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2nd International


Trends in Bioplastics Conference brochure

September 17-18th 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia M hotel

This project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and co-financed by the ERDF.


Dear Participants and Presenters,

Welcome to the Second International PLASTiCE Conference. Following the PLASTiCE Launch Conference “Europe for Sustainable Plastics” in Bologna, the project is holding its second international conference “Trends in Bioplastics” here in Ljubljana. This year’s conference will bring together many facets of sustainable plastics, from the importance of bioplastics, its strengths and weaknesses, up to the latest trends in the field of sustainable plastics. You will also have the opportunity to hear about the project PLASTiCE, its activities and outputs. The industry of bioplastics is steadily growing and developing. Bioplastics are helping to accelerate the development of the plastics market towards a sustainable society and are efficient new material ready for the market. Therefore it is of big importance to take in consideration the entire value chain of bioplastic industry- from certification, over new materials and products, up to the recycling. This year’s conference is ideal opportunity to join different groups from the entire value chain (researchers, industry and waste management companies) and try to offer answers to existing challenges and show the trends in bioplastics. Slopak as a compliance scheme is really active in informing all stakeholders and supporting them in planning or involving bioplastics in their processes. We believe in cooperation, knowledge and best practices support. And therefore we are glad to be a part of network of PLASTiCE project.

I hope that your participation at this conference will be useful and rewarding experience and I wish you a pleasant stay in Ljubljana.

Matej Stražiščar Slopak d.o.o.


Agenda day 1 Monday 17th September 2012 9:00-9:30

Welcome coffee and registration of participants


Opening of the Conference Matej STRAŽIŠČAR, Slopak, Ljubljana Andrej KRŽAN, National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana TBA, Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment Darja BOŠTJANČIČ, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Chemical Industries Association


Coffee Break


Session one - PLASTiCE project presentation


Andrej KRŽAN, National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana The PLASTiCE project


Marek KOWALCZUK and Marta MUSIOL, Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre for Polymer and Carbon Materials, Zabrze WP3: Developing a roadmap for action - from science to innovation in the value chain - Progress in selected case studies


Gregorz GANCZEWSKI, Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre, Warsaw WP4: Framework conditions for stimulating market demand


Petra HORVAT, National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana WP2: Communication, knowledge management and dissemination


Roman JERIHA, Fejstmeni, Ljubljana Title to be announced Lunch


Session Two - Bioplastics overview and trends


Piet. J. LEMSTRA, Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven Petro– vs. Bio-based Polymers


Roland SCHARATOW, European Bioplastics, Berlin Bioplastics: Market overview, outlook and framework


Marina TAMAGNINI, Novamont, Novara Novamont systemic vision: towards third generation biorefineries for production of bioplastics and biochemicals


Stanislav MIERTUS, International Centre for Applied Research and Sustainable Technology, Bratislava Biofuels, biobased products including bioplastics from renewable resources


Coffee break


Session Three - Applications and properties and processing


Mariastella SCANDOLA, University of Bologna, Bologna Bio-based vs. oil-based polymers in packaging applications


Markus SCHMID, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Freising New approaches for sustainable food packaging concepts


Elodie BUGNICOURT, IRIS, Castelldefels “Maxi-use” of wastes from agro-food processing to obtain truly sustainable bioplastics: example of the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate from olive mill waste water using microalgae


Pavol ALEXY, Slovak Technical University Bratislava, Bratislava Processing of biodegradable blends


Clemens HOLZER, University Leoben, Leoben Enhancement of PLA properties by nanoparticles





Agenda day 2 Tuesday 18th September 2012 9:00-10:20

Session Four - Materials


Ulf KUEPER, BASF Symbiosis of Chemistry and Biology: BASF's Biodegradable and Renewable Polymers


Stanislaw HAFTKA, Metabolix Mirel—PHA– the story continues


Norbert EISENREICH, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, Pfinztal / Tecnaro, Ilsfeld Development of Biocomposites, Processing and Engineering Applications


Ivan CHODAK, Polymer Institute of Slovak Academy, Bratislava Adjusting ultimate and processing properties via modification of biodegradable plastics


Coffee break


Session five - The Industrial View


Giulio CASIRAGHI, Ecozema Compost and future prospective


Urška SUŠNIK-PIVK, Tuba Lajovic Embalaža, Ljubljana Our experience with EU projects (WHEYLAYER and WHEYLAYER2): industrial application of whey protein based coating


Janez NAVODNIK, GIZ Plasttehnika, Celje Winning aces of biopolymers: intelligent functionality, renewability, carbon footprint, and optional biodegradability


Andrej ZABRET, Tosama, Domžale Sustainable plastics materials in hygiene products




Session six - Certification and Waste management aspects


Oliver EHLERT, DIN-Certco Certification of Biopolymers


Gregorz GANCZEWSKI, Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre, Warsaw The concept of sustainability and its application in bioplastics


Hanna ZAKOWSKA, Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre, Warsaw Sustainable plastics on mass events – theory and practice


Emo CHIELINI, Laboratory of Bioactive Polymeric Materials for Biomedical and Environmental Application (BIOlab)-Udr/ INSTM – Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry University of Pisa HYDRO-AND OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS. IS PARTNERSHIP OR MARRIAGE POSSIBLE?


