)M compounds are: ƒƒ a lack of compatibility (mixing issues and oil bleeding); ƒƒ competition for sulfur vulcanization (reduced crosslink density, inferior vulcanization properties). Modified natural oils, such as hydrogenated coconut oil or trans-esterified mono-esters have improved compatibility and/or vulcanization performance. Squalane (EPM hexamer) provides the best biobased alternative for mineral oil plasticizer, since it is as apolar as EP(D)M and is fully saturated. As far as sustainable fillers are concerned, pyrolysis black was shown to have a reinforcing efficiency 90 % of that of furnace N550 black. Rice husk ash and micro-cellulose do not show reinforcing properties, but can still be used as inert, white fillers, substituting certain traditional, mineral white fillers. Combining these sustainable plasticizer oils and (reinforcing) fillers has resulted in automotive solid seal EP(D)M compounds based on Keltan Eco with more than 85 % sustainable content and properties comparable to the reference EP(D)M compounds, including heat ageing resistance up to 125 ºC. The final step towards a fully sustainable EP(D)M rubber compound would require the development of biobased rubber additives and curatives, which considering their chemical structure will be a long and challenging development. Aside improving sustainability of EP(D)M rubber products by compounding sustainable plasticizer oils, (reinforcing) fillers, another approach would be to develop a second generation Keltan Eco EP(D)M based on bio-ethylene ánd bio-propylene, which would bring the total biocarbon content of the EP(D)M elastomer, and sustainable compounds directly, to ~95 %.


Polyurethanes / Elastomers

By: Joyce Kersjes Technical Manager Global M&S/TSAD Keltan EPDM Arlanxeo High Performance Elastomers Geleen, The Netherlands

Table 1 - Keltan Eco EP(D)M portfolio and key properties

For the future Arlanxeo and its raw material suppliers are assessing routes to increase the biocarbon content of the EP(D)M elastomer to a maximum attainable, amongst others via: ƒƒ production of methanol from wood, followed by conversion of methanol to propylene; ƒƒ sugar-based routes either via ethanol to ethylene and then via metathesis to propylene or via isopropanol to propylene;

Viscosity ML(1+4) (@ shown °C) [MU]

C2 [wt%]

ENB [wt%]

Keltan Eco 0500R

11 g/10 min. (MFI)

49

-

Keltan Eco 3050

51 (@ 100°C)

49

-

Keltan Eco 5470

55 (@ 125°C)

70

4.6

Grades

Keltan Eco 8550

80 (@ 125°C)

55

5.5

Keltan Eco 6950

65 (@ 125°C)

48

9.0

Keltan Eco 9950

60 (@ 150°C)

48

9.0

ƒƒ direct fermentation of glucose using genetically engineered micro-organisms to a mixture of olefins, including propylene.

Figure 1 - Route to biobased EP(D)M Sugar cane

The finishing touch to 100 % bio-carbon EP(D)M elastomer would be a biobased diene.

Ethanol

As an example to stimulate interest, it can be mentioned that first experiments with an amorphous EP(D)M with 6 wt% 2,4-dimethyl-2,7-octadiene (natural terpene) as the diene, showed reasonable sulfur vulcanization characteristics and corresponding vulcanization properties, similar to a medium ENBEP(D)M.

In conclusion: The broad portfolio of Keltan Eco EP(D)M elastomers offers the unique opportunity to industries to develop sustainable and bio-carbon based compounds and TPE-Vs for many applications. www.keltan.com | www.ARLANXEO.com

Ethylene

50-70% bio-based

15-20% bio based

Keltan-Eco®

EPDM 0% bio-based

0% bio-based

Crude oil Raw materials

End products

Figure 2: Global Warming Potential of Keltan Eco 5470 and 8850 compared to crude oil-based Keltan 5470 and 8550, all produced in Triunfo plant (kg CO2-equiv. per ton polymer) (Data by Thinkstep) 3,500 3,000 [kg CO2-Equiv]

Up till now Keltan Eco has received a positive response in the market and commercialization at customers is on-going in different application segments, like automotive and construction window and door sealing systems, as well as in hoses, innertubes, (bio-)plastics impact modification, TPE-V production, sport surfaces and sports goods. Some examples are displayed below.

100% bio-based

2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 K5470 Triunfo

K5470 Eco

K8550 Triunfo

K8550 Eco

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

15


Polyurethanes / Elastomers

Renwable polyols Perstorp launches world’s first portfolio of renewable polyols Perstorp (Malmö, Sweden) recently announced the world’s first portfolio of renewable alternatives to the essential polyols Pentaerythritol (Penta), Trimethylolpropane (TMP), and Neopentyl glycol (Neo). The product portfolio was globally launched at China Coat (15-17 November 2017, Shanghai). The launch is a response to the fast growing global need for more sustainable Coatings, Resins and Synthetic Lubricants to mention a few. This means that Perstorp is the only chemical company in the world to offer all three essential polyols Penta, TMP and Neo in both traditional and renewable forms. World’s first renewable Penta, known as Voxtar™, was launched in 2010. It can reduce carbon footprint by up to 80 % compared to fossil alternatives. The addition of two new innovative products; Evyron™ (partly renewable TMP) and Neeture™ (partly renewable Neo) will give Perstorp’s customers a clear market advantage in creating proenvironmental low carbon footprint products. Anna Berggren, Global Market Segment Manager for Resins at Perstorp commented: “The time is right to add two new renewable polyols. The market demand for biobased material is rapidly increasing due to a strong focus on sustainable chemistry and renewable raw materials. We are committed to our environmental responsibility as well as to helping our customers in their sustainable development. We are dedicated to our pro-environment products, giving prioritized supply for pro-environmental partners at all times.”

Committed to the pro-environmental walk Perstorp’s commitment to sustainability runs deep in the company led by CEO, Jan Secher. “This launch is a great achievement and I’m very proud of the engagement from our employees. It’s clear that we are looking to make a difference. Sustainability is in the core of everything we do which also makes it a perfect strategic fit.” Perstorp’s new pro-environment portfolio is a great example of how they intend to work towards their 2030 ambition to become Finite Material Neutral. “It is a tough ambition but we have to do it. There is no plan B, because we only have one planet,” Jan continues. Currently Perstorp is devoting 80 % of its R&D resources to finding new sustainable solutions and in addition, all Perstorp Swedish plants will switch to using only renewable electricity in 2018. “With the new pro-environment products we are launching at China Coat, we are reaffirming that we believe our molecules can change things for the better”, Jan concludes.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

Good for business and good for the environment The two new Pro-Environment Polyols – Evyron and Neeture - complete the portfolio of the three essential polyols in renewable options. The new portfolio is based on a certified mass balance concept. Mass balance is about mixing fossil and renewable in the same existing systems but keeping track of their quantities and allocating them to specific products. This ensures that the quality and performance of the molecules are exactly the same giving customers a real go-pro-environmental choice. Perstorp’s Pro-Environment Polyols are all ISCC certified which among other things ensures a traceability of the biobased raw material back to its country of origin. Anna Berggren highlights: “The biobased material in our products is sustainably sourced and I am proud to say that Perstorp launches world´s first portfolio of renewable polyols. And even better, they will also be the first to become ISCC certified.” MT www.perstorp.com


Polyurethanes / Elastomers

Congratulations! Ford Motor Company celebrates 10-year anniversary of soybean-based foam

T

en years ago, the 2008 Ford Mustang launched with seats made of soybean-based foam. Today, soy foam has saved over 100,000 tonnes (228 million pounds) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere; the same as would be consumed by four million trees per year, according to a consumer horticulturist at North Carolina State University. Ford has used soy foam since the Mustang went into production in late 2007, replacing traditional petroleumbased foam that most industries use. Researching and testing renewable, plant-based alternatives to petroleumbased plastics is something Ford has been committed to since 2000. “From our labs to our suppliers, incorporating renewable materials into auto parts takes a lot of work, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “At Ford, we want to do our part to reduce our impact on the environment, and using more sustainable materials in the vehicle is one of the ways we are doing this.” Since 2011, every Ford vehicle built in North America uses the soy foam in seat cushions, backs and headrests. It meets the company’s strict requirements as a renewable solution and doesn’t compromise durability and performance. Over the past decade, approximately 18.5 million vehicles have been produced with soy foam in them - that’s over 578 billion soybeans. Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, has been leading the sustainable materials effort from the beginning, and said it wasn’t easy convincing suppliers to do molding trials; especially when petroleum oil prices were available at a low cost. The United Soybean Board (USB) - a group located in Chesterfield, Missouri, USA, that oversees investments in soybean innovations nationwide - played an integral role in funding the initial trials, and Bill Ford kept the project moving through all obstacles.

“We may not have ever gone to market with soy foam if Bill Ford had not been at the helm,” Mielewski said. “It was a project that would only move forward with both a visionary and an environmentalist in the driver’s seat, so to speak, and we were lucky to have him there.” In 2008, when oil prices skyrocketed, the value of soy foam became widely apparent - not only was replacing petroleumbased polyol with soy beneficial to the environment, it could also save the company money. Ford worked tirelessly with other industries to help them formulate foams that met their specific requirements, like agriculture, furniture and home goods, allowing them the chance to also incorporate it into their products - stretching the environmental benefits even further. “We knew that putting farm materials into a performance car like the Mustang could be met with a lot of skepticism,” said Mielewski. “But we also knew that if we succeeded, the foam we created could, over time, make a positive impact.” After the success of soy foam, Ford began the development of other renewable materials to reinforce plastics in vehicles, including wheat straw, rice hulls and cellulose fibers from sustainably grown trees, coconut fibers and kenaf. The sustainable materials research team is currently working on approximately 20 other unlikely sustainable candidates for auto parts - tomato peels, agave fiber (tequila), recycled U.S. currency, dandelions and algae to name a few. They continue to work with the USB to develop soy-based materials for rubber components like tires and gaskets. “Soy foam was an important first step, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Mielewski. “There are many more opportunities arising to reduce our environmental impact, and with resources becoming more constrained, it becomes more important that we explore them.” MT www.ford.com | unitedsoybean.org

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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Polyurethanes / Elastomers

Biobased thermoplastic elastomer compounds

HEXPOL TPE worked with Wildo Sweden AB on the development of a biobased TPE for their iconic Fold-A-Cup.

I

n response to increasing demands for sustainable alternatives to fossil based flexible polymer compounds, international compounding group, HEXPOL® TPE, launched the Dryflex® Green family of biobased Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) in 2015. Since then they have continued to develop the range, adding new possibilities to the biobased thermoplastic market by covering a wider range of hardnesses while incorporating high levels of renewable content. TPEs are often described as the bridge between rubber and plastics, they combine elasticity, flexibility and softness similar to rubber with the recyclability and processing advantages of plastics. Hexpol TPE were among the first companies to develop TPE compounds in Europe and they built on their 50 years heritage in the flexible polymers market in developing their biobased materials. Dryflex Green TPE compounds are available from 15 Shore A through to 55 Shore D. The range includes grades with biobased content over 90 % (ASTM D 6866), achieved by use of sustainable raw materials and feedstocks such as sugarcane, with recognised certifications such as ISCC+ and can derive from raw materials such as polymers, fillers, plasticizers or additives. For applications wanting a look even closer to nature, Hexpol TPE has developed compounds using organic fillers and natural fibres from plants, crops or trees, including cork, these give an additional ‘organic’ appearance. Cork is a natural product which comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. The removal of the bark does not harm the trees and the bark is only harvested after the first 20 years of growth. The removal stimulates a steady regeneration of the bark. Dryflex Green TPE compounds display mechanical and physical properties close to and comparable to TPE compounds from fossil based raw materials. In general the Dryflex Green compounds show very good bonding behaviour to PE and PP, special grades with good bonding to ABS, PET and PLA are also available. Like conventional TPE compounds, Dryflex Green TPEs can easily be coloured to give vibrant and appealing visual impact. Grades suitable for food contact are also available. Dryflex Green TPE compounds can be used in many applications that currently use conventional TPE and flexible polymers, such as soft-touch grips and handles, sealings, mats and closures, Klas Dannäs, Global R&D manager at Hexpol TPE commented “We’re seeing some very interesting development projects for the Dryflex Green materials; for applications ranging from household goods,

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

sports equipment and toys to automotive interiors, packaging and infant care. Our R&D teams are constantly evaluating new polymer combinations and we have been working closely with suppliers to develop sustainable and ethical alternatives to fossil-based polymer compounds.” MT www.hexpolTPE.com

Typical Percentage of Bio-Content vs Hardness in Biobased TPEs

Table 1: Typical Properties of Representative Dryflex Green Grades

HARDNESS

(1)

(1)

BIOBASED TENSILE ELONGATION CARBON DENSITY STRENGTH (2) AT BREAK (2) g/cm³ CONTENT MPa % % on TOC ISO 37 (Type 1)

ISO 868

ASTM D6866-12

25 Shore A

>40

0.89

1.3

500

40 Shore A

>40

0.91

2

410

50 Shore A

>80

0.89

5

500

60 Shore A

>75

0.91

5

360

70 Shore A

>50

0.93

8

700

80 Shore A

>80

0.91

6

500

55 Shore D

>70

0.94

20

900

ISO 2781 ISO 37 (Type 1)

After 15 seconds, (2) Across the flow direction


Bio-based Polymers & Building Blocks The best market reports available ta

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Full study available at www.bio-based.eu/reports

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Author: Jan Ravenstijn, Jan Ravenstijn Consulting, the Netherlands April 2017

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Epoxies

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CO2 for feed – proteins made from carbon dioxide CO2 for platform chemicals and polymers CO2 for future fuels CO2 for aviation kerosene Newsticker on Carbon Capture and Utilisation! Sustainability & climate change Free access: mitigation potential www.co2-chemistry.eu/news Key drivers: renewable energy & hydrogen production Artificial photosynthesis as future technology Political framework & visions

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

19


Polyurethanes / Elastomers

Bio-succinic acid: A frontrunner for high-performance biobased polyurethanes and beyond Biobased polyurethanes (PU) and packaging are increasingly being used for consumer goods and becoming more common in stores and supermarkets. Following this trend, the platform chemicals required to manufacture sustainable biomaterials are also becoming more readily available. Biosuccinium®, the renewable bio-succinic acid produced by Dutch biotech company Reverdia (Geleen), continues to demonstrate strong opportunities for polyurethanes and bioplastic products. These modern materials offer enhanced performance for footwear, the automotive industry and other market sectors. VAUDE (Tettnang, Germany), a manufacturer of innovative outdoor products, is already benefiting from the winning footprint of bio-succinic acid. The company recently announced that it will reduce its dependency on oil by replacing conventional materials with those derived from Biosuccinium.

Sustainable footwear with benefits As a near drop-in for adipic acid, bio-succinic acid can be used to produce biobased polyester polyols, which have been well received in the footwear industry. Vaude’s new Skarvan range of trekking shoes will use Biosucciniumbased thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) in its shoe toe caps and heel counters. It is the first time the brand will use a biobased TPU in its shoes and the range will be available to consumers in spring 2018. This is a clear example of how biobased chemicals can help producers meet growing customer demands for more sustainable products. Vaude is committed to minimising the environmental footprint of its products while not compromising on high-end design and sturdy quality. The brand has previously demonstrated this by being the first outdoor company to be certified under the EU’s Ecomanagement and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Reverdia views the growing trend of biobased consumer goods as a positive sign of things to come. High-performance biobased footwear on store shelves is just one example. In 2017, it showcased a range of cutting-edge Biosuccinium-based polyurethanes at PSE Europe in Munich, Germany.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

These PU prototypes could be used across markets. They have a significantly reduced environmental footprint due to the renewable raw materials used and the sustainable technology which produces the biobased chemicals. Biobased content reached 60 % in some samples. The biomaterials can be used for applications such as industrial components (cast PU), artificial leather (PU dispersion), footwear products including sole plates (TPU) for soccer boots and trainers for other field sports, as well as casual shoe soles (microcellular PU). In China, Reverdia and Dezhou Xinhuarun Technology (Xinhuarun) have signed an agreement to jointly develop and promote microcellular PU foams. Xinhuarun’s products are exported across Asia, America, Europe and the Middle East. The manufacturer will work exclusively with Reverdia, using Biosuccinium in its shoe soles and will expand the partnership towards development and commercialisation of other sustainable polymers with excellent functionality and best-in-class eco-footprint.

One step beyond! It is not only footwear products which can benefit from switching to bio-succinic acid. Biosuccinium-based materials could also offer enhanced performance for the automotive and aircraft industries. Flexible PU foams with various densities have been synthesised by partially replacing traditional polyols with Biosuccinium-based polyols. Recently in Italy, the Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (Naples), the Institute for Macromolecular Studies (Milan) and Adler Plastic (Ottaviano) published studies showing bio-succinic acid-based flex foam with improved mechanical and acoustic performance. Amongst those benefits are a positive effect on the foams’ compressive performance and their increased sound absorption level. With these benefits, the foams made with bio-succinic acid could be considered as potential substitutes to reduce vibrations and noise pollution and consequently increase comfort. Bio-succinic acid-running shoes pair grey green


Polyurethanes / Elastomers By:

Bio-succinic acid-Microcellular PU collage

An unrelated agreement between Reverdia and Covestro was announced in 2015 to jointly develop and promote TPU based on renewable raw materials. Covestro will use Biosuccinium in the production of its TPU Desmopan®-brand for a variety of applications beyond footwear, such as apparel and consumer electronics. Beyond biobased PU, bio-succinic acid is also enabling leading developments in plastic packaging and resins.

Developments in sustainable packaging Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is one of the newest biopolymers under development for numerous applications worldwide. Biosuccinium can be used to create PBS for plastics and packaging. Traditionally, PBS is based on petrochemical succinic acid and 1,4 butanediol (1,4 BDO). Petro-based PBS is already biodegradable. However, Biosuccinium can boost PBS’s biobased content, making it even more sustainable. PBS has a range of interesting properties including flexibility and heat resistance. The material can be used as a matrix polymer or as a modifier to be combined with another chemical such as polylactic acid (PLA). PBS offers opportunities for a wide range of applications like food packaging, coffee cups, paper lamination, agricultural mulch films, non woven, electrics and electronics, and automotive interiors. In order to further broaden the application scope for PBS, Reverdia operates a joint development programme with Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research on biobased PBS compounds for injection moulding. The research pays close attention to the longevity, appearance and processing

Lawrence Theunissen Global Director Application Development Reverdia, Geleen, The Netherlands

characteristics. Plastic product manufacturers will also play a key role in the testing process in order to validate these new compounds for reusable horticultural crates and rigid food packaging with hinges. The final biomaterials are predicted to demonstrate an improved carbon footprint in comparison to the polypropylene typically used for these applications.

Bio-succinic acid for resins Paint and coating manufacturers can increase the biobased content of their resins by using Biosuccinium. Solvents and coalescing agents based on bio-succinic acid also allow for reduced levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their formulations, addressing continuously stricter government and industry regulations. Investment in superior biobased resins is growing, as is the demand for more sustainable products across the value chain. Biosuccinium is a near drop-in for adipic and phthalic acids and has applications in a wide range of products. Product finishes, special purpose coatings and structural materials are just a few examples. Alkyd paints which use bio-succinic acid are already on the market. Mäder (Lille, France), the leading producer of paints and coatings, recently launched a range of biobased paints using Biosuccinium under the CAMI brand. The CADÉLI range includes two EU Ecolabel-certified products with extra functionalities: anti-microbial interior paint and depolluting (anti-formaldehyde) interior paint. Both of the paints are 98 % biobased and use a combination of Biosuccinium and Roquette’s POLYSORB isosorbide. The formulation allows for specific physical properties, such as hardness and scratch resistance.

Bio-succinic acid-Reverdia & Wageningen UR have developed durable PBS based on Biosuccinium. Picture courtesy of RPC Promens

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

21


Polyurethanes / Elastomers Innovative biomaterials

Going the distance

Reverdia has been enabling innovative biobased materials since 2010. A joint venture between Royal DSM, the Dutch global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company and Roquette Frères, the French global starch and starchderivatives company, Reverdia was created to produce and commercialise bio-succinic acid, marketed under the brand name Biosuccinium.

Whether for footwear, furnishings, packaging or paint, industry leadership is crucial for biobased plastic to compete with traditional petro-based products. New materials must be competitive and provide enhanced product specifications while also delivering sustainability advantages. Many modern materials derived from bio-succinic acid can outperform petro-based equivalents. With further incentives and industry buy-in, they can provide a significant impact.

Having opened the world’s first dedicated, commercialscale biorefinery for the production of renewable succinic acid in 2012, Reverdia supplies worldwide. Its production plant in Italy continues to use a patented fermentation technology with a best-in-class environmental footprint.

This is why Reverdia works with brand owners and manufacturers towards truly sustainable products. It will keep building on its partnerships to co-develop innovative high-performance solutions throughout the value chain. Brand owners, original equipment manufacturers and chemical companies are becoming increasingly aware of Biosuccinium’s potential to unlock and mainstream sustainable products.

Biosuccinium is a biobased alternative to traditional diacids used in the production of plastics and other materials. Thanks to its biobased content and Reverdia’s game-changing technology, bio-succinic acid has a carbon footprint which is half that of petro-based succinic acid and up to 90% lower than adipic acid.

www.reverdia.com

SEEING POLYMERS WITH DIFFERENT EYES... Silica/silane reaction mechanism

ws: Intervie

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New biobased lactide polyester polyols

By: Bill Coggio Application and Technology Development Manager Performance Chemicals Division NatureWorks, Minnetonka, USA

NatureWorks Introduces new Vercet biobased lactide polyester polyols as reactive intermediates for urethane adhesives and coatings

N

atureWorks (Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA), known for its broad portfolio of renewably-sourced PLA polymers under the Ingeo™ brand, recently formed a Performance Chemicals Division to supply lactides, polyols, binder resins, and chemical intermediates to companies that manufacture coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, toners, and fine chemicals products. Vercet™ is the brand name of the company’s new tunable platform of lactide-based chemistries. Vercet polyols are customizable and provide excellent hardness, solvent resistance, and low color in polyurethanes. Alkyd resins for coatings made using Vercet lactides can significantly reduce resin viscosity enabling low volatile organic compound (VOC) formulations for solvent-borne alkyd coatings for wood and metal. Furthermore, these alkyd coatings exhibit excellent adhesion and show improved abrasion and impact resistance. Solvent-borne coatings and hot melt adhesives utilizing Vercet intermediate resins have a tunable work life and viscosity range with excellent adhesion to metal and plastics.

High bio-content reactive intermediates for polyurethane adhesives and coatings

these new chemistries will be easily substituted for non-biobased intermediates. They can also be made into isocyanate prepolymers to facilitate formulation flexibility for use in 1K and 2K reactive thermoset urethane systems. In reactive hot melt adhesives, Vercet polyols offer excellent adhesion and are tuned to improve green strength shortening component assembly in applications involving wood or plastic products. Vercet polyurethane systems for both coatings and adhesives exhibit superior oil resistance, modulus, adhesion, and gloss compared to a non-biobased control polyester. Vercet polyurethane coatings on metal and plastic demonstrated excellent adhesion even when used with no adhesion promoter and thus offer formulators the potential to simplify formulations and reduce system costs. Since NatureWorks uses biobased feedstocks to produce the Vercet lactides, polyols, and resins the company does not have the price volatility and supply chain pinch points of traditional coating www.vercet.natureworksllc.com and adhesive components. Fig 1: Vercet lactide-based polyurethanes show notable resistance to hydrocarbon oil, vegetable oil, and hexane, a common non-polar organic solvent. 10%

Vercet polyols are easily customized to control key properties that impact performance in polyurethanes. Controlled Vercet product properties include hydroxyl functionality, viscosity, glass transition temperature (Tg), compatibility, and solubility. Vercet polyols are easily converted into urethane thermoplastics via a direct reaction with an isocyanate and chain extender, which means

8% 6% 4%

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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Polyurethanes/Elastomers

Injection molders who have made bioplastics work Summary Bioplastics have a problematic reputation among injection molders because running them in the past has been - in some cases - both cumbersome and expensive. However, many modern bioplastics do not exhibit the troubling qualities of their predecessors and can now run through the injection molding process similarly to traditional petroleum-based plastics. The author spoke with four injection molders in North America who have successfully worked with bioplastics to gauge their thoughts on the material’s performance.

How has the relationship between injection molders and bioplastics changed? Injection molders have had issues with bioplastics in the past because certain materials were expensive and not compatible with existing equipment. These issues forced injection molders at times to purchase new equipment and even make fundamental and expensive changes to their processes. As a result, bioplastics now have a problematic reputation among injection molders, who are wary of using them in their facilities. However, bioplastics have since evolved and most of them can now seamlessly replace certain traditional petroleumbased plastics. The four interviewed injection molders provided valuable and promising insights on what working with bioplastics entails. Although each had technical issues at the initial stages, they were eventually able to run the materials successfully in their respective facilities. Matt Poischbeg, an injection molder at Sea-Lect Design (Everett, Washington, USA), was enthusiastic about experimenting with different bioplastics due to the possible competitive advantages they could offer to customers. He found out about Green Dot Bioplastics five years ago at an outdoor retailer expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Poischbeg said the company caught his attention because he “…was amazed that they had a flexible compostable plastic.” He had heard of compostable biodegradable plastics but had never seen elastomeric materials. Poischbeg experimented with the flexible compostable plastic material for kayak manufacturers but had to forgo the project due to a lack of demand. However, he successfully developed a compostable luggage tags for Pearl Jam with Green Dot Bioplastic’s Terratek Flex (a biodegradable elastomer) and Terratek BD (a biodegradable bioplastic) and is eager to continue experimenting with different materials. Poischbeg’s enthusiasm parallels the prediction made by the European Bioplastics Association (source: Plastics Today) that biobased and biodegradable plastics will see an increase in global demand.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

Should injection molders experiment with bioplastics? While it is understandable why companies want to stick with established plastic materials, experimenting with new ones can be rewarding. Hal Alameddine, the President of Pike’s Peak Plastics (Colorado Springs,Colorado, USA), successfully worked with a Terratek Biocomposite composed of bio-based polyethylene derived from sugarcane and corncob fibers to develop Eco-Rigs for Begin Again Toys, which was licensed by John Deere. Alameddine said, “It’s a good material to run. We didn’t feel that we needed to make major adjustments to our current process with respect to running standard polyethylene. This one was a little trickier because of the addition of the corncob into it. But in general, I would say it ran as well as any other material.” Initial challenges are not uncommon. Reed Hardgrave, an injection molder at Ferguson Production (McPherson, Kansas, USA), initially experienced some difficulty with bioplastic resins expressing desirable end properties. However, he eventually found success with a wood plastic composite used to mold toys, replicating the aesthetics of wood.

Technical considerations Injection molders who are apprehensive about the compatibility of bioplastics with existing equipment can be confident that most modern materials don’t require any inconvenient specifications. Kevin Godsey, an injection molder at Mid-Continent Tool and Molding, Inc. (North Kansas City, Missouri, USA), made compostable dog-waste dispensers with a starch-based elastomer. He emphasized that although a lower temperature profile was required for the heatsensitive elastomers, the adjustments weren’t beyond standard protocol. In fact, cycle times fell within the norm and even the drying times, which have been a pain point for injection molders, weren’t an inconvenience since he only had to account for surface moisture. Despite having initial challenges, Godsey stated that the material was still “moldable and very user friendly.”

What are some of the benefits of working with bioplastics? Based off of the experiences of the injection molders the author spoke with, it is clear that the right bioplastic can be molded with minimal technical issues. Hence, it could be productive for injection molders to at least experiment with different bioplastic resins so they can determine for themselves if the materials are in fact user friendly.


Polyurethanes/Elastomers

By: Kevin Ireland Communications Manager Green Dot Bioplastics Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, USA

Injection molders should think about experimenting and potentially working with bioplastics because: ƒƒ Most modern bioplastics can be seamlessly incorporated into the injection molding process and no additional equipment is needed to accommodate the materials. ƒƒ They could diversify options for their customers, especially since Grand View Research (San Francisco, California, USA) found that bioplastics are projected to control 5 % market share of the plastics industry by 2020. ƒƒ Bioplastics provide customers with unique advertising opportunities since many materials offer unique performance properties and – in addition – sustainability advantages.

Small learning curve Although most bioplastics are compatible with existing molding equipment and processes, injection molders still need to experiment with different materials to figure out technical details such as cycle and drying times. Of course, this means the initial stages won’t be perfect. However, each of the interviewed injection molders emphasized that the learning curve was not steep and that they were ultimately able to run the materials with minimal hitches. For example, Godsey noted that scrap rates were somewhat high at the initial stages but quickly got them back within a standard ratio. When we asked Hardgrave if he had issues integrating bioplastics into his current operation, he noted that “venting is a big one. If [bioplastics] don’t vent, plating can become blackened.” Ultimately, Hardgrave was able to overcome his venting challenge and made accommodations for it whenever he was working with bioplastics. Injection molders can now confidently experiment and eventually work with many different bioplastics and many are optimistic about the demand of the materials in the coming years. www.greendotbioplastics.com

Photo: Courtesy BeginAgain

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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Polyurethanes / Elastomers Fig. 1: Getting a grip: The new copolymer Septon Bio from Kuraray displays high grip and non-slip properties on wet and dry surfaces.

Sugar for extra grip Kuraray unveils biobased elastomer Septon Bio

www.kuraray.eu

Sugarcane Fig. 3: Renewable raw materials: The biological component of the new copolymer Septon Bio – beta-farnesene from Amyris – is produced from sugar sources such as sugarcane.

 - Farnesene Active site

PSt

More Flexible, More Elastic and Easier to Process than HSBC

26

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

SEPTON Bio-series (HSFC)

350% 300% 250% 200% 150% 100% 50%

Coefficient of static friction (Wet)

0% Coefficient of static friction (Dry)

ƒƒ Septon Bio can be released easily and without residues – ideal for use in protective films.

SEPTON Bio-series (HSFC)

Rebound resilience

ƒƒ Septon Bio is extra-elastic and features low tensile strength. In addition, it has an extremely low compression set and thus deforms very little even after long-term exposure to compression. This makes the copolymer highly compatible with such processes as melt-spinning for nonwoven fabrics and extrusion for elastic films.

PSt

400%

MFR

ƒƒ Septon Bio facilitates outstanding grip in wet and dry conditions. This makes the copolymer an excellent choice for sports and household articles, footwear and industrial applications.

Poly ( - Farnesene)

Fig. 4: Versatile: Septon Bio, the new bio-based styrene farnesene block copolymer (HSFC) from Kuraray, has numerous advantages over conventional styrene block copolymers (HSBC), such as very low compression set and low rigidity.

Hardness

Thanks to its characteristic structure, HSFC has unique properties and hence distinct advantages over conventional hydrogenated styrene block copolymers (HSBC). HSFC Septon Bio has a lower viscosity than conventional styrene block copolymers and at the same time a high loss factor (tan delta) over a large temperature range. Septon Bio therefore shows much better flow behavior than comparable copolymers. In addition, Septon Bio has very good adhesive properties, again over a broad temperature range. The new copolymer is thus easy to process and suitable for numerous applications in a wide-range of sectors.

Fig. 2: Sticking tight: Septon Bio, the new bio-based copolymer from Kuraray, has very good adhesive properties and is therefore ideal for adhesives and composites.

Thanks to its extensive positive characteristics, Septon Bio can be used in a large variety of areas, such as in adhesives and composites, sealants, gels, foams, films, fibers and nonwoven fabrics as well as in applications calling for high grip. MT

Compression Set @ RT

Kuraray has developed the new Septon Bio TPE in cooperation with US bio-science company Amyris. The copolymer is based on beta-farnesene, a renewable monomer from Amyris derived from biological raw materials. “During fermentation, special strains of yeast convert sources of sugar such as sugarcane into betafarnesene,” explains Jan-Sebastian Weber, Marketing and Sales Manager at Kuraray. “The hydrogenated styrene farnesene block copolymer (HSFC) is then produced from the beta-farnesene.” After polymerization, the farnesene has a special chemical structure.

ƒƒ At the same time, HSFC Septon Bio is much less rigid than HSBC polymers. Consequently, less plasticizer is necessary in the processing of Septon Bio. This prevents oil migrating to the product surface (oil bleeding). The original rigidity and non-slip properties of products containing Septon Bio are retained in the long term.

Permanent Set

Cycle handlebar grips have to provide a firm handhold, nonwoven fabrics have to be elastic, and sports shoes have to be effective in absorbing impact. Special thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) make these properties possible. They are put to use in a variety of applications such as fibers, composite materials and coatings and have to be highly elastic, and tear- and heatresistant. International specialty chemicals manufacturer Kuraray has developed its Septon TPE series for this purpose. The hydrogenated styrene di- and triblock copolymers with their high flowability are easy to process and highly elastic and are used as the basic polymers for a broad variety of products and for polymer modification. Kuraray is now presenting Septon Bio, a TPE that is bio-based while exhibiting the wide-ranging benefits of the Septon series.

ƒƒ Its particularly high damping effect is exhibited over a broad temperature range. This makes Septon Bio the ideal raw material for products in which sound or vibration absorption is important, such as in sports shoes.

Elongation

K

uraray Europe (Hattersheim, Germany) is unveiling SeptonTM Bio, its new bio-based thermoplastic elastomer. The hydrogenated styrene farnesene block copolymer (HSFC) is the outcome of collaboration between specialty chemicals producer Kuraray and bio-science company Amyris (Emeryville, California, USA). Septon Bio can be used in a multitude of applications, needs only small quantities of plasticizer, and is particularly easy to process thanks to its special properties.