Coffee break


Round table - Conclusions, Recommendations, Follow-up


Conference closing


About the Conference

The 2nd PLASTiCE conference: Trends in Bioplastics, is organized within the project Innovative Value Chain Development for Sustainable Plastics in Central Europe (acronym PLASTiCE, The approved project program foresaw for three international conferences. In 2011 the 1st PLASTiCE conference was organized as the project launch conference entitled Europe for Sustainable Plastics in Bologna, Italy. The focus of the conference was to bring together coordinators of ongoing European projects working in the wider field of plastics sustainability. The conference gave an excellent overview of the current status and trends in state-of-the-art development taking place in Europe and as such covered an aspect that has not yet been covered. With the second conference we are now moving into the forefront of current applications of bioplastics and the close-to-market development that involves academic, research and industrial centers. Experts from European universities, associations and companies will present the current status and their view of future developments. Bioplastics are still relatively new materials so their position in the market, applications as well as the scientific and even philosophical bases are still evolving. Within the project team we discover this on a daily basis particularly when we are confronted by real questions from the public we are trying to address. We hope that the conference will provide a good meeting place for the exchange of information and ideas that may help us develop the field in the most efficient way. It is our wish to record most of it and publish contributions online on our project YouTube channel (named plasticeproject). Through this we hope that a much greater audience can benefit from the contributions and discussions of our two-day meeting, and steer their plans for a more sustainable future of plastics based on the expertise provided by the conference participants.

Andrej Kr탑an



The international project PLASTiCE - Innovative value chain development for sustainable plastics in Central Europe started in April 2011 within the Central Europe Programme. It brings together 13 partners from 4 countries (Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland) that represent the entire value chain from production to waste management and enjoys a strong support from institutions of knowledge. The PLASTiCE project has as its objective to promote new environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions, particularly biodegradable plastics, in the packaging and end-user industry. This will be achieved through information dissemination and by identifying and removing barriers to the faster and more widespread use of sustainable types of plastic, particularly biodegradable plastics and plastics based on renewable resources, in Central Europe. Among the most important project objectives are:

  

raising awareness among target groups including general public on the issue of biodegradable plastics improving technology transfer and knowledge exchange mechanisms with end-user industries improving access to scientific knowledge and the use of already existing knowledge as well as adapting it to the requirements of biodegradable polymer and plastics producers

intensifying application-oriented cooperation between research and industry.

The project is following these objectives by dissemination of information through National Information Points that will be established in all participating countries, as well as through targeted events. We are conducting an analysis of market expectations and case studies of the value chain that will be the basis for the development a Transnational Advisory Scheme and proposing a Roadmap for Joint R&D Scheme, which will to intensify application-oriented cooperation between research and industry. These actions are tailored, but not limited, to the particular needs of Central Europe with its specific situation The region possesses relatively strong centers of knowledge on biodegradable materials but lags in the application of such materials as well as production and commercial activity linked to them. By joining and combining the R&D potential from different countries this project has a well-rounded scientific support that is being applied to addressing these shortcomings. Through the combined effect of information, regulatory support and by involving the complete value chain contribution (research, producer, converter, end user) the project will contribute to overcoming current obstacles to the wider use of sustainable plastics use in Central Europe and through the lessons learnt elsewhere as well. ( PROJECT PARTNERS



CENTRAL EUROPE is an EU programme that encourages transnational cooper-ation among the countries of Central Europe to improve innovation, accessibility and the environment and to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of cities and regions. The CENTRAL EUROPE programme invests € 231 million to provide funding to projects carried out in partnership involving national, regional and local institu-tions from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

The CENTRAL EUROPE programme area covers about 1,050,000 square kilo-metres, an area that is approximately a fifth of the EU landmass. About 148 mil-lion citizens or 28 percent of the EU population live in this area. CENTRAL EU-ROPE is financed by the Euro-pean Regional Development Fund and runs from 2007 to 2013.

The programme area is char-acterised by a high population density as well as a high de-gree of urbanisation, with 73 percent of the population living in cities or urban areas. Its economy shows high dispari-ties with regard to income and living standards: Besides en-compassing some of Europe’s richest regions, CENTRAL EUROPE also includes some of Europe’s poorest ones.

CENTRAL EUROPE aims to contribute to reducing these differences through cooperation between regions, working towards joint solutions to common prob-lems and actions that harness the regions’ potential. The programme should also help to strengthen the overall competitiveness by stimulating innovation and promoting excellence throughout Central Europe.

More information:


Trends in Bioplastics ABSTRACTS

This project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and co-financed by the ERDF.









Marek Kowalczuk, Marta Musioł, Michał Sobota Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre for Polymer and Carbon Materials, 34 M. Curie-Skłodowska St, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland

The main goal of the Work Package 3 of PLASTiCE project is to elaborate a transnational roadmap for technology transfer in biodegradable plastics industry based on a joint R&D scheme. Under Work Package 3 the nine case studies are executed in order to create good practices, that will serve as a reference frame for the preparation and the promotion of the roadmap among companies in CEE. In this presentation the Case study 2B in which systemic approach for sustainable production for bioplastics, selective collection of organic wastes at retail chain and industrial composting of collected waste at the Sorting and Composting Plant, will be presented. Case study 2B is conducted in the cooperation with Bioerg, Spolem and A.S.A. companies. Studies of the biodegradation process of soft plastic packaging and the analysis of the whole integrated system will be also presented.