Processing

Optimize processability of bioplastics

W

orking closely with sustainability partner, Dynisco, (Franklin, Massachusetts, USA,) Glycon Corp. (Tecumseh, Michigan, USA,) has incorporated Dynisco’s breakthrough technology in analytical instrumentation known as the Dynisco ViscoIndicator Online Rheometer into their screw design protocol. The ViscoIndicator provides continuous measurements of melt flow rates, apparent viscosity or intrinsic viscosity directly on the Glycon lab extruder. Dynisco aims to provide a window into the process for processors of all sizes in order to simplify rheology and improve quality and profitability. Glycon is maximizing this information by utilizing it in their screw design protocol to determine the best type of screw to run any bioplastic, composite, or blend of materials, as well as to determine the specific geometry and flight configuration of the feedscrew. Glycon has been designing feedscrews for the plastics processing industry for over 40 years. Whether the process is extrusion, injection molding or blow molding, the feedscrew design has a major effect on the quality and quantity of the end product being produced.

As more bioplastics that have a favorable impact on the environment are introduced, key factors in their acceptability by manufacturers will be cost and processability. With accurate rheological data on the material, whether it be virgin material in pellet form, a blend of virgin or re-grind, a composite of plant based and recycled or even recovered ocean plastics, accurate rheological data, combined with Glycon’s experience and state-of-the-art instrumentation in their Innovation Lab, will provide the critical link to maximize output rates, provide a homogeneous mix and deliver a high quality melt on the new polymers being introduced.

Protocol for developing Bio-Screw® designs 1. Obtain and review material data sheets. 2. Analyze and determine material form and bulk density. 3. Establish processing goals and objectives. - desired output rate - discharge pressure - discharge melt temperature 4. Select processing conditions based on processing goals. - screw speeds - feeding rate- barrel temperatures 5. Select screw type and geometry. - conventionally flighted metering screw - barrier screw - distributive mix/melt screw - grooved or smooth feed - mixers required 6. Run material(s) monitoring: - temperature - pressure - apparent/intrinsic viscosity - melt flow rate - shear rate - viscosity at different shear rates - shear sensitivity 7. If more than one material is tested, run a comparative analysis. 8. Optimize performance: - adjust temperature profile - adjust head pressure - adjust screw speed - change/modify feedscrew 9. Prepare a detailed report on the test including: - number of trials - temperatures and screw speeds - horsepower - lb or kg/hr/rpm - torque - energy consumption - melt quality 10. Generate a screw design recommendation. The Innovation Lab, equipped with Dynisco’s ViscoIndicator, gives Glycon state-of-the-art capability specifically targeted at sustainable materials and the circular economy. With live streaming available, material tests can be viewed around the globe in real time. MT www.glycon.com

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

27


Material News

New water soluble film

A

s a result of its customer focused research and development, Mondi’s technical films business has created and introduced a water soluble film for the smart and convenient packing and dosing of powders, tabs and granulates. Dissolving completely in water, the film is ideal for single doses of dry materials, such as dishwasher and laundry tabs or bath salts. The water soluble film is an example how customers benefit from Mondi’s synergized research and development strategies having its core competencies in areas such as plastic films, packaging, paper and coating brought together under one roof. The film offers excellent sealing and deep drawing properties, provides an effective barrier to oxygen and is completely soluble even in cold water. Consumers are also protected from direct contact with the contents, which adds an extra layer of safety. Customers can bolster their sustainable credentials too, through the environmental benefits water soluble films provide compared to standard plastic films. In addition to reducing overall packaging waste, the films are also considered to be biodegradable, non-toxic and non-inhibitory. Oliver Sperber, Chief Innovation Officer at Mondi Consumer Packaging (Gronau, Germany), comments: “Mondi’s water soluble film provides several layers of benefits for both brands and their customers alike. Our committed application engineers are able to customise the film according to customers’ specific needs, in addition to providing all of the necessary on-site support required to successfully launch a product using this material. Mondi’s pedigree as a packaging provider, with a broad portfolio across many industries, means new product possibilities are being presented on an ongoing basis. Interplay between central and local R&D and Innovation teams, in partnership with our customers even on-site if required, is key to this.” One such collaboration relates to flow pack film tabs for dishwashing applications. Through a collaborative effort between the customer and Mondi’s R&D and Innovation teams, packaging innovation is brought to the next level. This is made possible through specialist teams combining market-specific knowledge and their ability to develop the ideas that result from this process, coupled with the fact that on-site support can be provided from conception through to completion of a project. While Mondi’s water soluble films are particularly suited to the home and personal care market, a number of applications in other sectors are continuing to emerge. Agrochemical packaging, for fertilizer, sowing and disinfectants, for example, is a major area of interest, as is the building and construction sector – where the films can be used as liner for bags in the cement industry. MT www.mondigroup.com

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

Mondi’s water-soluble film offers a smart, convenient and biodegradable solution for packing and dosing household products and industrial chemicals.


Tel: (852) 2811 8897 (Hong Kong)

Email: chinaplas.PR@adsale.com.hk

Adsale Plastics Website: www.AdsaleCPRJ.com

Adsale Group: www.adsale.com.hk bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

29


Materials

Biobased adhesives: Requirements and perspective By: Horst Beck and Andreas Taden Henkel - Adhesive Research / Bio-Renewables Platform Düsseldorf, Germany

B

iobased adhesives literally constitute an ancient material class. Already 200.000 years ago Neanderthals identified birch pitch as valuable adhesive material, which can be obtained from the bark via pyrolysis under the absence of oxygen – a non-obvious and quite sophisticated technological process [1]. Being liquid at higher temperatures it solidifies under ambient conditions and was eventually used throughout the ages (stone and metal ages) as hotmelt glue to fasten arrowheads or metal tools onto wooden shafts (Figure 1).

30

the regained focus on biobased adhesives can only be put into perspective and justified considering a larger context of requirements in our modern world. Furthermore the current regulations and trends in chemistry, like costintensive registration of new chemicals (REACH, TSCA, etc.) or the anticipated long-term price stability of crude oil, are opposing to ongoing biobased research efforts. Additional issues are insecure availability and potential food to fuel dilemma of biorenewables.

In the more recent Sumerian and Egyptian history animal-based proteins – especially animal skin, blood (Albumin), fish glues from air bladders and casein from milk – and starch-based binders appeared as the first truly industrial adhesives produced on larger scale. However, during the 20th century biobased adhesives lost their predominant importance, which is closely related to the scientific progress in synthetic polymer chemistry and the development of phenolic resins, epoxides, acrylics, polyurethanes, silicones, etc. Numerous fossil-based high performance adhesives, typically designed and optimized for one specific application with an individual set of requirements, eventually replaced most biobased systems. Apart from pure performance considerations the steadier and hence more calculable raw material quality and cost of supply of synthetic fossil-based compounds did foster this development over the last decades. On the contrary, recent progress in biotechnology enables the green production of bio-renewable platform chemicals and specific design of functional proteins & peptides, which is expected to significantly impact adhesive development and create numerous new possibilities and applications. In this context this contribution aims to discuss the requirements and perspective of biobased adhesives in our modern world.

Initially the drop-in approach, which simply involves the one-to-one replacement of petro-based molecules with otherwise chemically identical biobased substances, was seen as fast track methodology towards a more sustainable value chain. Unfortunately significant market shares were never achieved, mainly due to higher cost levels [2]. Two further aspects have to be considered in this context: 1.) In order to make a meaningful market claim, the composition of the complete formulation should be close to 100 % biobased content. 2.) The customer awareness for biobased adhesives is relatively low, especially when the adhesive remains a rather invisible part of the finished product, like in cars, handheld devices, etc. An additional hurdle for biobased adhesives is the relatively small market size and the different technological requirements compared to plastics, which leads many bio-related companies to focus on high molecular weight polymers as thermoplastic materials for construction, transportation or packaging. In contrast to that adhesive formulations are typically based on low molecular weight (reactive) precursors which are liquid or enable a low melt viscosity as starting point for the consecutive setting process (curing reaction). As a consequence the availability of biobased raw materials which are suited or even especially designed for adhesives so far remains limited.

Hurdles and drivers

Performance as key contribution

Recently biobased adhesives regained a lot of attention. As most obvious driver increased sustainability might appear, i.e. the content of renewable carbon. However, this one-dimensional perspective has too many shortcomings and cannot substitute a comprehensive life cycle analysis survey. Renewable carbon content is not interchangeable with reduced carbon dioxide footprint, and neither are biobased components necessarily biodegradable materials or less dangerous in terms of safety & health. With respect to the above mentioned advantages of synthetic adhesives,

In some niche areas bio-polymer adhesives escaped their replacement by petro-based materials because of a very good fit to the requirements, selected examples include starches as adhesive in the manufacturing of corrugated paper boards, cellulose- and starch ethers for wallpaper glues or rheology modifiers in cement-based formulations and casein as bottle-labelling adhesive with fast setting behavior even on wet and cold bottles. It seems that within this complex framework of requirements and constraints (see “hurdles and drivers”) the terms for the development

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12


Materials

Figure 1: Arrowhead mounted onto a wooden shaft supported by birch pitch as “Neanderthal hotmelt adhesive”. This biobased glue was used throughout the ages for ca. 200.000 years. The picture shows is a replica made by Henkel Adhesive Research

of new biobased adhesives are surprisingly clear – simple drop-in alternatives cannot prevail, and the key to success can only be significantly increased performance benefits originating from novel low to medium molecular weight species. Unfortunately, as stressed out above and closing the loop to the introduction, most biobased adhesives became substituted due to a lack of performance compared to synthetic polymer systems. However, the amazing ability of Mother Nature to undergo strong and sometimes highly specific bonding under ambient conditions was not recognized and valued adequately, mainly due to the absence of modern analytical capabilities. Furthermore, industrial or so-called white biotechnology was basically unknown for the synthesis of biobased platform chemicals. Today more attention is paid to safety, health and environment (SHE), e.g. reduction or elimination of undesired volatile organic compounds (VOC) like organic solvents or residual monomers, and adhesive performance becomes evaluated in a more comprehensive manner, including sustainability and life circle analysis supplementing the well-established purely application dependent technical specifications. In order to achieve new performance levels in the various dimensions interdisciplinary thinking is required, which lead to the employment of biotechnological synthesis methods for novel raw materials, the development of hybrid systems and biomimetic binders. As will be explained the unique synthesis and interaction capabilities found in nature enable new-to-the-word systems with unprecedented property combinations. In the following selected examples will be briefly introduced.

Novel platform chemicals via biotechnology Biotechnology is known to humankind for thousands of years, but only in the late 20th and early 21st centuries it developed in a thriving discipline with previously unmatched synthetic possibilities supported by genomics and recombinant gene design. White biotechnology works by engineering living cells into micro-factories that — by using sugars, starches or even lignocellulosic-based biomass as a feedstock rather than traditional petrochemicals — produce valuable products via fermentation that can function as stand-alone products (e.g. enzymes, fuels) or serve as platform chemicals for further downstream processing.

In 2004 the DOE (US Department of Energy) [3] published an overview about so-called platform chemicals based on the vision of an expert panel. This vision identified already a detailed view how those platform chemicals could be transferred via a complete value chain to end (consumer) products. Recently the European Commission published a report which provides an assessment of the technology development status and market size for the most important platform chemicals, which consists mainly – but not exclusively – out of hydroxyl- or carboxylicfunctionalized molecules [4]. Typical examples are bioderived 1,4-butanediol (BDO), succinic acid, adipic acid or 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). The progress in this new area of biotechnological derived raw materials is very dynamic and especially the development and upscaling of further downstream derivatives is an ongoing process. Consequently certain biobased platform chemicals with high potential for adhesive applications and/or polymer chemistry in general are not yet available on a commercial scale. Furthermore the value proposition for each of these components can be quite different, ranging from predominately cost-driven considerations (e.g. for BDO or succinic adid, which are at least cost-competitive compared to their petrol-based analogues) to unique chemical and/ or physical characteristics. Following the scope of this contribution, trans-β-farnesene belongs to the latter category and is particularly interesting for adhesive applications [5]. It´s a branched chain alkene which shall be exemplary discussed as modem biotechnological platform chemical with no identical fossil based substitute and hence new-to-the-world performance characteristics. Farnesene can be used as fragrance, cosmetic emollient or fuel, and with respect to polymers and adhesives it´s particularly valuable due to its similar reactivity compared to (gaseous) butadiene, which constitutes the main raw material for synthetic rubber. However, due to its higher molecular weight Farnesene is a liquid monomer, which substantially simplifies the rubber polymerization process and the related reactor design. Farnesene can be polymerized via free racial, cationic or anionic pathways — the latter process enables highly defined bottle-brush Poly(trans-β-farnesene) polyols. This particular backbone structure provides low tendency for entanglements and hence drastically altered viscoelastic properties, i.e. greatly reduced viscosity compared to polybutadiene systems of similar molecular weight [7]. Polyfarnesene

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Materials polyols therefore offer novel opportunities in polyurethane chemistry, e.g. high performing liquid applied optical clear adhesives (LOCA) as important technology enabler for handheld devices, optical displays, lightning applications, etc.

Biconjugates/ biomimetic systems Apart from the synthesis of novel platform chemicals modern biotechnology is well known for the production of proteins and peptides with tailored amino acid sequence. Astonishing properties, like extreme selectivity (chemical site-recognition), stimuli-responsiveness or catalytic reactivity, can be obtained and explained by their complex hierarchical structure. The industrially most proliferated examples are enzymes, e.g. certain proteases that serve as key performance ingredients for detergents and cleaners, which are produced on large industrial scale. Furthermore so-called “adhesive peptides”, characterized either by almost universally strong interaction or — quite contrary — highly substrate-specific binding interaction, have been recently identified [7]. Consequently, our current research aims to utilize adhesive peptides as advanced adhesion promoters for the development of 1.) high-performing universal glues for a large variety of substrates, ranging from metals, ceramics to low-energy plastic surfaces and 2.) highly substrate selective, selfdifferentiating adhesives, that for example will only interact with one special metal alloy while neglecting other metal compositions. Despite of significant research efforts over the last decades such adhesion characteristics are so far unknown and can be seen as an emerging area of materials science. Over the last few years, bioconjugates (apart from other biomimetic systems) gained increased interest as novel class of macromolecules and advanced approach of joining specific and outstanding biological interaction capabilities with well-established polymeric advantages (processability, high strength, flexibility, chemical resistance, hydrolytic stability, scale-up, costs, etc.). Certain bioconjugation techniques are already wellknown, like PEGylating peptide or protein drugs to improve stability, solubility and immunogenicity. However, apart from life science the concept of bioconjugation has not yet developed into a mature technology with significant commercial success. Despite the prospects of innovative materials with disruptive performance characteristics and hence tremendous market differentiation intense research efforts are still required to understand and adjust the complex interactions of the individual segments. Last but not least highly efficient, selective, facile and scalable synthesis procedures are required to reduce the associated costs of bioconjugation for industrial applications like coatings, adhesives and sealants. In summary, novel advanced biobased adhesives with unique property combinations are an emerging technology with tremendous potential for future applications. Although technologically visionary they their development follows scientifically sound and clear targets. The overall requirements and perspective is likely to accompany numerous researchers over many years to follow, maybe even for generations, but shows in an impressive manner the way forward and technological possibilities of biobased adhesives in our modern world. www.henkel.com

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References [1] P. Kozowyk, M. Soressi, D. Pomstra, G. Langejans. „Experimental methods for the Palaeolithic dry distillation of birch bark: implications for the origin and development of Neandertal adhesive technology.“ Scientific Reports, 2017: 8033. [2]M. Carus, Nova-Institut. „Biobased Building Blocks and Polymers.“ Biobased Materials Cologne. Cologne, 2017. [3] T. Werpy, G. Petersen. Top value added Chemicals from Biomass. 2004. http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_ reports/PNNL-14808.pdf. [4] E4Tech, RE-CORD, WUR. „From the sugar platform to biofuels and biochemicals .“ Final report for the European Commission, 2015. [5] C. Halfmann, L. Gu, W. Gibbons, R. Zhou. „Genetically engineering cyanobacteria to convert CO2, water, and light into the long-chain hydrocarbon farnesene.“ Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Volume 98, Issue 23, 2014: 9869. [6] T. Yoo, S. K. Henning. „SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF FARNESENE-BASED POLYMERS.“ Rubber Chemistry and Technology, Volume 90, No. 2, 2017: 308. [7] A. Taden, B. Veith, R. Breves, I. Schmidt, T. Weber. „Peptide that can be used in coating agents, adhesion promoters or adhesives for oxidic surfaces.“ EP2917740 B1, 4. Jan 2017.


machined. melted. extruded. welded. compounded. blow molded. injection molded. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got it covered. casted. fabricated. foamed. thermoformed. rotation molded. vacuum formed. cooled. heated. sealed. Innovation. Technology. Sustainability. From equipment and trends to the people advancing thermoset. plastics manufacturing, NPE2018: The Plastics Show has it covered. Be there to discover new ways to packaged. maximize efficiency, advance your operations and achieve success. transported. consumed. REGISTER TODAY AT NPE.ORG recycled. MAY 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11, 2018 | ORL ANDO, FL , USA

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From Science & Research

PEF: an alternative with a future

W

ithin the European project EnzOx2 (New enzymatic oxidation/oxyfunctionalization technologies for added value bio-based products. BBI JU, European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme), research is being conducted on the development of new biochemical technologies based on the use of oxidative enzymes with the aim of providing innovative solutions in the production of some high added-value compounds from biomass compounds. This project has a huge interest, since the use of this kind of enzymes is practically unexplored at industrial level. The obtaining of these products entails different oxidation and oxyfunctionalization reactions catalysed by different types of fungal oxidoreductases (such as oxidases and peroxygenases). In this context, EnzOx2 plans to develop a 100 % enzymatic conversion of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) or 5-methoxymethylfurfural (MMF) into diformylfuran and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a plastic building-block to be used in substitution of terephthalic acid. Moreover, another research line of this project will focus on optimizing the selective hydroxylation of plant lipids (such as fatty acids, terpenes and steroids) with the aim of producing flavour and fragrance ingredients, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

Figure 2: Technology used by Avantium [1]

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Therefore, one of the working lines which AIMPLAS is working in is related to the synthesis of derivates of polyethylene furanoate (PEF). In order to carry out the polymerization of this family of compounds, one of the monomers derived from the biomass, in particular FDCA will be employed. These new bioplastics, derived from PEF, have many advantages and they could be good candidates for the replacement of fossil-based polymers, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (figure 1). Some of the advantages of this type of biopolymer in comparison with PET are: ƒƒ PEF has a 50 % lower carbon footprint compared to PET. ƒƒ PEF has oxygen permeability values, carbon dioxide and water better than the values of PET. ƒƒ When compared to the properties of PET, its polymer has a lower melting temperature, while the glass transition temperature is higher. ƒƒ PEF can be processed in the same way and with the same equipment as PET. ƒƒ Its recycling process is the same as for PET.