WP4 - FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS FOR STIMULATING MARKET DEMAND Greg Ganczewski Polish Packaging Research and Developement Centre, 11 Konstancińska Street, 02-942 Warsaw, Poland Central Europe’s PLASTiCE project led by the National Institute of Chemistry of Slovenia started in April 2011. As the project is slowly approaching its mid-way point, Project Partners responsible for their respective Work Packages have already achieved certain results. Work Package four led by the Polish Packaging Research and Development Centre concerns the framework conditions for stimulating market demand of sustainable plastics. This will be achieved by realising two main outputs: preparation of rich informational toolkit in the form of written advisory scheme and development of certification system for compostable plastics in Slovenia and Slovakia. During the course of the Project, WP4 Project Partners have already completed a Transnational Context Report and a Draft Advisory Scheme. These two documents are currently being reviewed and adjusted to the feedback of both all PLASTiCE project partners and companies – the participants of plastics value chain. In addition to that, two case studies about processing of sustainable plastics have been prepared. With regard to setting up a certification scheme in Slovenia and Slovakia a substantial progress has also been made. This was possible due to the involvement of DIN CERTCO – a German certification organisation of TÜV Rheinland Group and DIN, the German Institute for Standardization.



Petra HORVAT National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia As PLASTiCE is not a research project but is rather focused on supporting actions the area of communication and dissemination have a very important role. For a wider acceptance of new plastics that offer environmental and functional advantages over “traditional� plastic materials it is very important that all stake holders, from producers, converters, retailers, consumers and waste management understand the different nature of these materials. This is potentiated by the fact that bioplastics do not differ from other plastics in outward appearance or basic properties. To address this shortcoming the PLASTiCE project team developed a wide communication scheme that is designed to reach the widest possible number of people from different parts of the value chain. Different target groups are addressed separately with a message that is adapted to their perspective. Some key target groups that are actively pursued are NGOs, industry, R&D, education. Parallel to targeted actions we also provide a wide array of options to reach the general public. The dissemination activities combine different routes to further our message. Extensively we take advantage of electronic media through: web sites, downloadable publications, on-line video and social media. These activities depend on the basic information materials prepared within the project team, which are made available in multiple languages. An important route to reach audiences are events prepared within the project framework and lectures and appearances given at events organized by others. Events include three planned international conferences and a larger number of national/local workshops and seminars, mainly organized in national languages. Currently activities are carried out to use the basis prepared to address the Central Europe to be used in other parts of the world as well. Particular attention is given to finding dissemination partners in other European countries, the Mediterranean basin, Russia etc. As the project continues we believe that we will have even more materials and experiences that could be successfully and efficiently replicated around the world. A special highlight of our dissemination experiences is the popularity of videos of lectures filmed at events. From the number of views it is apparent that the on-line video follow-up easily surpasses by orders of magnitude the initial audience at the event.


PETRO- VS. BIO-BASED POLYMERS Piet J. Lemstra, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands Synthetic polymers (plastics) have shown an almost exponential growth during the past decades and currently over 200 million tons/annum are produced world-wide, about 35 kg per capita in the world! The forecast is that the world production of plastics could grow to >1,000 million tons/annum at the end of this century, in view of the very uneven distribution of plastics production and consumption, e.g. approximately 150 kg/capita in Western-Europe and the USA versus 25 kg/capita in China and 6 kg/capita in India. The current feedstock for producing synthetic polymers is almost exclusively oil and currently about 5% of the world oil production is used for that purpose. Considering the strong projected growth, we need 25% or more of the current oil production for making polymers by the end of this century which is not sustainable taking the depletion of oil reserves into account. Alternative technologies have been developed already by using coal and / or gas as feedstock for producing polymers. A completely different approach regarding future feedstock for polymers is using biomass. In this respect we have to distinguish between: 

The use of polymers made by nature, viz. biopolymers, like starch and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs);

The use of monomers derived from biomass through fermentation or otherwise, e.g. lactic acid and furanic compounds to produce a whole family of polylactic acid and furan (co)polymers, the use of diols and dicarboxylic acids to make (partly) bio-based “green” polyesters and polyamides (nylons), and last but not least the recent trend to make ethylene from bio-ethanol for subsequent polymerization to polyethylene, e.g. Braskem (Br).

In the lecture an overview will be given of the various developments with a realistic view on the future.


NOVAMONT SYSTEMIC VISION: TOWARDS THIRD GENERATION BIOREFINERIES FOR PRODUCTION OF BIOPLASTICS AND BIOCHEMICALS Marina Tamagnini Novamont, Novara Novamont is an innovation company dealing with the development of new types of bioplastics, biolubricants and bio-additives and with the build-up of third generation biorefineries, fully integrated in the local areas designed on the bases and respect of local biodiversity and culture... The aim is to produce innovative solutions for final applications capable of delivering strong environmental, social and economic benefits for the system in which the biorefineries operate (i.e. local areas, regions) by enabling an efficient and sustainable use of the planet's limited natural resources. For its pioneerinstic approach and technological achievements Novamont has got many international awards Among them in 2007 Novamont CEO’s Catia Bastioli was awarded the prestigious international prize of “European Inventor of the Year 2007” by the European Commission and the European Patent Office. Revenue 2011 EUR 165 million euro, 30% of staff is working in R&D&I and all profits of the company have been reinvested in new R&D, new jobs and requalification of old deindustrialized chemical sites. Third Generation Biorefinery: Revitalising Italian Regions Through Systemic Innovation Processes:Novamont's activities focus on the development of third generation biorefineries which are dedicated to the production of high added-value, biobased chemicals and bio products. Preserving resource efficiency and local biodiversity are the common denominators guiding all the processes from R&D&I to market development. The aim is to identify different non-food local crops that can be grown in marginal, non-irrigated land and pastures in order to preserve and enhance local biodiversity and soil fertility and maximise the use of waste and residues, using them as precious input for the biorefinery. The Third Generation Biorefinery therefore entails not only large-scale investments in research and plants, but primarily an interactive and multidisciplinary approach which involves a broad range of local stakeholders and continuous training of human resources – both from a technical point of view and in terms of ethics and systemic vision. The cooperative and inclusive approach with farmers and academia at local level aims to instill a culture of innovation in the areas in which the biorefineries operate and to maximize knowledge spillovers across several involved sectors (end users, farmers, regions, students.). In perspective, this new model of biorefinery represents not only a sound opportunity in terms of securing a competitive European niche in the field of biomaterials but also a case study that could be replicated in different regions across Europe and that would enable abandoned chemical sites to be converted into innovative and sustainable biorefineries with benefits for all EU citizens and future generations. A practical example in the field is represented by Matrica (a 50% /50% JV between Novamont and Eni Versalis) and the work carried out in Porto Torres (Sardinia), an area hit by high unemployment levels and with a strong vocation in agriculture. At Matrica, Novamont is working on the construction of what is destined to be one of the largest third generation Biorefineries in Europe and is doing so working closely with farmers, local communities and research institutions with the aim of restoring growth and creating jobs by leveraging the natural vocation and biodiversity of the area.



Stanislav Miertus International Centre for Applied Research and Sustainable Technologies (ICARST) Bratislava, Jamnickeho 19, Slovakia & Trieste, Area SP, Italy The paper focuses on current potentials of biofuels as one of the important forms of renewable energy with a specific emphasis on the development of next generation biofuels as of the only sustainable solution for the future biofuel industry. The opportunities and risks of exploiting renewable bio-feedstock for biofuels production are addressed from the point of view of sustainability of products and of related production processes with the specific focus in developing countries. In this context, the integrated approach of agriculture and production of biofuels, chemicals and plastics the key factor for the viability of the emerging bio-based industry. Attention is given to an overview of the recent progress in science and technology in the field of next generation biofuels and bio-based chemicals and biobased plastics from waste biomass with the specific focus on the issues of sustainability. In the second part, a brief survey of some global programs developed under ICS-UNIDO program on EDP and recently under new centre International Centre for Applied Research and Sustainable Technologies (ICARST) is presented. A series of projects in the field of advanced technologies for exploitation of renewable bio-resources for production of biofuels, chemicals and bioplastics. These projects include research, training and capacity building, and networking. The role of PLASTiCE project in the global scenario is also illustrated.



Mariastella Scandola University of Bologna, ‚G.Ciamician‘ Chemistry Department, Via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna (Italy) About 40% of the plastics produced worldwide is employed in packaging applications. Oil-based Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the most broadly used packaging polymers. Nowadays, the only widely used renewable packaging materials are paper and board, which are derived from cellulose. One of the current tendencies in packaging is the substitution of oil-based polymers with polymers obtained from renewable resources. This presentation will discuss the main approaches to this problem, i.e. (1) production of new bio-based polymers that may substitute those presently employed in packaging or (2) synthesize classical packaging polymers from monomers obtained by fermentation. An overview of polymers and monomers from renewable resources with potential applications in packaging will be presented with particular attention to those commercially available or close-tocommercialization.



Markus Schmid Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser StraĂ&#x;e 35, 85354 Freising, Germany Packaging fulfills numerous functions; however the origin task is the preservation of food quality during the whole life cycle from manufacturing to storage. A sufficient oxygen and water vapor barrier are a prerequisite. To achieve these requirements multilayer films are used in the food packaging sector to protect the products from external influences. Within this presentation several research projects dealing with the development of new sustainable food packaging solutions will be presented. This presentation will summarize the most relevant results. This presentation will demonstrate possibilities how different innovative and sustainable materials and processes can functionalize existing packaging materials in terms of barrier improvement and in order to ensure the safety and quality of packed foods. Application examples will round out this presentation.


“MAXI-USE” OF WASTES FROM AGRO-FOOD PROCESSING TO OBTAIN TRULY SUSTAINABLE BIOPLASTICS: EXAMPLE OF THE PRODUCTION OF POLYHYDROXYALKANOATE FROM OLIVE MILL WASTE WATER USING MICROALGAE E. Bugnicourt Innovació i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible (IRIS), Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia, Avda. Carl Friedrich Gauss 11, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain Bioplastics are generating increasing commercial interest, and indeed their market is rising at a fast pace. There are a number of drivers that are fuelling the growth in the bioplastics market, from recent technological advances are helping to bring down their cost and expand their range of properties, to the need to move away from petrochemical based materials and steer the plastics industry down a more sustainable route. However, bioplastics are still largely derived from pure feedstock such as crops and vegetable oils which may compete with food sources and diminish to some extent their true sustainability. Moreover, in terms of competing with many standard plastics, the properties of bioplastics are not sufficient for certain applications. There is undoubtedly a gap in the market for bioplastics that possess better barrier, thermo-mechanical properties and/or processability and that are obtained through a holistic sustainable approach with feedstock that do not compete with food supplies. To this end, the bioplastics industry needs to tap into new raw material sources from agro-food residues that are in abundant supply, are cost-effective, and indeed to date pose waste management and environmental challenges. In such context, biorefining, whereby microorganisms of different types can be used to convert biomass into energy or raw materials, is also an attractive alternative to conventional fossil resource refinery. Recent research is using an integrated environmental approach to bioplastic production known as Maxi-use, whereby each stage, from sourcing to disposal, is considered in a complementary way to establish cost effective, sustainable solutions. The methodology is characterised by reuse along every stage of the process, whereby a useful application for each of the compounds is investigated with a view to maximising resources to the full, thereby bringing positive impacts in terms of sustainability and profitability along the value chain. Wastes from agro-food processing can be used as raw material inputs for plastics in the packaging field, among other applications. The ability to recycle or compost the material at the end-of-life helps to redress the problem of growing and persistent volumes of land and marine waste, as well as reducing dependence on conventional fossil fuel-based resources. An example of application of this approach will be given the valorisation of all residuals from olive mill wastewater lead to polymers, fillers and other extracted natural antioxidants used in functional food packaging but also to biogas using the leftover biomass and clean water. Indeed, the OliPHA project is building on promising past research using cyanobacteria to accumulate polyhydroxy alkanoates (PHA) by photosynthesis as opposed to sterile cultures on refined feedstock normally used for PHA production. The yield and cost effectiveness are being optimized by engineering tailored photobioreactors, genetically modifying the cyanobacteria, but also by tuning compound formulations. The production of PHA with improved sustainability will provide the agro-food industry on the one hand with a preferred food packaging solution and on the other hand with a solution for the management of their highly polluting wastes for which no fully satisfactory economical and effective treatment process exists to date.