Think Sustainable

From Science & Research

M·VERA

®

Bioplastics

By: Alba Ortiz Researcher, Chemical Laboratory AIMPLAS, Valencia, Spain

With our M·VERA® range of biobased and biodegradable plastics (certified to EN 13432), we provide you with customised solutions for your application:

Since 2005, the company Avantium has developed a patented technology (YXY technology) to produce bio-based polymers: PEF from different sources, such as plants, grain, lignocellulose (wood) and even wastes like paper or agricultural residues.

• Film Such as shopping bags, fruit and vegetable bags or agricultural films

The main advantages of the EnzOx2 biochemical technology (which uses oxidases and/or peroxygenases) for producing PEF are the following:

• Injection Moulding Such as packaging, coffee capsules, cutlery and others

ƒƒ The reaction conditions for obtaining this compound are softer, which entails an important decrease in the manufacturing costs. ƒƒ Due to the high selectivity of the biochemical technology used, the number of byproducts, such as monofunctional monomers, is diminished.

• Color, Carbon Black and Additive Masterbatches Our team of highly experienced plastic specialists is pleased to help you – contact us!

ƒƒ AIMPLAS will develop the synthesis of compounds derived from PEF, so the influence of these modifications in the final properties could be assessed (figure 3). For that reason, during the three years duration of the EnzOx2 project, twelve participants from five European countries will work on the production of high added-value products from plant biomass using enzymatic technologies. References: [1] www.avantium.com/yxy/yxy-technology/ www.enzox2.eu

Figure 1: PEF vs PET

O O

O

O

O n

polyethylene furanoate (PEF)

Figure 3: PEF derivatives obtained by AIMPLAS within the European project EnzOx2

O

O O

O

n

polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

O

O O

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mO PEF analogues

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BIO-FED Branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH BioCampus Cologne · Nattermannallee 1 50829 Cologne · Germany Phone: +49 221 88 88 94-00 Fax: +49 221 88 88 94-99 info@bio-fed.com www.bio-fed.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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News From Science & Research

Aconitic acid as a building block Scientists at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) from Graz, Austria, succeeded in using the mold Aspergillus niger to produce aconitic acid – a new raw material and important building block (with three carboxylic acid groups) for the production of non-toxic bioplastics. Thereby, acib sets a further, important step in the manufacturing process of chemical compounds from renewable resources to end our dependence on fossil resources for the well-being of our planet. The most amazing innovations are still coming from mother nature: For example, molds are chemical specialists who can produce a number of products by fermentation from renewable raw materials, e.g. antibiotics, additives for detergents or acidulants for the food industry. They are very important for the industry, since - for more than 50 years - molds have been the main production vehicle of citric acid, which in its quantity is a prominent product for all kinds of applications. Therefore, acib scientists questioned if the black fungi can do even more than they would have expected.

Old fungus, new tricks

A further step for bio-based products So far, aconitic acid – which got its name by the eponymous plant Aconitum napellus – was isolated as a by-product of sugar-beet. In very small quantities it also occurs as part of the metabolism in the cells of every living organism, including humans. There, it allows the conversion of sugars and fats into energy. Thanks to this new production method, aconitic acid will be of particular interest and entails great potential for the chemical industry. “Esters of aconitic acid can e.g. serve as building blocks for the production of biopolymers and therefore have the ability to replace mineral oil based polymers. Furthermore, they are suitable as a non-toxic alternative for plasticizers, for the use as a wetting agent or as precursor for other chemicals”, explains Diethard Mattanovich, BOKU-professor and acib-key-researcher. It will take a few more years until the process will be ready for an industrial implementation. Nevertheless, the acid is attributed with great potential. Mattanovich: “This is an important milestone for the renewable production of chemical products in tomorrow’s bioeconomy in order to end the dependence on fossil fuels. MT www.acib.at

In cooperation with the Dutch University of Leiden, scientists at acib found a way to modify this fungus to produce another organic acid, namely aconitic acid. “We discovered a protein of another fungus, which is able to transport aconitic acid out from the mitochondria, the power house of the cell”, explains acib researcher and project manager Matthias Steiger. After insertion of this protein, Aspergillus niger produces the biochemical for the first time in a controlled bioprocess. The research results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal “Metabolic Engineering”.

Flexible barrier film

Biodegradable flexible multilayer structures for medium-barrier food packaging The RECUBIO project, led by Plásticos Romero, Molina de Segura, Spain, has enabled the development medium-barrier biodegradable PLA-based packages for the food sector from complex structures. The manufacturer of blown film collaborated with AIMPLAS, a Plastics Technology Centre located in Valencia, Spain, on a project aimed at the production of sustainable packaging from complex structures. This project, called Recubio, ran for a period of 18 months and was funded by Spanish National Program for R&D Activities, CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial). Multilayer packaging offers a host of advantages in terms of mechanical properties, sealability, gas barrier properties, as well as the packaging process, from which the packaged products benefit. In 2015, more than 440,000 tonnes of flexible plastic packages were used in Spain, according to the Spanish Statistical Office, the equivalent of a turnover of about one million euros. The problem is that this complex film is obtained by means of lamination processes with adhesives of different plastic films, so it is a mixture of materials with different

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origin, which is virtually impossible to recycle. Fortunately, over the past several years, interest in biodegradable materials in the packaging sector has grown. These materials can provide an alternative and sustainable end of life. Within the scope of the Recubio project, Plásticos Romero, worked to develop a sustainable alternative which is technically feasible and to find a solution for the current main limitation of biodegradable materials: the oxygen and water vapour barrier properties. In the Recubio project, a coating technology was applied to address this issue. A coating was applied to a biodegradable film to give it the required barrier properties. The final complex structure formed by this coated film that, was subsequently laminated with a three-layer structure providing rigidity and sealability to the final packaging, as well as protection to the barrier coating. The result is a complex final structure suitable for food packaging requiring medium barrier properties, such as bakery, fresh or frozen products. MT www.aimplas.es | www.plasticosromero.com


News From Science & Research

Application News

From municipal waste

Electric scooter from

to bioplastics

biobased materials

The recently launched European URBIOFIN BBI-project will focus on converting the organic fraction of municipal solid waste on a semi-industrial scale. The project, that looks into the techno-economic and environmental feasibility will create chemical building blocks, biopolymers and/or additives using the biorefinery concept urban biorefinery. Ultimately, URBIOFIN offers a new feasible and more sustainable scenario alternative to the current treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research focuses on two specific topics in this project: the production of medium-chain length fatty acids and derived PHAs via microbial fermentation, and the scale-up, efficient extraction and novel commercial applications of these bioplastics. As a building block for high quality products, sustainable fatty acids have interesting market applications says Hans Mooibroek, project manager at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. “‘In this project we are focusing on the conversion of fatty acids to PHAs. A key advantage of these microbial plastics is that they are produced from renewable resources and are completely bio-degradable. Our specific objective is to produce so-called medium chain length PHAs (mclPHAs), which are suitable for high value applications such as biodegradable agricultural plastics or biomaterials for the cosmetics industry.”

Two-step fermentation process The production of PHAs occurs in stages, Mooibroek explains: “In the first step, we use short chain fatty acids from solid biomass and employ our intricate knowledge on fermentation technology. We put a yeast to work that converts the carbohydrates into longer chain fatty acids. We have a considerable track record on mcl-fatty acid production and mcl PHA-production using the yeast Cryptococcus curvatus and the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida respectively. Both organisms grow well on a variety of agricultural side streams. In the URBIOFIN project both fermentation processes will be combined to produce mcl-PHAs efficiently.”

Transferring knowledge to commercial partners URBIOFIN is a typical BBI demonstration project, Mooibroek explains: “We carry the technology that we develop in our lab on to partners who want to apply the process on an industrial scale. Together with our research partner AINIA from Valencia, which produces short chain fatty acids and PHAs from waste, we have recently visited another Spanish partner IRIAF/ Clamber (providing upscaling services especially for research demo projects) to make sure that they have the knowledge and facilities for scaling up the fermentation and downstream processes.” Bringing the various PHAs to market is the task of commercial partners Stéfany Emballages Services (SES, France, packaging materials) and NaturePlast (France, supporting bioplastics applications development).

Sustainable mobility has been given a shot in the arm with the introduction of the Be.e. The Be.e is the first electric scooter that was designed, developed and manufactured, with structural parts made from biocomposites. The scooter was introduced in Amsterdam on September 12. And it has more going for it than its sustainability credentials alone: developed in collaboration with design studio Waarmakers, much time and creativity also went into its look& feel. The result is an alluring two-wheeler with distinctive lines and character, with attention for details such as handstitched saddles, available in vinyl or leather; or the integrated generously-sized windscreen, impregnated with a nano coating for outstanding wet-weather vision. The wide tires provide good grip and stability on uneven ground; LED lights, indicators and side running lights make sure you can see and be seen at all times. The Be.e has a body made of biocomposite, in this case, hemp fibres from Groningen in the norther part of the Netherlands in a matrix of partly biobased structure that at the same time is designed to perform. The drive train is top of the bill. The scooter features a 4kW motor (highest in its class) and a 2.5kWh Li-ion battery that comes with a 4 year or 1000 cycle guarantee, ensuring long range with more power and torque. The on-board charger completely recharges the battery in just 4 hours; topping up in between is no problem. Range anxiety is a thing of the past: the display accurately shows the distance that can be travelled on the current battery charge. The Be.e also has a reverse gear, making it easy to manoeuvre under difficult conditions. The development of the Be.e was made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015. Angel investors and the first launching customers provided an extra boost in realizing the first 8 Be.e scooters. These will be delivered and on the road in just a few weeks. MT ww.vaneko.com

The 16 project partners in URBIOFIN are located in eight European countries, with Spanish engineering company IMECAL coordinating the project. MT www.wur.eu/fermentationtechnology

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Application AutomotiveNews

Brazilian sugar now packaged in sugar-based Bio-PE Braskem’s Green Plastic will be used for the first time in packages of refined sugar in Brazil. Pioneering this use is Caravelas Sugar, one of the country’s most important companies in this segment. The Caravelas brand consumes 140 tonnes of packaging per month and is the first and, so far. the only one in the segment to have sugarcane in its production cycle from start to finish. Consumers will be able to identify the new packaging through the I’m green seal, visible on the product front, which is Braskem’s identifying mark for packaging made with Green Plastic. “Sustainability is an essential pillar in our company, especially due to the production process of our product, whereas innovation and pioneering are directly linked to the positioning of our brand: In Favor of Tasting What Is New. In this sense, Green Plastic is an important initiative that can effectively respond to all these demands, bringing important innovation to the entire segment”, says Javel Colombo, commercial director for the Colombo Plant, Caravelas Sugar’s producer.

tions for its customers and improving people’s lives through chemistry and plastic. “There is a growing concern of companies in the adoption of innovative solutions with a lower environmental impact. Green Plastic is the material that fits the attributes that Caravelas seeks for its products: innovation and respect for the environment”, says Gustavo Sergi, Director of Renewable Chemicals at Braskem. Braskem’s Green Plastic is 100 % recyclable, captures and fixes 3.09 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere for each ton of resin of renewable origin produced, collaborating to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. The product also has the same characteristics of traditional polyethylene and can be recycled in the already existing chain. MT www.braskem.com

The new packaging is produced by Zaraplast, the leader in flexible packaging solutions, longtime partner of Caravelas. “As suppliers of flexible packaging 50 years ago, we have noticed that every day consumers are looking for products that offer more sustainable solutions; and managing to combine Braskem’s renewable raw material, our transformation expertise and Caravelas product was rewarding”, said Eli Kattan, director of Zaraplast. For Braskem, which constantly monitors the market, the launch is aligned with the company’s goal of finding solu-

Hot beverage cups Synbra Technology, Etten-Leur, The Netherlands, recently introduced a high heat biobased and biodegradable alternative for hot beverage cups and hot food packaging. In Asia for example hot noodle dishes are often served in foamed plastic bowls, even from vending machines. Synbra Technology has developed and patented a process to make such beverage cups and bowls using BioFoam®, their PLA particle foam that can be processed on modified existing EPS moulding equipment. Thus this new cup and bowl application is an addition to the already established market of ice cream packaging and white goods production. The coffee and hot beverage and noodle cups that are heat resistant, yet biodegradable and can now be produced CO2 neutral. “Even after 48 hours the cups don’t not leak any coffee, which is surpassing the industry standard,” as Jan Noordegraaf, Managing Director of Synbra Technology points out. A myriad of bans loom for not using polystyrene for using beverages packaging. Polystyrene particle foam is the most used material to make drinking cups, and despite its good recyclability it is getting under pressure. In Malaysia all EPS and plastic foam packs are banned and there is a demand for biodegradable alternatives. In the state of California, a new bill aims to ban Styrofoam throughout the state for applications such as disposable foodservice cups, plates, and containers. This new development opens up a market for alternatives for compostable disposables. MT www.synbra-technology.nl

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Application Automotive News

Barrier lidding Italian flexible packaging converter, Corapack (Brenna, Italy), has used Futamura’s renewable and compostable NatureFlex™ cellulose films for compostable lidding for trays. The lidding material is a proven compostable structure that is an ideal alternative to conventional plastics that often end up in landfill. To supply the best technical solution and functionality the high barrier NatureFlex film is laminated to an internal sealing bio-polymer so that the final structure, certified compostable, can be heat sealed to compostable base trays made from bio-polymers or wood pulp. NatureFlex films are produced from sustainable wood pulp harvested from managed plantations and are certified to both EU (EN13432) and US (ASTM D6400) composting standards. In addition to industrial composting, the product has reached the standard required for home composting. NatureFlex provides high barrier to moisture, aroma and gasses, has excellent transparency and high gloss; making it an ideal solution for a compostable lidding structure. Giorgio Berton, Futamura’s Italian regional sales manager, said: “This application is another great example of a successful collaboration where renewable and compostable NatureFlex films have been selected as a real alternative to conventional plastics; this means the brand owner can be happy that they are providing an environmen environmentally responsible solution without compromising on functionality”. MT www.futamuragroup.com

Men’s skincare in Green PE tubes RPC M&H Plastics and Bulldog Skincare for Men have joined forces once again for Bulldog’s new line of skincare packaging, with a sustainable twist. The first men’s skincare brand in the world to use Braskem’s sugarcane based Green PE™ as a raw material, Bulldog have chosen to go green with their updated flexible tube line up, which features Moisturisers, Face Washes and Face Scrubs, with multiple variations of each product focusing on different skin types which includes sensitive skin, mature skin and oily skin. Simon Duffy, founder of Bulldog Skincare For Men says: “Bulldog is proud to be the first men’s skincare brand in the world to use plastic from sugarcane in our packaging. We have always tried to make the most ethical and sustainable decisions we can, from never testing on animals, to never using microbeads to making all our products suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Plastic from Sugar Cane is the latest step in this approach and we are delighted to have worked with M&H Plastics to turn Green PE into something we can use in the tubes and caps of our packaging.”MT www.rpc-group.com