The authors wish to acknowledge the funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007 -2013] for the research leading to these results under grant agreement n° 280604 through the OliPHA project “Development of a novel and efficient method for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate polymer-based packaging from olive oil waste water”.



Alexy Pavol, Mikušová Miroslava, Tomanová Katarína, Mihalík Michal, Plavec Roderik Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Institute of Polymeric Materials, Dept. of Plastics and Rubber, Radlinského 9, 812 37 Bratislava, Slovakia Processing of biodegradable polymers, especially processing of biopolymers has some specifics in comparison to conventional „petrol” plastics. Biopolymers are usually very sensitive to thermal degradation under processing conditions during their processing in the melt state. The first part of presented work is aimed at effective determination of processing stability of biodegradable polymers. The main interest is focused on application of oscillation rheometry as a simple and rapid method for evaluation of processing stability of biodegradable plastic. The biodegradable polyesters were taken as experimental material. Results show that oscillation rheometry is very effective and simple method for description of degradation of biodegradable polymers during their processing and it reflect very sensitively the changes in molecular weight of tested polymers. Method is also suitable for testing of stabilisers efficiency. The second part of our work describes the relations between viscosities of blended biodegradable polymers and morphology of created blend. It was confirmed that viscosity relations have very important role in phase arrangement of the blends and consequently it determined final mechanical properties. The role of rheological parameters of components is illustrated on PLA/starch blends. Various adjusting of components viscosity leads to various phase arrangements as well as the orientation of dispersed phase is possible during simple extrusion process in special cases. Improved elongation of break of PLA films was achieved at optimal composition of PLA/TPS blends using modifier for viscosity regulation as well as for compatibility improving between PLA and TPS.


ENHANCEMENT OF PLA PROPERTIES BY NANOPARTICLES C. Holzer1, M. Kracalik1, M. Hirschenauer2, M. Washüttl2, S. Laske1 1

Chair of Polymer Processing, Department Polymer Engineering and Science, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, 8700 Leoben, Austria 2

ofi Technologie & Innovation GmbH, Brehmstraße 14a, 1110 Wien, Austria

Nanoparticles offer an interesting opportunity to optimize application properties (e.g. mechanical properties, temperature stability) of polymers in general. Among the nanofillers layered silicates are widely used due to safe handling, good property enhancement and relatively low cost. For getting the best effect the nanofillers have to be modified to get a strong interaction with the matrix. In this work, melt compounded PLA-nanocomposites with different organoclays (variation in surface treatment) and one special nanofiller (mixture of layered and needle-formed silicates) have been investigated. As results we found a strong influence of the clay treatment on processing and utility properties, e.g. increased stiffness as well as toughness in some nanocomposites and a significant reduction in oxygen permeability (see figure).

Acknowledgement: This research has been nanoinitiative (N901•NAN PlaComp1 project).







Ulf Küper; Carsten Sinkel; Robert Loos; Andreas Künkel; BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany (correspondence: INTRODUCTION: Biopolymers – biobased and/or biodegradable polymers - are an alternative to conventional polymers if they possess a better life-cycle assessment and/or improved properties. For certain applications (e.g. food packaging) biodegradability can be such a new functional property.[1] Today the production capacity for biopolymers is still below 1 million metric tons annually, but strongly growing. The field of biopolymers requires the close cooperation of chemistry and biology on the level of renewable monomers, polymers and end of life mechanism (e.g. composting) respectively. Using BASF as an example, this symbiosis of chemistry and biology will be presented (see figure 1). POLYMER – COMPOUND – APPLICATION Ecoflex F®, the aliphatic-aromatic BASF polyester, is made from terephthalic acid, butanediol and adipic acid. Due to the composition the polymer is biodegradable under industrial composting conditions. This structure is also the reason why Ecoflex F® combines excellent mechanical properties with the good processability of synthetic thermoplastics. Ecoflex F® is the preferred blend partner for biobased and biodegradable polymers which typically do not exhibit good mechanics and processability for film applications by themselves – Ecoflex F® therefore is a synthetic polymer which enables the extensive use of renewable raw materials (e.g. starch, PLA). The BASF brand name for compounds of Ecoflex® with PLA is Ecovio®. This compounding and the exchange of monomers in Ecoflex F® itself (new partly biobased Ecoflex FS®) lead to different property profiles. The application range is very broad: from film applications like organic waste bags, shopping bags or agricultural mulch films to coated paper board and stiff foamed packaging. Especially the combination of paper and Ecovio® opens up new packaging applications.[2] END


Biodegradability and renewability are strongly associated with natural polymers (e.g. starches, cellulose, chitin, and lignin) and in fact evolution has established closed systems were carbon is recycled over and over again. But biodegradability, which is ideally the conversion of a given substance into


carbon dioxide (and methane), water and biomass, and renewability are two properties that are not necessarily connected. Polymer biodegradation commonly begins with the (hydrolytic) breakdown of the main chain – often enzymatically catalyzed – followed by the aforementioned mineralization by microorganisms present in the respective habitat. Whether a polymer degrades under certain environmental conditions (e.g. microflora, temperature, humidity) is a question of the polymer microstructure. When talking about biodegradation it is important to be precise, because biodegradation in a controlled process like industrial composting is something totally different compared to biodegradation in soil. Therefore elucidation of the interaction of microorganisms and their respective enzymes with polymer substrates in different environments and deducing relevant structure-property relationships is an important task of BASF biopolymer research, especially in areas of increasing relevance like anaerobic digestion (biogas).

Figure 1. From monomers to end of life – Symbiosis of chemistry and biology.

REFERENCES: [1] Breulmann, M., Künkel, A., Philipp, S., Reimer, V., Siegenthaler, K. O., Skupin, G. and Yamamoto, M. 2009. Polymers, Biodegradable. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. [2] Siegenthaler, K.O., Künkel, A., Skupin, G., Yamamoto, M. 2011. Ecoflex® and Ecovio®: Biodegradable, Performance-Enabling Plastics. Advances in Polymer Science.



Jürgen Pfitzer, Helmuth Nägele, Lars Ziegler, Tecnaro GmbH, Burgweg 5, D 74360 Ilsfeld-Auenstein, Germany Emilia Inone-Kauffmann, Norbert Eisenreich, Fraunhofer ICT, J-v-Fraunhoferstr. 7, D 76327 Pfinztal, Germany Plastics and composites show a very broad variation in properties to cover the special needs of applications. On the long term, bio-based materials for their substitution should meet similar requirements. Tecnaro and Fraunhofer have started mid of the 1990-ties to develop composites completely made from renewable resources, the matrix being a biopolymer and the reinforcing fibers are natural ones. Depending on the desired quality and strength many types like hemp, flax wood or even cellulosic fibers are used. The developed and distributed materials meet already engineering specifications and cover a broad range of properties. The key product is based on a matrix lignin an abundantly available residue from paper pulping named Arboform® and exhibits high stiffness. Materials with higher ductility contain biopolymers like PLA and PHB as a matrix. Environmentally friendly additives are selected to achieve functions like flame retardancy, conductivity and impact strength needed in the diverse industries. Processing of Arboform® occurs by pelletizing the mixture at room temperature and subsequent injection molding at temperatures between 140 and 160 oC. Standard injection molding machines are suitable and the tools need some adjustment. PLA matrix composites are compounded by extrusion, at first, and then injection molded at temperatures between 180 and 210oC. Various products are described which are already in serial production using Tecnaro’s compounds.


ADJUSTING ULTIMATE AND PROCESSING PROPERTIES VIA MODIFICATION OF BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS Ivan Chodak Polymer Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences 84541 Bratislava, Slovakia In the past, the interest in biodegradable plastics (BDPs) was driven almost entirely by scientific research with very limited industrial applications. Recently the situation is changing since a number of applications are appearing and also public is aware of and appreciating the development in this field. However, we are still far away from optimal situation where BDPs would be competitive with commodity high – volume plastics in full range of applications as products for short – time utilization especially packaging. Two main reasons can be seen making the position of BDPs on the market not strong enough. First is rather high price of most of BDPs, connected with high investment in R&D and relatively low production (except for polylactic acid which is from the view of production volume approaching the group of commodity plastics). Second reason consists in certain unsatisfactory properties of most of BDPs, especially concerning ultimate properties (toughness, brittleness), processing parameters (e.g. low thermal stability leading to degradation during processing, or low melt strength making application of certain common technologies quite difficult), and not broad enough offer of different plastics to be able to compete with full range of commodity conventional plastics. Further development of BDPs regarding industrial application depends on finding solutions of many particular problems. Modification of currently available BDPs seems to be the most effective way to tackle both abovementioned hindrances. In the lecture, several modes of both physical and chemical modification are described and briefly discussed. Among these, following attitudes seem to be prospective: 

To deal with the brittleness of many BDPs, blends with flexible BDPs are prepared. To achieve desired properties, compatibilization must be performed. In situ formation of compatibilizers during processing via peroxide initiated crosslinking is discussed.

Low thermal stability leads to a decrease in molecular weight and deterioration of properties. A processing the BDPs blends at low temperature even below Tm of one of the component is described and discussed as an option to avoid thermal decomposition during processing.

Application of cheap fillers is aimed to production of less expensive materials. To get good mechanical properties, an increase of adhesion on the phase boundaries is needed. Few examples of successful procedures are shown.



Our presentation will be focused, after a general introduction of the Company, on a case study for the usage of single use cutlery made with bio polymer Mater-bi of Novamont vs. the traditional plastic cutlery. Will be explained the different problematic, benefits and contribution for a lower impact on the environment. The presentation will show results of real application of the bio plastic cutlery (LCA data’s) with indication of different parameter as greenhouse gasses, compounds, ozone gasses etc.