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Application News

Bioplastic housing for

Horticultural pots

grain mill Until recently, the housings of the high-quality corundumceramic stone grinders of Wolfgang Mock (Darmstadt, Germany) were made of wood. Mock grinders make up about 70 % of all household mills sold and place the company prominently among European market leaders. The newest Mockmills come dressed in a Tecnaro housing, as announced in a recent press release dressed up in flowery words. Two models are encased in a stylish housing made of Tecnaro’s ARBOBLEND®. Wolfgang Mock points out: “We have never used housing made of petroleum-based plastics for our mills.” It would not have suited the company philosophy. Now, the use of Tecnaro’s moulded wood also makes it easier to produce larger quantities of mills. The injection molding process allows for more streamlined, hence economical and faster production. This is how the Darmstadt-based family-run company is approaching the market, and the high-quality mills have received a warm welcome in markets across Europe and in the USA. The new Wolfgang Mock GmbH has the ambition to far exceed the 15,000 mills sold in one of the best years by his earlier company KoMo GmbH. And Wolfgang Mock is confident when he considers his decision to base his latest mills on the cooperation with Tecnaro. MT www.tecnaro.de | www.wolfgangmock.com

Using biopolymers for horticultural applications is something that makes eminent sense. At least, Growfun thinks so. Netherlands-based Growfun produces biodegradable horticultural pots from starchbased bio-based resin produced by Rodenburg Biopolymers in Oosterhout. Offering a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels, the company uses starch obtained from waste from the potato industry. According to Jan Blankestijn, managing director of Grofun, the company chose to collaborate with Rodenburg Biopolymers because of their expertise in that specific development area. “Based on their know-how, and in close collaboration with them we can develop a specific and high-quality product,” he said. Growfun is a flexible and innovative company that cooperates with customers and partners working with high-quality plastic products. The company invests considerable time and money in R & D, and, together with the University of Wageningen explores new technologies that they can apply to themes such as the circular economy. “Innovation plays a major role in both technology and design at Growfun, but only by investing continuously therein can we serve our customers quickly, expertly and professionally.” Growfun’s customers are national and international growers, exporters and retailers who demand a flexible, responsive supplier, for whom quality is an absolute given. MT www.growfun.nl

Soybean oil enhances tire performance The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Acron, Ohio, USA) is harvesting some unique seeds of innovation as it introduces a new tire technology with support from the United Soybean Board (USB). The first commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound is helping Goodyear enhance tire performance in dry, wet and winter conditions. A Goodyear team of scientists and engineers created a tread compound, or formulation, using soybean oil, which is naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable. “Goodyear’s legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science. By employing soybean oil in tires, Goodyear found a new way to help keep the rubber compound pliable in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing the vehicle’s grip on the road surface. Goodyear’s tests have shown rubber made with soybean oil mixes more easily in the silicareinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tires. This also improves manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption. Goodyear cooperated on the project with the USB, a group of farmer-directors who oversee the investments of a checkoff program on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. The USB provided some funding support for the development of Goodyear’s soybean oil application in tires. The commercialization of soybean oil in tires as the latest technology breakthrough by Goodyear builds on the company’s other recent innovations, such as the use of silica derived from rice husk ash. MT

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www.goodyear.com


Application News

Compostable meat tray for organic meat In collaboration with Promessa (Deventer, The Netherlands) several members of the supermarket chain SuperUnie (including Coop and Poiesz) as well as EkoPlaza will switch to completely compostable and renewable meat trays by Bio4Pack to package organic meat. The tray, transparent film, label and absorption pad will all be biobased and compostable according to EN 134342, as well as indistinguishable from traditional meat packaging. “This is the first meat tray in the entire world which is completely compostable in accordance with the strict EN-13432 norm,” says Patrick Gerritsen from Bio4Pack. “Therefore, the tray may be labelled with the Seedling logo and can be thrown in the bin for organic waste after use. The tray and film are made of PLA, which is made from sugar cane. The impact of these trays on the environment is considerably less than traditional trays, as the resources are renewable. This means that no fossil resources are used at all. The absorption pad is made of cellulose and the Bio4Life label, including glue and ink, is completely compostable as well.”

quite a challenge. PLA is more fragile than other types of plastic, which means you have to add approved impact additives to the mix. In addition, the material must have good barrier properties and the packaging should be able to be mechanically processed with ease. However, the green colour was the biggest hurdle,” according to Patrick Gerritsen. An added benefit for retailers is that they will have to pay virtually no packaging tax for them. MT www.bio4pack.com

Bio4Pack started development of this organic tray back in 2006, and managed to keep its costs only a fraction higher than those of a traditional plastic tray. “It was

Organic soil conditioner bags The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken another step to protect the environment in Montgomery County (Maryland, USA) . DEP will partner with Braskem’s I’m Green polyethylene (PE) and ProAmpac’s Trinity Packaging Division to provide packaging for Leafgro®, which is the County’s composted soil enrichment product. The new wrapping is a sustainable resource made from sugarcane. “I have made the commitment to improving the County’s environment a priority for my administration,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “Adopting this more environmentallyresponsible packaging product reflects this commitment, as well demonstrating the County’s embrace of the Governor’s Sustainable Materials Management Policy, which seeks ‘an updated and more holistic materials management approach… to ensure continuous environmental improvement. I commend the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Solid Waste Services for their leadership in achieving this important accomplishment.”MT www2.montgomerycountymd.gov

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Application News

New TAPP water filter to be made from biodegradable PLA water in the shower. Following the success of both products, TAPP Water launched TAPP 2, a new version of its flagship product with a more elegant design and new features – a Bluetooth sensor - in October 2017. “Integrated in the TAPP 2 is the first 100 % biodegradable filter on the market – globally,” said Magnus. Why a Bluetooth sensor? “Because, if people can follow the status of the filter on their phones, they become more engaged, and the impact is bigger,” Magnus pointed out. The sensor provides realtime data to a mobile device to track water consumption and battery life. The filter can calculate the consumption of water in real time and send an alert when the cartridge needs changing. “After the shelf life, about 3 months in an average household, the cartridge can be deposited in the recycling container of organic matter, without contaminating the environment with any kind of plastic waste,” he said.

C

omplaints about the taste of tap water have fuelled the trend for consuming bottled water instead, leading in turn to the massive accumulation of waste plastic bottles. Now, a Barcelona company is combatting the problem at the source: the water tap at home. “I come from Sweden, and was used to drinking water from the tap that tasted good,” said Magnus Jern, founding partner of TAPP Water. “When I moved to Barcelona, I found that the water had an odour and tasted like chlorine. Instead of switching to bottled water, I decided it was time to do something about it.”

Together with four other partners, he first extensively researched and analysed the situation, and found that only 60 % of the population consume tap water in the Mediterranean corridor of Spain, especially in Barcelona. For two years, they also studied filtration technologies, consulting with experts in the field of water, from private companies, universities and water quality institutes. They also discovered that a good filter could eliminate the unpleasant taste and remove microplastics and the heavy metals leaching from old pipes – and TAPP Water was born. After testing more than 50 different filters and technologies, and conducting blind tests with hundreds of people, as well as installation tests and analysis of water institutes to ensure that filters have the highest quality standards, a new filtering system was developed that that is being touted as “revolutionary technology.” “What we discovered was that not much technological progress had been made over the last 30 years or so,” said Magnus. Mostly, activated carbon and carbon blocks were still being used. In June 2016, the company launched its first filtration product, TAPP 1, designed in Barcelona and manufactured in Taiwan. Six months later, the company went one step further and released TAPP 1s, the perfect solution for filtering the

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The organic coconut fibre filter integrated into TAPP 2 eliminates the bad taste and odour of water, as well as chlorine, microplastics, agricultural chemicals, pesticides and other compounds that can remain in public water after sanitation, respecting those components that are beneficial to the body, such as magnesium or iron. Magnus said that TAPP Water managed to help consumers avoid purchasing 75,000 bottles of plastic waste in 2016. “Our aim is to raise this figure to 10 million plastic bottles by the end of 2017, the equivalent of 50 football fields filled with 1.5-liter bottles.” In addition to a thinner design, TAPP 2 is an improvement on its predecessor TAPP 1 as itadds a Bluetooth sensor BLE 4.0, which provides real-time data to a mobile device to track water consumption and battery life. The filter can calculate the consumption of water in real time and send a warning when it is necessary to change the cartridge. After the shelf life, about 3 months in an average household, the cartridge can be deposited in the recycling container of organic matter, without contaminating the environment with any kind of plastic waste. And the system saves money: “In Spain, the average price of bottled water per litre is around € 0.30, compared to the € 0.0023 that costs one litre of tap water in a city like London. Thus, filtered tap water is up to 130 times cheaper than bottled water.” And the latest news? “We are raising money via a crowdfunding campaign to launch a TAPP Water filter made of a specially formulated biodegradable, home compostable PLA, replacing the ABS it is now made of. So, we are an environmentally responsible product made of environmentally responsible material.” MT www.tappwater.co www.tappwater.co/crowdfunding


Application News

New milestone in biodegradability of coffee capsules Italy-based API, specialized in the production of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics and acquired by global materials company Trinseo in July 2017, has announced it has broadened its portfolio of Apinat bioplastic materials for single-serve coffee capsules. In response to a growing consumer demand for compostable coffee capsules, API has now launched various new grades of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics, including thermoplastic elastomers TPE-E and TPC. Apinat bioplastics offer excellent mechanical and thermal characteristics during the brewing process and can easily substitute conventional plastics. The new grades are suitable both for injection moulding and continuous compression moulding.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly solutions for their coffee machines,” said Aldo Zanetti, Business Unit Manager, API. “This innovation around APINAT Bioplastics reinforces API’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, offering coffee in compostable coffee capsules.” In 2016 alone, the industry still produced more than 35 billion non-recyclable plastic coffee capsules worldwide. Experts expect an increase of 17 billion plastic capsules by the end of 2020. MT www.APIplastic.com

| www.trinseo.com/API-Plastic.

The new Apinat grades boast a renewable content of 60 % up to over 90 % and comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration and EU food contact regulations. The products are also in conformity with the biodegradability standards of the European Bioplastics Association and the scientifically recognized standards for the biodegradability and compostability of plastic products (EU 13432/EN 14995 and US ASTM D6400 standards).

Introducing Sprig farm trucks Lightweight yet durable these chunky outdoor trucks are ready to roll for miles of adventures. These rugged preschool trucks are perfect for the backyard, beach, or living room and are made from plants instead of oil based plastic. The toys feature a new bio-plastic derived from sugar cane and upcycled corn cobs. These trucks are made from plants grown on farms. They even smell like toasted corn, yep toasted corn. The toys are made in Fort Collins, Colorado (USA) in collaboration with farmers, scientists, engineers, and US factories. However, the trucks and other toys are not available yet, as it is still a kickstarter project. If you want to support the idea, you can do so until December 16. Visit the kickstarter page via the link below. MT tinyurl.com/sprigbioplastic

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Applications Automotive

Hot compost bin Figure 1: Current hot bin and new stackable design for the hot bin.

T

he hot compost bin was originally pioneered by DS Smith in the UK. It is made of EPP, a sturdy and insulating material that works much better than the poorly insulating PE used for conventional, rotomoulded bins. In cooperation with DS Smith, the Netherlands-based Synprodo, a subsidiary of Synbra Group has now introduced this hot bin concept to the continental European market. The aim is to realise the production of the hot bin in Europe, the USA, Japan and China, working with selected partners, who sign a franchise contract.

Figure 2: Foam cup (with paperclip) in a PE net, after 3 weeks was found to be totally composted.

The initial tests showed that the hot bin is ideal for disposing of cups and packaging made of BioFoam® (cups cf. Application News p 38). BioFoam is certified according to the industrial composting standard EN 13432 and does not break down at room temperature. Yet in a hot bin, it was found to compost extremely fast. Cups were put in a PE net, to enable these to be identified, and added to an active and fully functioning hot bin, in which the temperature reached 60-70 °C due to the excellent insulating properties of the bin. Within three weeks, all the BioFoam cups were composted (see fig. 2). A Greeny ice cream container made of BioFoam was shown to have degraded in the same time, as well. BioFoam was not the only material that was found to compost. Thermoformed PLA parts made of NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ 2003, as well as of Luminy® LX175 from TotalCorbion and BioFlex® 1130 from FKUR, all composted within three weeks. This shows that the composting as an end of life option can be accelerated for many bioplastics and that industrially compostable bioplastics have the potential to become home compostable with a simple device. As a result, bioplastics packaging waste does not have to leave the premises and will not mix with conventional plastics. An internet shippable stackable bin has been produced by Synprodo since the end of 2017 and can be tailor made in larger dimensions to suit the needs of sport clubs, canteens or schools, mixing food waste with bioplastics. Sport clubs or schools can convert their entire canteen waste stream to only using bioplastics. MT www.synbra-technology.nl

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Applications

Race Tesla with bio-composites Electric GT and Bcomp reveal lightweight renewable natural fibre composite body panels and tease “secret weapon” LED display

E

lectric GT (headquartered at Circuit Pau-Arnos, France), has announced its unique partnership with Swiss company Bcomp - manufacturers of high-performance lightweight composite materials to replace some traditional carbon fibre panels in the Electric GT racing car. Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland) has developed a proprietary high-performance lightweight material for the automotive industry, producing high-performance, cost-efficient materials that can replace or reinforce carbon fibre and other engineering materials, and cut up to 40 % weight with maintained performance.

Its powerRibs®- and ampliTex® reinforcement fabrics have first been used within Bcomp’s initial Sports & Leisure markets, and can typically be found in products such as skis, snowboards, surfboards, canoes and guitars. In addition, the company has collaborated with the European Space Agency ESA on the development of lightweight space applications for several years. Working with Electric GT, Bcomp has also teased a revolutionary LED system within the natural fibres which can create a display for live data and telemetry on the outer body of the racing car. Bcomp revealed the new technology at the Electric GT headquarters at Circuit Pau-Arnos, where EGT’s sustainable credentials are put into action from the ground up, creating an incubator for technology and clean energy. Electric GT CEO Mark Gemmell said: “Not only do Bcomp’s revolutionary natural fibre panels give us increased performance in terms of damping and stiffness, Bcomp have also assisted us in achieving a 20 % weight saving compared

to the road-going production version of this car. That is quite staggering. “In addition to the performance characteristics these materials offer, we are also working with Bcomp to develop our secret weapon - bespoke LED arrays within the fibre composite panels, so that the cars will have the capability to display key information to the watching crowd and viewers at home. “From race numbers to race telemetry, energy levels and even biometric feedback from the drivers, the possibilities are endless and this is just the start of how we bring fans to the heart of the racing action.” Christian Fischer, CEO at Bcomp said: “At Bcomp, we’re really excited about the global shift towards clean, sustainable mobility. Our goal is to contribute with our lightweight, highperformance renewable materials, and EGT offers the perfect platform to show to the world how the future mobility will look. “When you meet like-minded people, things can go really fast. Just like us, Electric GT wants to explore the new opportunities of technology and push boundaries, which is how the idea of integrating LED arrays into our translucent body panels was born.” “From our first contact with Mark and his colleagues at Electric GT, it was clear that both teams wanted to create something entirely new and different, that would completely change the game plan for racing. We cannot wait to see where this partnership takes us.” MT www.electricgt.co | www.bcomp.ch

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Report

Product communication for bioplastics Uncharted territory and an adventure for the companies involved. Results of a study

“And the companies that bring the products to market are in for an adventure...” [1]. After making the decision to use bioplastics, companies are often faced with the question if and how this new material can be implemented in product communication, and yet there are presently almost no established methods of doing this. The feeling of adventure in the quote above expresses the uncertainty experienced by many companies, and interviews conducted in the Product Communication research project – being a part of the Junior Research Group at IfBB (Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites, Hanover, Germany) – confirm this. The underlying conditions for marketing products containing bioplastics were analyzed with the goal of developing effective communication strategies. 24 interviews were conducted in 2016 with 35 communication executives. The focus was placed on questions concerning the existing knowledge, requirements and reservations with respect to the use of bioplastics. The survey addressed companies that either produce or sell bioplastic products, as well as representatives from politics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the scientific community and relevant associations. The reasons for the interest in bioplastics are manifold and range from a desire for the use of sustainable materials to perceived pressure from business or the customer:

competition with food production were often mentioned as disadvantages:

“In our view, it is quite true that those materials should be preferred, which do not compete with land use. Thus, material out of waste would be our first choice” [4]. Nevertheless, biodegradability is an advantage if it fits the product properties and the application; however, disadvantages are presented by the fact that the disposal options are unclear; and that many technical difficulties still exist. Those interviewees indicated that the features and appearance of the products need to be emphasized:

“It really does make sense to find new materials with new qualities such as better barrier properties or, in the simplest case, an improved ability to be printed upon or molded. Add the aspect of their being biobased, and you have created a real business opportunity...” [5].

The fear of resource scarcity is also a common reason for choosing bioplastics.

When businesses gather information on this subject, they primarily use internal sources such as their suppliers, trade associations, their own departments, and scientific publications, while the communication goals vary according to the target group. These goals can be anything from informing and clarifying up to the generation of pull effects. The biggest challenge for communication is that this topic generally requires much explanation, especially regarding the disposal options. Communication activities should start in-house and must include both informing and training.