OUR EXPERIENCE WITH EU PROJECTS: INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION OF WHEY PROTEIN BASED COATING Urška Sušnik Pivk Lajovic Tuba embalaža, d.o.o., Verovškova cesta 66, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Lajovic Tuba embalaža, d.o.o. (Tuba) is Slovenian company with more than 85-year tradition in producing aluminium, plastic and laminate tubes. The Company’s main goal is to provide complete services in the field of packaging to our customers which come mainly from pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and chemical industry. To keep and grow our competitiveness, being able to offer new solutions, supplementary/additional services and new types of products to our customers, more and more means are invested in research and development. Therefore Tuba participated as one of SME partners in the Wheylayer research project that was funded in the FP7 programme, under the scheme “Benefit of SME associations” which ended in 2011. The goal of Wheylayer was to obtain a coating for plastic films based on whey protein, a by-product from the dairy industry, to replace current synthetic barrier layers used in food packaging. The whey-coating application was performed at semi-industrial scale showing excellent barrier to oxygen but also interesting humidity barrier, outperforming existing biopolymers. During this project some of the consortium members including Tuba applied for a patent regarding the developed coating process and also registered Wheylayer ® Trademark. Tuba invested a lot of funds in this research project to acquire the prototype coating machine built and tested with IRIS. Indeed, the project results perfectly fits in Tuba’s green policy of development and if the Wheylayer coating is combined with a biodegradable substrate, the use of this new material could not only lower the use of resources but also lead to fully compostable solutions, thus adding huge value for our customers and consumers. In addition to that we do believe that Wheylayer can add value also to the packaging used especially in the cosmetic business whereby Tuba has a strong presence. Since the results of the Wheylayer project appeared very promising and strategic for Tuba, we decided to accept the role of coordinator for the follow up project targeted at getting to the commercialisation of the Wheylayer coating. The Wheylayer 2 project, which is dedicated to industrialization of coating process with whey formulation and to production of films, tubes, blisters and trays using Wheylayer® coated material, stated on August 1st, 2012 with a funding from the FP7 Demonstration Activity scheme. Industrial partners are Ilirija d.d., Manufacturas Serviplast s.a. and Nutra Research s.l., Dunreidy and Meierei Langenhorn. The further development needed in this project will be supported by, IRIS, Fraunhofer IVV and University of Pisa. The Slovenian plastic cluster GIZ Grozd Plasttehnika will also support us. We believe that results of both Wheylayer projects will help us in finding and implementing new ideas in the demanding packaging market. We intend to put first Wheylayer ® derived tubes on the market in the following two years. Overall, for us, European project are a great opportunity to help us investing into research and we are determined to gain the maximum out of it.


WINNING ACES OF BIOPOLYMERS: INTELLIGENT FUNCTIONALITY, RENEWABILITY, CARBON FOOTPRINT, AND OPTIONAL BIODEGRADABILITY Janez NAVODNIK GIZ Plasttehnika, Celje Nearly all polymers on the market could technically be replaced by bio-based polymers, with the exception of a few HT-polymers. Replacing petrochemical polymers can yield environmental benefits e.g. the avoidance of CO2 emissions and the conservation of fossil resources. But public debate has been growing about whether biopolymers really do offer ecological benefits or not. NovaInstitut made a meta-analysis of LCAs to analyze the similarities and differences in the results of various studies. It has determined the latest findings. Fossil resource depletion is representing all fossil fuels which serve as feed stocks or for energy recovery in polymer produc足tion (MJ/kg). The global warming potential (CO2 equivalents/kg polymer), serves as an indicator of climate change. The result (F1) shows the data for fossil resource depletion of more than 70 MJ/kg polymer and greenhouse gas emissions, far more than 3 kg CO2 equivalents/kg for petro足chemical polymers. The bio-based polymers PLA and PHA values are significantly below.

The worldwide production capacity for bioplastics as of 2011 (source: European Bioplastics, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Hanover)

Comparison of the environmental effects of various polymers in the categories of climate change and fossil resource depletion (source: nova-Institut)


Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a frequent topic of debate. About 28 % of global biopolymer capacity goes to bio-based PE, made from sugar cane, which is not genetically modified. The market leader Braskem Brazil has a capacity of 200,000 t/a. A further 27 % of global bio-based polymers production capacity is by PLA 15 % and PHA 12 %, produced from starch crops (e.g. corn) and sugar crops (sugar cane and sugar beet). Nature-Works USA has a capacity of more than 100,000 t/a. The starting material for future production increased use of secondary streams from agriculture and ligno-cellulose are seen.

Worldwide production capacities of bioplastics in 2010 arranged according to materials type (source: European Bioplastics/FH Hanover)

Arable land areas and theoretically required percentage and requirement for global bioplastics production in 2015

Consumption of bio-fibres within western Europe



Andrej Zabret Tosama, Vir, Slovenia Tosama is one of the largest producers of hygiene tampons and sanitary material in Europe. Our main products are divided into three groups: Health care, Private label (predominantly tampons) and FMCG. Tosama has own R&D incorporated in each programme, QC system and QA system. Our products are mostly single use - disposable products partially made of plastics and wrapped into plastics packaging. This way considerable amount of plastics that quickly becomes waste is produced. Market demand is clear: Products should be made from biodegradable materials and the amount of plastics waste should minimalize. Due to specific requirements e.g. sterilization and regulatory requirements the implementation of bioplastics into production of hygiene products has been slow. Bioplastics can be used in different products e.g. tampon applicators, blisters, tweezers, sticks for cotton tops and pet care products. Target products are those where bioplastics replaces conventional plastics and not new products. Important requirement is ability to process new materials on existing equipment or that only few changes on the equipment are necessary. Production of two products was tested: 

Tampon applications (4 materials tested already, 4 another planned to be tested). First results are promising, but still some adjustments (equipment and material characteristics) need to be performed.