Bioplastics offer real advantages that can be conveyed in product communications. On the one hand, the interviewees acknowledged the positive aspects for the environment such as the reduction of both CO2 output and oil consumption:

Furthermore, the topic of bioplastics often meets with false expectations and prejudices and is sometimes perceived to lack in relevance [6]. A fear of criticism and association with greenwashing was noticeable:

“But we also see it as a marketing tool, we can’t do without it. That’s an issue. If we are asked about it, we have to have something to show.” [2].

“Yes, petroleum-free, 100 % from “You’re more aware of defensive issues, renewable resources and odorless, these because you definitely want to avoid being are the three main arguments” [3]. accused of greenwashing“ [7]. On the other hand, the higher costs, difficult cultivation conditions, technical limitations and public criticism of

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Report

This inhibits communication, but it also creates the incentive for companies to communicate more clearly. The results of the interviews show that green marketing is not necessarily advantageous for various reasons. The topic of bioplastics is too complex; and the potential pitfalls and challenges to communication efforts are too great. When bioplastics are mentioned at all, product communication should instead inform and explain the issue by being transparent. It should also address prejudices.

By:

In effective product communication, focus should be placed on the product: its quality, its properties, and its design. The material itself should be secondary, and for this reason, the properties of bioplastics should be represented as pleasant side-effects, not as a main feature. Potentially, this could lead to an increase in the perceived value of the product, but in order for this to come into effect, customers (end users, business customers, public authorities) will need some sort of confidence-building evidence in the form of certification or product labeling. The study results also indicate that there are still many challenges that communication cannot solve alone: For example, there is still a lack of uniform standards both on a national and on an EU level; the purchase prices are still high; production processes must be changed; and disposal infrastructures (composting, recycling) have to be expanded. In the case of small and medium-sized Enterprises, it makes sense to think about alliances to generate more market power and to carry out concerted marketing campaigns. With good products to build upon, communication will be able to effectively support the establishment process.

The research group FNG of the Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB) at University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover plans to introduce bioplastics products to the German market in cooperation with the business sector. Ecological and economic assessments and clarification of technical feasibility will also be carried out. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) under the sponsorship of the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR). More information about the Junior Research Group at IfBB can be found here: http://fng.ifbb-hannover.de All results of the research project will be available on the IfBB website starting middle of January 2018. www.ifbb-hannover.de

Miriam Jaspersen FNG II-Projekt Hochschule Hannover, Germany Wiebke Möhring FNG II-Projekt Technical University Dortmund, Germany

References [1] „Und das Abenteuer bestreiten halt die Firmen, die die Produkte auf den Markt bringen…” (interview partner 14, Applying company). [2] „Aber wir sehen das halt auch als Marketinginstrument, wir können nicht darauf verzichten, das ist ein Thema. Wenn wir darauf angesprochen werden, müssen wir so was haben“ (interview partner 14, applying company). [3]„Ja, erdölfrei, 100 % aus nachwachsenden Rohstoffen und geruchsneutral, das sind so die drei Hauptargumente“ (interview partner 18, applying company) [4] „Aus unserer Sicht ist es natürlich schon so, dass natürlich Ausgangsmaterialien, die jetzt vielleicht nicht so sehr auch in Konkurrenz zum Land-Use stehen, bevorzugt werden sollten. Also eben Material aus Abfällen wären für uns ... erste Wahl“ (interview partner 22, trade company). [5]„Sinn macht es wirklich, neue Materialien zu finden, die irgendwelche neuen Eigenschaften haben, zum Beispiel einfach bessere Barriereeigenschaften oder im einfachsten Fall lassen sie sich besser bedrucken oder verformen. Wenn dann noch die Biobasiertheit dazukommt, dann hat man einen wirklichen Mehrwert geschaffen für die Industrie...“ (interview partner 25, association). [6] Pls. see also results of the focus groups: a survey with a total of 48 consumers in the context of the FNG research project (2016): here: Webinar 3 (German language only, registration via e-mail is required) https://www.ifbb-hannover.de/de/webinare.html [7] „Man geht da mit dem Thema eher bewusst defensiv um, weil man halt definitiv vermeiden möchte, in diese Ecke geschmissen zu werden, dass man halt Greenwashing betrieben hat“ (interview partner 14, applying company).

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Basics

Blown Film Extrusion By Michael Thielen

B

lown Film Extrusion is an established process which is used to manufacture a wide range of thin commodity and specialized plastic films mainly for the packaging industry, but also for other sectors, such as for example mulch films for agricultural applications. Also known as Film Blowing Process, this extrusion process generally comprises the extrusion of a molten thermoplastic tube and its constant inflation to several times its initial diameter. This forms a thin, tubular product which may be used directly, or indirectly by slitting it to create a flat film.

Materials used In the process of Blown Film Extrusion, the common resins that are used are polyethylenes (LDPE, HDPE and LLDPE). However, various other materials, including many biobased and biodegradable plastics, can also be used in this process, as a blend with other resins or even as single layers or in multi-layer film structures. In few instances of multilayer production, when the individual materials are not able to gel together, a multi-layer film might delaminate. This can happen if polyethylene or polypropylene is combined with other thermoplastics. Hence, to overcome this issue, various tiny layers of special adhesive resins are used purposefully in between. These tiny layers are called tie layers.

Process of blown film extrusion The extrusion and subsequent tube-forming of the plastic melt is done via an annular slit die, generally vertically in the upward direction, for the formation of a thin walled melt tube. The introduction of air takes place through a hole in the die’s center for blowing up the tube just like a balloon. The cooling of the hot film is done by a high-speed air ring that blows onto it. This air ring is mounted above the die. Then the following procedures take place: The tube of the film continues its movement upwards (constantly cooling) until it is squeezed by two opposing flat surfaces (collapsing frame) to collapse the tube before it enters the primary nip rolls at the top of the tower structure. The now collapsed tube is transported on idler rolls down the tower by the secondary tension-controlled nip.

Advantages of blown film extrusion ƒƒ In a single operation, flat as well as gusseted tubing can be formed. ƒƒ Regulation of film thickness and width with the control of air volume in the bubble ƒƒ Capability of biaxial orientation, which allows uniformity in all the mechanical properties ƒƒ Very high productivity ƒƒ Allows combination of different materials as well as properties

Applications of blown film extrusion In this extrusion process, the blown film is used either in tube form (for plastic sacks and bags) or a sheet can be used by slitting the tube. Typical applications of the Blown Film Extrusion or Film Blowing includes following: industry packaging ƒƒ shrink film ƒƒ stretch film ƒƒ bag film ƒƒ container liners consumer packaging ƒƒ packaging film for frozen products ƒƒ shrink film for transport packaging ƒƒ food wrap film ƒƒ packaging bags ƒƒ form, fill and seal packaging film laminating film ƒƒ laminating of aluminium or paper used for packaging milk, coffee, and similar products agricultural film ƒƒ Mulch film ƒƒ greenhouse film ƒƒ crop forcing film ƒƒ silage film

On higher output lines, an exchange of air inside the bubble is necessary. This is called IBC (Internal Bubble Cooling).

ƒƒ silage stretch film

Finally, the collapsed tube is kept as it is or is slit into two individual sheets or webs. Then the film is wound onto cores to make film roll stock. The film can also be sent to an in-line sealing machine to make bags. This process can also be carried out off-line at a later stage.

Blown film extrusion of bioplastics

Depending on where the inflated melt-film starts to solidify (so-called frost line) a short neck process or – if the frost line lies rather high – a long neck process are being

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distinguished. As an example, PE-LD is usually run on in a short neck process, whereas PE-HD is preferably run on long neck equipment.

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films for packaging medical products [1, 2]

Most bioplastics can be run on conventional blown film extrusion equipment. However, due to their different flow behavior – just like changing any other polymer – most bioplastics need a new and exact adjustment of the extrusion dies, output speeds, temperatures etc. for the respective operating points.


Basics As an example, some particularities of BASF’s ecovio® blown film types (F and FS - grades) shall be mentioned here: The ecovio blown film grades can be run on conventional blown film extrusion lines in thicknesses ranging from usually 8 up to 250 μm (depending in the product type). All existing downstream equipment (winding-, printing-, cutting- and welding/sealing, bag-making equipment etc) can be used. Conventional spiral mandrel die heads of the latest generation can be used to process ecovio F and FS. The range of usable die gaps is rather wide. Existing metallocene‑ dies with gap widths of 1.2-1.8 mm can be used as well as die gaps as narrow as 0.8 mm. Ususally ecovio is being processed in a normal- (or short)-neck process (PE-LD). To a limited extent, it can also be run on existing PE-HD long neck equipment. The neck-length however, should be significantly shorter as for running PE-HD. Usual blow up ratios for ecovio are in the range of 1:2.5 up to 1:4 (e.g. mulch films). The ecovio F and FS grades are pre-compounded with a certain amount (1~2 %) of slip- and antiblock masterbatches to adapt sliding properties, avoid fold formation and reduce blocking of the film. However, additional adding of such additives may be advised. [3]

The 3-layer plant of the machine manufacturer Hosokawa Alpine. The picture shows the plant in the Augsburg test centre (Photo courtes Hosokawa-Alpine)

Sources: [1] www.industrialextrusionmachinery.com [2] www.kpfilms.com [3] BASF brochure “ecovio® Biologically degradable solutions for extrusion applications”

Nip Rolls Collapsing Frame

Stabilizing Cage Air Ring

Winder

Extruder

Die

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Report

Situation in France

T

wo years ago, France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth bill was voted into law by the National Assembly. This wide-reaching Act aims to provide effective tools to boost green growth, to reduce environmental impacts and is strongly committed to a circular economy transition. A key aspect of the law is to tackle unemployment through green growth by relocating industrial plants in territories. As biobased and biodegradable plastics are predicated on a systemic approach that starts from the soil and ends in the soil, they illustrate a concrete model of the French perspective on a circular economy focused on territories. The starch from which French bioplastics are made, indeed, comes from, potatoes and maize cultivated in French soil. Biorefineries and plastics converting companies can be integrated into local areas where bioplastics are produced. Club Bio-plastiques, the French representative of the bioplastics industry (from agro-resources to their final conversion) has been invited to work on the French Circular Economy roadmap which is scheduled for publication in March 2018.

Bioplastics in France: now & tomorrow Since January 1st 2017, thin-walled single-use plastics bags have been banned. The bags must be made from plastic with a minimum biobased content of 30 %, and be home compostable, compliant to the French home composting standard NFT 51 800. The minimally required biobased percentage will increase progressively to 60 % in 2025. Checkout carrier bags must now be reusable, which means they must be have a thickness > 50µm to be in compliance with the law. Nevertheless, many PE single-use bags can still be found at small city markets, although most supermarkets are now in conformity. Club Bio-plastiques continues to work on this issue with the Environment Ministry in order to meet the single-use plastic bags ban. The Ministry for Economic Affairs has commissioned a report about the environmental & economic benefits of this regulation that will be published in 2018.

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By: Marie Plancke Secrétaire Générale Club Bio-plastique Paris, France

Under the Energy Transition Act, a ban on disposable cups, glasses and plates not made of bioplastic will go into effect on January 1st 2020 . Although members of Club Bio-plastiques are very pleased and welcome this latest weapon in the fight against plastic pollution, they warned the Ministry and its representatives about the home composting obligation. Under the law, “cups, glasses and plates” must be made of bioplastic with a minimum biocontent of 50 % and home compostable (in compliance with the French standard), which leads to a technical issue for companies. Although industrial composting would not have been a problem, the industry has not yet been able to produce disposable plates, cups and glasses that are home compostable - in spite of massive R&D investments. The problem is the thickness. Manufacturers of these products do not expect to successfully produce home compostable serviceware before the year 2020. Another deadline will occur in 2025 with the generalization of source separation, the first step for the separate collection of biowaste, which could help towards achieving the targets of the Circular Economy Package (decrease of landfilling and so on). Indeed, by requiring source separation and organic waste valorization, the Act aims to enhance compost quality. The French Agency for the Environment (ADEME) published a best practices guide for biowaste collection last spring, highlighting the use of biodegradable bags in the process. The importance of organic waste collection, and role of biobased and biodegradable plastics in the model were emphasized in discussions during the Food & Farming General State led by the government. Invited to participate and to discuss on the bioeconomy and the Circular Economy, Club Bio-plastiques also called for a ban on oxofragmentable mulch films. These products are still used in France despite their environmental impact, and in spite of existing biodegradable mulch films solutions. www.bioplastiques.org


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Opinion

Position Paper: Plastic bags Background What do lettuce from the weekly market, a pack of headache pills, a DVD, a teddy bear and jeans have in common? At first glance, you would think: nothing. But a second look reveals: often when you buy them, all these items are put in a disposable polymer bag, better known as plastic bag. Statistically, 45 plastic bags per capita were used in Germany in 2016 [1]. In a city like Oberhausen with 210,000 citizens this amounts to a total of almost 10 million bags per year. While some of the plastic bags are reused several times after their initial use, for example as a means of transport or as a garbage bag, most of them directly end up in the mixed waste bin or, as it should be, are fed into recycling via the yellow bin, the German lightweight packaging collecting system. Especially so called hygiene bags with a wall thickness of less than 15 μm (0.015 mm), often used for fruit and vegetables bought at markets and grocery stores, are just used once. The amount of plastic litter in the oceans is still increasing – in total it is estimated to be 27-66,7 million tonnes [2] – and more and more pictures of starved birds and beached whales with their stomachs full of plastics fragments and bags instead of food are going around the world [3]. That is why plastics, especially in the form of plastic bags and packaging, are increasingly becoming a subject of harsh criticism. For many years, plastic bags have been one of

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the top 10 litter items found during beach clean-ups [4]. Several initiatives, like plastic-free shops [5] or plastic-free cities [6], aim at completely abandoning these products. In April 2016 the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Trade Association of Germany (HDE) signed a voluntary agreement to reduce the use of plastic bags by half in the next ten years. Therein, the participating companies commit themselves to charge their customers a reasonable fee for plastic bags from 1 July 2016 at the latest. Exceptions are only made for very light carrier bags with a wall thickness below 15 μm (i. e. hygiene bags) and freezer and long-life carrier bags with a wall thickness of more than 50 μm. The latter types had already mostly been charged for anyway. Many retailers have reacted and do not offer free bags anymore but charge a fee for plastic bags instead. Some even go a step further. The German food retailer REWE, for example, has completely stopped the sale of plastic bags since 1 June 2016 and nowadays offers alternatives made from cotton, jute or paper as well as reusable bags from recycled materials or cardboard boxes [7]. In September 2016 the German discounter Lidl also announced not to offer standard plastic bags any more starting in 2017 [8]. Today, one can find long-life carrier bags, cotton and paper bags as eco-friendly alternatives in their stores [9].


Opinion By: Jürgen Bertling, Stephan Kabasci Markus Hiebel, Leandra Harmann Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen, Germany

But how should the subject be evaluated from a scientific perspective? Experts from Fraunhofer UMSICHT have compiled the following facts and assessments.

Position of Fraunhofer UMSICHT 1. Similar to the criticized material polyvinyl chloride (PVC) the plastic bag has become a highly symbolic icon in environmental debates. It has been singled out from a variety of plastic products which have quite a similar relevance from an environmental perspective. Its importance regarding the quantitative environmental impact is frequently overrated and the complexity of the overall problem with polymers in the environment tends to be oversimplified. This makes an unbiased discussion based on facts difficult. 2. The mass fraction of plastic bags accounts for less than one percent of the total consumption of plastics. With 45 per capita and year the consumption of plastic bags in Germany is well below the EU average of 198 bags per capita and year. Nevertheless, there are countries such as Luxembourg and Ireland which show a significantly lower consumption [1, 10]. 3. Life cycle assessments (LCA) do not show specific advantages of paper and cotton bags over bags made from conventional plastics or bio-plastics. A multiple use of bags has positive effects on LCA results [11]. However, LCAs are quite limited in their informative value. For example, long

term necessary paradigm shifts (from fossil to renewable sources), the technical level of development of materials or products (learning curve of efficiency) or the impact of litter – including microplastics – in the environment are not or not sufficiently considered yet. 4. The utilization of biodegradable materials as alternative sources for plastic bags needs further investigation. It is known that not all biodegradable plastics degrade as quickly in different environmental compartments (e.g. on and in the soil, in fresh and sea water) as it is proven in standard laboratory tests. However, even a slower degradation – albeit lasting several years – would already improve the situation compared to the extremely long lasting standard plastics bags (mostly made out of the polyolefines PE or PP). Closer examinations of degradation mechanisms and kinetics in the environment as well as sociological studies dealing with the suspected rebound effect of increased littering of biodegradable bags into the environment are yet to be carried out. 5. Plastic bags made of polyethylene (PE) with catalytic additives which enhance oxidative fragmentation (so called oxo-degradables) are to be strictly rejected. They purposefully produce microplastics which can have severe consequences in the low trophic levels (plankton, bivalves, worms etc.) of the food chain (please see our position paper on microplastics for further information) [12].