Tweezers (2 materials). Results of the production test are promising and require some inventiveness bigger problem is sterilization of tweezers.

All in all implementation of bioplastics into hygiene products is feasible. Processing is possible with conventional equipment but takes a lot of effort, patience, courage and imagination.



Greg Ganczewski Polish Packaging Research and Developement Centre, 11 Konstancińska Street, 02-942 Warsaw, Poland According to the European Commission the definition of Sustainable Development stands for meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability of futures generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development thus comprises three pillars - economic, social and environmental - which have to be considered in equal measure at the political level. Sustainable Development is a broad term that can be applied to a number of issues and determined by a variety of objective and more subjective models. In the instance of plastics and more importantly bioplastics fulfilment of sustainable development has to be present in all product life cycle stages, including: production processes, delivery chain, processing methods, packaging, distribution, usage and waste management including transport. Due to the fact that plastics are used in many industry branches it is hard to set an equal standards and specify define sustainable development policy for all of them. That is why basic standards should be set for all polymer products and for specific sustainability standards should be set for different groups of uses. In general, methods of assessment of sustainable development follow the three main pillars. In environmental pillar one can use the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), rules for responsible resources usage in manufacturing and Meeting of higher requirements than set by current law. In the social pillar it is important to assess whether the product is fulfilling customers’ expectations, how does the waste collection system and recycling work. Finally in the economic pillar it is worth testing what costs and risks are associated with the polymer. Only when the assessment of all three pillars of sustainability is favourable, one can state that the plastic or bioplastic is sustainable.



prof. Hanna Żakowska Polish Packaging Research and Developement Centre, 11 Konstancińska Street, 02-942 Warsaw, Poland Mass events, such as London 2012 Olympics and EURO 2012 championships, gather many inhabitants, sport enthusiasts and tourists in a confined and compressed areas. Within variety of issues connected to their organization, (stadiums, roads, social and accommodation infrastructure etc.) it is important to highlight the necessity of ensuring gastronomic services for a significant number of people. This, in turn, leads to an increase of packaging waste, mainly from plastics. This waste needs to be collected and recovered in a relatively short time period. Single use plastic food trays, cups, containers and cutlery usually offered by fast food establishments on event sites, can be in many cases substituted for compostable packaging manufactured from biodegradable polymers. In comparison with traditional plastic packaging, the main advantage of packaging from biodegradable polymers is the possibility of collecting it along with food residues (organic waste) and composting it together in industrial composting plants. Industrial composting is based upon natural biochemical processes intensified in artificial conditions. According to the official terminology this is known as “Organic Recycling”. Organic waste composting is fully acceptable from the point of view of environment protection policy, due to the fact that the industrial composting processes can be controlled. As highlighted by specialists in the field, composting of biodegradable waste is much cheaper than material recycling of traditional plastics. On the other hand, biodegradable plastics need to be tested according to compostability standards, and preferably marked by a symbol comprehensible for the inhabitants, that instructs the need of disposing those materials with other organic waste in contrast to plastic recycling.


HYDRO-AND OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS. IS PARTNERSHIP OR MARRIAGE POSSIBLE? Emo Chiellini Laboratory of Bioactive Polymeric Materials for Biomedical and Environmental Application (BIOlab)-Udr/INSTM – Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry University of Pisa, via Risorgimento, 35, 56126 Pisa (Italy) Public concern about the human and environmental health effects related to the production and consumption of various man-made materials and products is increasing. These effects may occur at every stage in a product’s life cycle, from the extraction of the raw materials through their processing, manufacturing, transportation, consumption, reuse, recovery and end-of-life phases. At least some forms of plastics are one type of man-made material causing such concern. Synthetic and semi-synthetic polymeric materials and relevant manufactured plastic items are developed to be durable and resistant to all forms of degradation, e.g. physical, chemical and biological. These are typically desirable characteristics for a wide variety of applications, such as for food packaging, agricultural uses, and medical uses. Special material performances are achieved under manufacturing conditions that maintain molecular weight and functionality of the polymers during processing and under service conditions. Plastics have been and are increasingly used because of their amenability to cost effective processing and functional design of items needed both in modern industrial societies and in developing countries. However all those good features, that make the plastic items so convenient and useful to modern human life have, also contributed to increasing plastic waste flows that create new and not yet solved waste management problems that are indeed of global impact. Nowadays polymer consumptions for plastic applications in Western Europe is approximately 60 million tonnes, while worldwide consumption has reached a level of 300 million tonnes. Many plastic applications involve a service life lasting less than 1-2 years; after that the vast majority of these plastic items are discarded as post-consumer waste. What is the optimal way of handling these wastes? A front of all the issues bound to the production of “bio-based” plastics often unproperly named “bioplastics” in terms not only of cost but mostly in terms of performance and their postconsume management, an approach based on the reengineering of full carbon backbone polymers through controlled oxidation, followed by degradation and hence biodegradation (oxo-biodegradable plastics), appears to be a challenging valuable opportunity. In conclusion the increasing needs for commodity plastic items in various mercantile segments leave plenty of room for the development of biogenic products from renewable resources desirably not interfering with food chain (hydro-biodegradable) and of full carbon backbone fossil fuel plastics structurally engineered (oxo-biodegradable) for a sound environmental acceptance (ecocompatible items). It is then expected that a marriage instead of either a divorce or a loose partnership between the two different types of plastics will be realizable to the benefit world-wide end users and environment.


This project is implemented through the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and co-financed by the ERDF.


Trends in bioplastcs - 2nd conference brochure  
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