Number of plastic bags used per capita in 2010 in the EU [13]

45040035030025020015010050-

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ia

-4 Re 21 p Gr . -2 97 ee Ro ce m an 269 ia -2 52 Ita ly -2 EU 0 27 4 Cy pr 198 us -1 4 UK 0 -1 Sp 37 ai n -1 M 33 al t Sw a ed 119 en Be lg 111 N i u et he m rl an 98 ds Fr an 81 c De e nm - 7 ar 9 Fi k 7 nl an 9 d Ge rm - 77 an yAu 71 Lu st ria xe m bo - 51 ur g Ire la 20 nd -1 8

0-

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

53


Opinion 6. Biobased polymers are an important strategic route since a path change away from fossil raw materials to renewable sources will be unavoidable in the long term. Regardless of biodegradation this route should be followed in any case. Another long-term option could be the material use of carbon dioxide using regenerative energies for its extraction. 7. Multiple uses and improved end-of-life management are necessary for all types of shop-ping bags. 8. A general ban on plastic bags is rather to be rejected. Instead, strategies should be pursued promoting careful and responsible use. These include, for example, measures of environmental education, deposit systems or fees for plastic bags in shops. The latter has al-ready been implemented successfully in Germany following the voluntary agreement of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Trade Association of Germany (HDE). 9. Furthermore, any means that facilitate plastic recycling, such as collecting systems, which facilitates an efficient separate collection, or an abandoning of multi-material systems, should be reasonably accompanied by political and regulatory measures. These facts and recommendations form the basis for technical and social innovations which are developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT.

Plastic bag consumption – examples from around the world The per capita consumption of plastic bags varies from country to country. In 2010 Bulgaria led the EU member states with 421 bags, followed by the Czech Republic (297), Greece (269), Ro-mania (252) and Italy (204). Germany already was at the lower end of the range with 71 bags per capita in 2010. According to most recent figures, it has reduced its consumption further down to 45 bags per capita per year [1]. Less plastic bags were only used in Luxemburg (20) and Ireland (18) – see the following figure. The low value for Ireland can be explained by a former introduction of a fee for plastic bags. Some non-European countries have already imposed complete bans. In Bangladesh plastic bags were first banned in the capital city of Dhaka in 2001 and subsequently prohibited throughout the country. The reason was that they were partly made responsible for blocking wastewater sys-tems leading to floodings in 1988 and 1998. In Morocco, plastic bags have been banned com-pletely since 1 July 2016. The country previously ranked second behind the USA with an annual consumption of 900 bags per capita and 26 billion in total. Ultrathin plastic bags are prohibited in China, Kenia, Rwanda and South Africa. In the city of San Francisco plastic bags also got banned. Furthermore, in China plastic bags are charged for, as well as in Washington D. C. and Los Angeles. Some further countries also consider implementing laws because farm animals have increasingly started to feed on plastic bags and as a consequence have suffered from health problems. Sources: [1, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18].

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

References: [1] GVM (2017): Ein Drittel weniger Kunststofftüten in Deutschland Presseinformation des Handelsverband Deutschland: Datengrundlage (GVM - Gesellschaft für Verpackungs-marktforschung). Last time checked: 2017, June 28. https://www.einzelhandel.de/index.php/ presse/aktuellemeldungen/item/127648-ein-drittel-wenigerkunststofft%C3%BCten-in-deutschland [2] Eunomia (2016): Plastics in the Marine Environment. Bristol, United Kingdom [3] Spiegel Online (2017): Müll im Meer: Wal hatte 30 Plastiktüten im Magen. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/ natur/muell-im-meer-wal-hatte-30-plastiktueten-im-magen-a-1132942. html [4] Ocean Conservancy (2016): 30th Anniversary International Coastal Cleanup: Annual Re-port. Washington DC [5] Utopia (2016): Verpackungsfreier Supermarkt: einkaufen ohne Verpackung. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.utopia.de/ magazin/plastikfreie-laeden [6] IBP - Interkulturelle Begegnungsprojekte e.V. (2015): Unplastic Billerback. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.unplasticbillerbeck.de/ [7] Süddeutsche Zeitung (2016): Rewe stoppt Verkauf von Plastiktüten. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/ plastikmuell-rewe-stoppt-verkauf-von-plastiktueten-1.3014599 [8] Presseportal (2016): Lidl Deutschland spart ab 2017 jährlich 3500 Tonnen Plastik: Lidl nimmt bundesweit Standard-Plastiktüte aus dem Sortiment und setzt auf Mehrfachver-wendung seines erweiterten Tragetaschensortiments. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www. presseportal.de/pm/58227/3434594 [9] LIDL Deutschland (2017): Tragetaschensortiment - Lidl Deutschland - lidl.de. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. https://www.lidl.de/de/ tragetaschensortiment/s3219 [10] Zeit Online (2013): Umweltverschmutzung: EU will PlastiktütenVerbrauch begrenzen. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.zeit. de/wissen/umwelt/2013-11/plastik-eu-kommission [11] Environment Agency (2011): Evidence. Life cycle assessment of supermarket carrierbags: a review of the bags available in 2006. Report: SC030148. Bristol: Environment Agency (En-vironment Agency science report) [12] Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT (2015): Fraun-hofer UMSICHT nimmt Stellung: Thema Mikroplastik. https://www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/de/nachhaltigkeit/agnachhaltigkeit/umsicht-nimmt-stellung/mikroplastik.html [13] European Commission - DG Environment (2011): Assessment of impacts of options to reduce the use of single-use plastic carrier bags: Final report [14] Umweltbundesamt (2013): Plastiktüten. UBA: Dessau-Roßlau [15] Doyle, T.; O’Hagen, A. M. (2013): The Irish ‘Plastic Bag Levy’: A mechanism to reduce marine litter? (Marine Litter in Eurpean Seas) [16] Süddeutsche Zeitung (2016): Marokko: Kommt nicht in die Tüte. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/ marokko-kommt-nicht-in-die-tuete- 1.3104571 [17] Deutschlandfunk (2016): Energiewende-Gesetz: Frankreich will Plastiktüten teilweise ver-bieten. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/energiewende-gesetz-frankreich-willplastiktueten-teilweise.697.de.html?dram:article_id=358804 [18] Earth Policy Institute (2014): Plastic Bags Fact Sheet

tinyurl.com/postion-bags


Brand Owner

Brand owner’s perspectives

O

n this page our readers usually find a statement from a brand owner. This issue, however, we give ourselves a break. Not because we are lazy, but simply because our friends at Sustainability Consult did such a good job with their survey on #WhatBrandsWant. In this issue we publish an excerpt from their report. Sustainability Consult, the leading bioeconomy communications and PR consultancy (Brussels, Belgium) realised that they (just like we) often hear the same questions: ƒƒ How can biomaterials manufacturers make it easier for brands to engage? ƒƒ What can the biobased industry do to encourage brands to invest in biobased materials? ƒƒ How do biobased solutions fit in with brand sustainability goals?

What is driving investment in biobased materials. Respondents said growth factors for biobased materials include consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products (65 %) and packaging (46 %), as well as brands wanting to improve public image (48 %). improve their public image Consumer demand for environmentally-friendly packaging Consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products

0%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

What are the biggest barriers? Among the brands, 87 % indicated cost as the biggest barrier to widespread uptake of biobased materials. Performance (42 %) and security of supply (37 %) were identified as the next biggest barriers. security of supply performance cost

ƒƒ How can brands help the biobased industry to grow? So they decided to ask over 40 brands across different sectors ranging from apparel, footwear & textiles, to food & beverages and personal care. The results offer an insight on the drivers and barriers affecting market growth in the biobased materials sector. Here are some of their findings:

Level of knowledge Respondents from brands were informed about biobased materials, with 59 % claiming they were informed, 39 % well-informed and only 2 % not informed about biobased materials. This trend was also reflected by those brands not currently using biobased solutions.

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

Do brands owners communicate externally on their use of biobased materials? Communicating openly on their use of biobased materials demonstrates confidence in biobased technology and products. 71 % of the respondents do communicate externally, whereas 27 % said they don’t. do not communicate externaly communicate externaly 0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

not informed well informed informed 0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

What information are brands exactly looking for? To evaluate whether to adopt biobased materials, 63 % said they need more information from suppliers on pricing, 61 % on availability and 57 % on performance.

What growth rates are expected for biobased materials? Most respondents expect the market to experience moderate growth (61 %), although brands already using biobased materials are more optimistic, with 43 % suggesting there will be strong market growth. In their comments, respondents highlighted the price of oil, lengthy product planning cycles, end-of-life options and legislative changes as having a strong impact on the evolution of the market. Perhaps more surprisingly, brands not using biobased materials also expect moderate growth. This is a positive sign of market development for biomaterials producers. MT

peformance availability pricing 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

The complete report can be downloaded for free at: www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/201706/whatbrandswant.pdf

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

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10 Automotive

Years

ago

Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE rnd in Califo o and Oakla San Francisc disposable fter Ireland, debate on ny Britain, the in Ma . on ury db nd nia, Mo moved to Lo has recently roduce or alcarrier bags looking to int are ies tar cit e volun y ies and levy or som other countr of ban, tax, nce or some form gs (e.g. Fra ba g pin ready have op ay sh on throwaw agreement the to manage Italy). same: how rier is always the gradable car The question by non biode es sed po oic ch ue l iss different environmenta rmeating the y: prevent, mon logic pe ste hierarch wa bags? The com the by one dictated is always the r, dispose of. conreuse, recove ation to the e communic “for life” e an intensiv lik rs sable bags cto Fa tion of reu uc ally fin rod int are d the fore they sumers an l eral times be an essentia used for sev which can be the store, are to ck ba or given thrown away es. schem part of this

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20

bioplastics

es into ce themselv rier bags pla postable car How do com l aid to this picture? be a powerfu can actually ecially there le carriers Compostab policies esp ry ove rec d be set up ization an emes are to waste minim lection sch es to be ic waste col such schem for were organ er ord d In dy in place. consumer an ic for both or are alrea ien hyg be . The they must t as possible successful as convenien rs be me d su an con ws ia is for collection cre these criter er which ensure both postable lin best way to dy with a com r. Using kitchen cad ir the ger containe e lar lin to ced in the pla an and d an cle d tie the system s ep can then be ke ly t on ent facility, s fashion no tion to treatm liners in thi lec col to r levels m kitchen lead to highe hygienic fro e, they also of food simple to us ater amounts gre y but by being ntl ue bseq tion and su landfilled. of participa s material is les d an overed the waste are rec ssibility for and the po gs are munication postable ba A proper com fy the com nti are ide ich sily wh to ea of schemes householder for this kind en organics the picture of the kitch completing 90% as ch over as mu able to rec waste. household present in the

In November 2017, Christian Garaffa, Novamont says: Since 10 years ago, Europe is now talking about circular economy and making efforts to make it really happen. Italy was the first Member State to adopt a single use plastic bag ban in 2011 promoting reusable bags but also allowing shopping bags certified to EN13432 for reuse in the organic waste collection. At EU level in 2015 a new Directive set targets to reduce the current level of consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags (Directive (EU) 2015/720). It also addresses biodegradable and compostable plastic carrier bags, recognizing as a matter of fact the value of such bags for re-use in organic waste collection. The directive was also a door opener for further legislation at Member State level such as France imposing fresh produce bags to be compostable in 2017 and Italy to follow suit in 2018. From 1 January 2020 also Spain will allow only compostable carrier bags and fresh produce bags. The city of Milan is the perfect example of the role played by compostable shopping bags as a key tool for high participation and capture rates of biowaste: 70 kilograms per person per year of just residential food scraps are being collected. At the beginning of this year the EU Commission issued a Communication on the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy, COM(2017) 34, stating that “since 2014, the city has almost reached 100 % collection of food and organic waste, providing an average of 120.000 tonnes of biodegradable waste per year. At full capacity (12.8 MW), the city biogas plant should produce some 35.880 MWh of electricity a year, enough to supply 24.000 people, and yield 14.400 tonnes of fertiliser.” These figures are unmatched by far by any other large European city and compostable plastic bags are the standard tool to collect these food scraps and every second compostable bag found in the waste analyses is a shopping bag. In conclusion, after then years the compostable bioplastic shopping bag model has scaled up and supports the best performing organic waste collection systems in Europe. A perfect example of real circular economy.

/04] Vol. 2

[07 MAGAZINE

tinyurl.com/bags200704

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12


Report

Bioplastics Survey

I

n this edition of our “Special focus on certain geographical areas” series, we take a closer look at France and Italy. To that end, we once again conducted the short, non-representative survey we used in previous editions to attempt to gain an idea of people’s notions and perception of bioplastics in these countries.

When asked whether they knew what bioplastics were, almost 40 % responded that yes, they did (and had no difficulties in proving this, as they went on to mention aspects such as biobased origin and/or biodegradable features). Like all previous surveys in this series, the other 60 % was interested in learning about what bioplastics were. And after a brief explanation about the features and benefits, most seemed convinced that bioplastics were beneficial for the environment and for the climate. Strikingly, however, we found the French people we spoke to that morning were rather more differentiated than we had hitherto experienced in the other countries, and this yielded a number of very intense discussions. Two young female

20-40 years

Happily, in other conversations we found that some of the people were really interested: they asked questions about availability, the processes that take place during composting and much more. They seemed to have time, the sun was shining and it was a nice area … Finally, we also asked all our interviewees whether they would buy products made of bioplastics, if they should happen to see them on display at the store. 91.3 % confirmed that they would. And – no surprise after the abovementioned discussions – 13 % said that they would not be willing to pay more for such products, with most of the other 87 % responding: “a little more, yes” or “it depends on the product”. What is paradoxical is that even in a country where, today, the use of biodegradable shopping bags is mandatory, some 60 % of our non-representative choice of people knew little to nothing about or were unaware of bioplastics and their potential. And again, the results of this survey reveal that, given the knowledge and the chance, many consumers would opt for products using bioplastics and even be willing to pay a small premium. This indicates an obvious need for comprehensive end consumer education. Consumer behaviour can have a significant impact on the ways products affect the environment. Educating consumers about bioplastics offers a huge opportunity to promote these materials and to effect positive changes in the shopping choices people make.

Do you know what bioplastics are?

40-60 years

Michael Thielen

students, in particular, were highly reluctant to agree to the fact that there might be benefits to opting for bioplastics. The first argued about fertilizers and solvents, and the energy needed to produce bioplastics, while the second merely said: “We recycle and that’s good enough”.

In this sixth edition of the series, we visited an attractive plaza in a pedestrian area in the centre of Strasbourg in France. We approached a (non-representative) number of passers-by and asked whether they would be willing to answer a few brief questions. Of those we interviewed, 47.8 % were male and 52.2 % were female. About 60.9 % were aged between 20 and 40, while 39.1 % were between the ages of 40 and 60. This represents the average distribution of people browsing this plaza on a sunny, but chilly Thursday morning in October.

By:

Would you buy?

Would you pay more?

female YES 39,1%

male

NO 60,9%

YES 91,3%

NO 8,7%

YES 87%

47,6%

55%

52,4%

45%

NO 13%

50%

55,6%

50% 66,7% 44,4% 44,4% 55,6% 71,4% 28,6%

54% 46%

100%

100%

33,3% 60% 40%

33,3% 66,7%

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Suppliers Guide 1. Raw Materials

AGRANA Starch Bioplastics Conrathstraße 7 A-3950 Gmuend, Austria technical.starch@agrana.com www.agrana.com

Jincheng, Lin‘an, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 311300, P.R. China China contact: Grace Jin mobile: 0086 135 7578 9843 Grace@xinfupharm.comEurope contact(Belgium): Susan Zhang mobile: 0032 478 991619 zxh0612@hotmail.com www.xinfupharm.com

Global Biopolymers Co.,Ltd. Bioplastics compounds (PLA+starch;PLA+rubber) 194 Lardproa80 yak 14 Wangthonglang, Bangkok Thailand 10310 info@globalbiopolymers.com www.globalbiopolymers.com Tel +66 81 9150446

1.1 bio based monomers

BASF SE Ludwigshafen, Germany Tel: +49 621 60-9995 martin.bussmann@basf.com www.ecovio.com

Simply contact:

Total Corbion PLA bv Arkelsedijk 46, P.O. Box 21 4200 AA Gorinchem The Netherlands Tel.: +31 183 695 695 Fax.: +31 183 695 604 www.total-corbion.com pla@total-corbion.com

Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co., Ltd. No.33 Kefeng Rd, Sc. City, Guangzhou Hi-Tech Ind. Development Zone, Guangdong, P.R. China. 510663 Tel: +86 (0)20 6622 1696 info@ecopond.com.cn www.ecopond.com.cn FLEX-162 Biodeg. Blown Film Resin! Bio-873 4-Star Inj. Bio-Based Resin!

Tel.: +49 2161 6884467 suppguide@bioplasticsmagazine.com Stay permanently listed in the Suppliers Guide with your company logo and contact information. For only 6,– EUR per mm, per issue you can be present among top suppliers in the field of bioplastics.

For Example:

PTT MCC Biochem Co., Ltd. info@pttmcc.com / www.pttmcc.com Tel: +66(0) 2 140-3563 MCPP Germany GmbH +49 (0) 152-018 920 51 frank.steinbrecher@mcpp-europe.com MCPP France SAS +33 (0) 6 07 22 25 32 62 136 Lestrem, France fabien.resweber@mcpp-europe.com Tel.: + 33 (0) 3 21 63 36 00 www.roquette-performance-plastics.com

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH Siemensring 79 D - 47 877 Willich Tel. +49 2154 9251-0 Tel.: +49 2154 9251-51 sales@fkur.com www.fkur.com

39 mm

1.2 compounds

Polymedia Publisher GmbH Dammer Str. 112 41066 Mönchengladbach Germany Tel. +49 2161 664864 Fax +49 2161 631045 info@bioplasticsmagazine.com www.bioplasticsmagazine.com

Microtec Srl Via Po’, 53/55 30030, Mellaredo di Pianiga (VE), Italy Tel.: +39 041 5190621 Fax.: +39 041 5194765 info@microtecsrl.com www.biocomp.it

Cardia Bioplastics Suite 6, 205-211 Forster Rd Mt. Waverley, VIC, 3149 Australia Tel. +61 3 85666800 info@cardiabioplastics.com www.cardiabioplastics.com

GRAFE-Group Waldecker Straße 21, 99444 Blankenhain, Germany Tel. +49 36459 45 0 www.grafe.com

Sample Charge: 39mm x 6,00 € = 234,00 € per entry/per issue

Sample Charge for one year: 6 issues x 234,00 EUR = 1,404.00 € The entry in our Suppliers Guide is bookable for one year (6 issues) and extends automatically if it’s not canceled three month before expiry.

www.facebook.com www.issuu.com www.twitter.com www.youtube.com

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

Tel: +86 351-8689356 Fax: +86 351-8689718 www.jinhuizhaolong.com ecoworldsales@jinhuigroup.com

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester Co., Ltd. No. 316, South Beijing Rd. Changji, Xinjiang, 831100, P.R.China Tel.: +86 994 2713175 Mob: +86 13905253382 lilong_tunhe@163.com www.lanshantunhe.com PBAT & PBS resin supplier

API S.p.A. Via Dante Alighieri, 27 36065 Mussolente (VI), Italy Telephone +39 0424 579711 www.apiplastic.com www.apinatbio.com

BIO-FED Branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH BioCampus Cologne Nattermannallee 1 50829 Cologne, Germany Tel.: +49 221 88 88 94-00 info@bio-fed.com www.bio-fed.com

Green Dot Bioplastics 226 Broadway | PO Box #142 Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845, USA Tel.: +1 620-273-8919 info@greendotholdings.com www.greendotpure.com

NUREL Engineering Polymers Ctra. Barcelona, km 329 50016 Zaragoza, Spain Tel: +34 976 465 579 inzea@samca.com www.inzea-biopolymers.com


Suppliers Guide

Sukano AG Chaltenbodenstraße 23 CH-8834 Schindellegi Tel. +41 44 787 57 77 Fax +41 44 787 57 78 www.sukano.com

Kaneka Belgium N.V. Nijverheidsstraat 16 2260 Westerlo-Oevel, Belgium Tel: +32 (0)14 25 78 36 Fax: +32 (0)14 25 78 81 info.biopolymer@kaneka.be

TIPA-Corp. Ltd Hanagar 3 Hod Hasharon 4501306, ISRAEL P.O BOX 7132 Tel: +972-9-779-6000 Fax: +972 -9-7715828 www.tipa-corp.com

Natur-Tec® - Northern Technologies 4201 Woodland Road Circle Pines, MN 55014 USA Tel. +1 763.404.8700 Fax +1 763.225.6645 info@natur-tec.com www.natur-tec.com

4. Bioplastics products

TECNARO GmbH Bustadt 40 D-74360 Ilsfeld. Germany Tel: +49 (0)7062/97687-0 www.tecnaro.de

TianAn Biopolymer No. 68 Dagang 6th Rd, Beilun, Ningbo, China, 315800 Tel. +86-57 48 68 62 50 2 Fax +86-57 48 68 77 98 0 enquiry@tianan-enmat.com www.tianan-enmat.com

1.3 PLA

1.6 masterbatches

Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co.,Ltd. No.97 Waisha Rd, Jiaojiang District, Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China Tel: +86-576-88827723 pla@hisunpharm.com www.hisunplas.com

weforyou PLA & Applications office@weforyou.pro www.weforyou.pro 1.4 starch-based bioplastics

BIOTEC Biologische Naturverpackungen Werner-Heisenberg-Strasse 32 46446 Emmerich/Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2822 – 92510 info@biotec.de www.biotec.de

Grabio Greentech Corporation Tel: +886-3-598-6496 No. 91, Guangfu N. Rd., Hsinchu Industrial Park,Hukou Township, Hsinchu County 30351, Taiwan sales@grabio.com.tw www.grabio.com.tw

GRAFE-Group Waldecker Straße 21, 99444 Blankenhain, Germany Tel. +49 36459 45 0 www.grafe.com

Bio-on S.p.A. Via Santa Margherita al Colle 10/3 40136 Bologna - ITALY Tel.: +39 051 392336 info@bio-on.it www.bio-on.it

Bio4Pack GmbH D-48419 Rheine, Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 5975 955 94 57 info@bio4pack.com www.bio4pack.com

NOVAMONT S.p.A. Via Fauser , 8 28100 Novara - ITALIA Fax +39.0321.699.601 Tel. +39.0321.699.611 www.novamont.com

President Packaging Ind., Corp. PLA Paper Hot Cup manufacture In Taiwan, www.ppi.com.tw Tel.: +886-6-570-4066 ext.5531 Fax: +886-6-570-4077 sales@ppi.com.tw 6. Equipment 6.1 Machinery & Molds

Albrecht Dinkelaker Polymer and Product Development Blumenweg 2 79669 Zell im Wiesental, Germany Tel.:+49 (0) 7625 91 84 58 info@polyfea2.de www.caprowax-p.eu

BeoPlast Besgen GmbH Bioplastics injection moulding Industriestraße 64 D-40764 Langenfeld, Germany Tel. +49 2173 84840-0 info@beoplast.de 2. Additives/Secondary raw materials www.beoplast.de

GRAFE-Group Waldecker Straße 21, 99444 Blankenhain, Germany Tel. +49 36459 45 0 www.grafe.com 3. Semi finished products 3.1 films

INDOCHINE BIO PLASTIQUES (ICBP) SDN BHD D-09, Jalan Tanjung A/4, Free Trade Zone Port of Tanjung Pelepas 81560 Johor, Malaysia T. +607-507 1585 icbp.bioplastic@gmail.com www.icbp.com.my C, M, Y , K 45, 0,90, 0

C , M, Y, K 10, 0, 80,0

C, M, Y, K 50, 0 ,0, 0

C, M, Y, K 0, 0, 0, 0

Buss AG Hohenrainstrasse 10 4133 Pratteln / Switzerland Tel.: +41 61 825 66 00 Fax: +41 61 825 68 58 info@busscorp.com www.busscorp.com

Molds, Change Parts and Turnkey Solutions for the PET/Bioplastic Container Industry 284 Pinebush Road Cambridge Ontario Canada N1T 1Z6 Tel. +1 519 624 9720 Fax +1 519 624 9721 info@hallink.com www.hallink.com 6.2 Laboratory Equipment

1.5 PHA

Bio-on S.p.A. Via Santa Margherita al Colle 10/3 40136 Bologna - ITALY Tel.: +39 051 392336 info@bio-on.it www.bio-on.it

Infiana Germany GmbH & Co. KG Zweibrückenstraße 15-25 91301 Forchheim Tel. +49-9191 81-0 Fax +49-9191 81-212 www.infiana.com

Minima Technology Co., Ltd. Esmy Huang, COO No.33. Yichang E. Rd., Taipin City, Taichung County 411, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel. +886(4)2277 6888 Fax +883(4)2277 6989 Mobil +886(0)982-829988 esmy@minima-tech.com Skype esmy325 www.minima.com

MODA: Biodegradability Analyzer SAIDA FDS INC. 143-10 Isshiki, Yaizu, Shizuoka,Japan Tel:+81-54-624-6260 Info2@moda.vg www.saidagroup.jp

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

59


Suppliers Guide 7. Plant engineering

110 pages full color, paperback ISBN 978-39814981-1-0: Bioplastics ISBN 978-39814981-2-7: Biokunststoffe 2. überarbeitete Auflage

‘Basics‘ book on bioplastics This book, created and published by Polymedia Publisher, maker of bioplastics MAGAZINE is available in English and German language (German now in the second, revised edition). The book is intended to offer a rapid and uncomplicated introduction into the subject of bioplastics, and is aimed at all interested readers, in particular those who have not yet had the opportunity to dig deeply into the subject, such as students or those just joining this industry, and lay readers. It gives an introduction to plastics and bioplastics, explains which renewable resources can be used to produce bioplastics, what types of bioplastic exist, and which ones are already on the market. Further aspects, such as market development, the agricultural land required, and waste disposal, are also examined. An extensive index allows the reader to find specific aspects quickly, and is complemented by a comprehensive literature list and a guide to sources of additional information on the Internet. The author Michael Thielen is editor and publisher bioplastics MAGAZINE. He is a qualified machinery design engineer with a degree in plastics technology from the RWTH University in Aachen. He has written several books on the subject of blow-moulding technology and disseminated his knowledge of plastics in numerous presentations, seminars, guest lectures and teaching assignments.

EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen GmbH Unterfeldstrasse 3 4052 Ansfelden, AUSTRIA Phone: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-0 Fax: +43 (0) 732 / 3190-23 erema@erema.at www.erema.at

10.2 Universities

Institut für Kunststofftechnik Universität Stuttgart Böblinger Straße 70 70199 Stuttgart Tel +49 711/685-62814 silvia.kliem@ikt.uni-stuttgart.de www.ikt.uni-stuttgart.de

Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH Holzhauser Strasse 157–159 D-13509 Berlin Tel. +49 30 43 567 5 Fax +49 30 43 567 699 sales.de@uhde-inventa-fischer.com Uhde Inventa-Fischer AG Via Innovativa 31, CH-7013 Domat/Ems Tel. +41 81 632 63 11 Fax +41 81 632 74 03 sales.ch@uhde-inventa-fischer.com Michigan State University www.uhde-inventa-fischer.com Dept. of Chem. Eng & Mat. Sc. Professor Ramani Narayan East Lansing MI 48824, USA 9. Services Tel. +1 517 719 7163 narayan@msu.edu

Osterfelder Str. 3 46047 Oberhausen Tel.: +49 (0)208 8598 1227 thomas.wodke@umsicht.fhg.de www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de

narocon Dr. Harald Kaeb Tel.: +49 30-28096930 kaeb@narocon.de www.narocon.de 9. Services (continued)

nova-Institut GmbH Chemiepark Knapsack Industriestrasse 300 50354 Huerth, Germany Tel.: +49(0)2233-48-14 40 E-Mail: contact@nova-institut.de www.biobased.eu 10. Institutions

Order now for € 18.65 or US-$ 25.00 (+

VAT where applicable, plus shipping and handling, ask for details) order at www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/books,

10.1 Associations

by phone +49 2161 6884463 or by e-mail books@bioplasticsmagazine.com

Or subscribe and get it as a free gift (see page 61 for details, outside German y only)

60

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

European Bioplastics e.V. Marienstr. 19/20 10117 Berlin, Germany Tel. +49 30 284 82 350 Fax +49 30 284 84 359 info@european-bioplastics.org www.european-bioplastics.org

BPI - The Biodegradable Products Institute 331 West 57th Street, Suite 415 New York, NY 10019, USA Tel. +1-888-274-5646 info@bpiworld.org

IfBB – Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover Faculty II – Mechanical and Bioprocess Engineering Heisterbergallee 12 30453 Hannover, Germany Tel.: +49 5 11 / 92 96 - 22 69 Fax: +49 5 11 / 92 96 - 99 - 22 69 lisa.mundzeck@hs-hannover.de www.ifbb-hannover.de/ 10.3 Other Institutions

Green Serendipity Caroli Buitenhuis IJburglaan 836 1087 EM Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel.: +31 6-24216733 www.greenseredipity.nl


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International Seminar PLASTICS ARE FUTURE 24.04.2018 - 25.04.2018 - Valencia, Spain http://www.plasticsarefuture.com/home.php

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61


Companies in this issue Editorial

Advert

Editorial

Advert

Company

Editorial

ABB

10

Glycon

27

Plastiroll

39, 41, 43

ACIB

36

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

40

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

5

Adler Plastics

20

41

GRABIO Greentech Corporation

59

Poiesz

Adsale (Chinaplas)

29

Grafe

58, 59

polymediaconsult

Agrana Starch Bioplastics

58

Green Dot Bioplastics

58

President Packaging

60

ProAmpac

41 41

AIMPLAS

34, 36

Amyris

24

Green Serendipity

26

API Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali

7, 43

58

Growfun

40

Promessa

59

Gulf Petrochem. & Chem. Ass.

5

PTT/MCC

14

Halder Topsoe

7

Reverdia

20

Avantium

34

Hallink

Rodenburg Biopolymers

40

Barbier Group

13

Henkel

30

BASF

49

Hexpol TPE

18

Bcomp

45

BeginAgain

24

58

Hydal

59

Beta Analytic

14

Bio4pack

41

5

Biotec BPI

6

Braskem

5

Bulldog Skin Care

39

14

58

Roquette

21

RPC

39

Indochine Bio Plastiques

59

Saida

Infiana Germany

59

Sea-Lect Design

24

Secos Group

13

8

59

Inst. f. Bioplastics & Biocomp.

35, 58

Inst. F. Macromol. Studies

59 59 60

7, 14, 38, 39, 41

British Plastics Federation

58

Roquette

8, 11

InnProBio

Bio-Fed Branch of Akro-Plastic Bio-on

59

60

59

Sprig

43

20

Stéfany Emballages Services

37

Inst. Polym. Comp. & Biomat.

20

Stellar Films

13

IRIAF

37

Sukano

ISCC

16, 17

Jinhui Zhaolong Kaneka

11

59

SuperUnie

41

58

Synbra

38, 44

59

Synprodo

44

58

Tapp Water

42

Buss

59

Kuraray

26

Tecnaro

40

Caprowachs, Albrecht Dinkelaker

59

Mädler

21

Tesla

45

Maip

10

TianAn Biopolymer

59

Malaysian Plastics Association

13

Tipa

55

5

Caravelas

38

Cardia Bioplastics

13

Kingfa

Advert

60

Arlanxeao

Beoplast

58

Cathay Industrial Biotech

8

Marks & Spencer

Coop

41

Michigan State University

Corapack

39

Microtec

Covestro

21

Mid-Continent Tool & Molding

Dezhou Xinhuarun Techn.

20

Minima Technology

DIN-Certco

6

Mondi

28

Dr. Heinz Gupta Verlag

22

Total-Corbion

9, 44

60

Trinseo

7, 43

58

Uhde Inventa-Fischer

25 59

5

United Soybean Board

17, 40

Univ. App. Sc. Hannover

46 36

Montgomery County Dept.

41

Univ. Leiden

44

Nafigate

8

Univ. Stuttgart (IKT)

DSM

22

narocon

Dynisco

27

Natureplast

37

EcoPlaza

41

NatureWorks

23, 44

Electric GT

45

Natur-Tec

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

5

nova Institute

EMS-Grivory

7

60

40

Univ Dortmund

474

Vaude

20

59

Veolia

5

19, 60

Waarmakers

37

Novamont

59, 64

Wageningen Food & Biobased Res.

37

25, 60

NPE

33

Wageningen UR

21

60

Nurel

58

Weforyou

36

European Bioplastics

6, 10, 43

European Parliament

5, 6

Packaging South Africa

5

Wildo Sweden

18

Ferguson Production

25

Parana

8

Wolfgang Mock

40

FKuR

44

PepsiCo

5

WWF

5

Ford Motor Company

17

Perstorp

16

Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester

Fraunhofer UMSICHT

52

Pike's Peak Plastics

24

Zaraplast

Futamura

39

60

plasticker

Global Biopolymers

58

Editorial Planner

13

Plásticos Romeros

36

59

58 38

Zhejiang Hangzhou Xinfu Pharm.

58

Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials

59

2017/18

Issue

Month

Publ. Date

edit/ad/ Deadline

Edit. Focus 1

Edit. Focus 2

Edit. Focus 3

Basics

01/2018

Jan/Feb

08 Jan 18

22 Dec 17

Automotive

Foam

Thailand (t.b.c)

t.b.d.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

58

60

Univ. Wageningen

2, 58

59

60

Unilever

DS Smith

Erema

62

Company

Trade-Fair Specials

Subject to changes

Company


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