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01 | 2010

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Cellulosics

Application News

Application News Roll-Bag Solution for Bio-Bags www.roll-o-matic.com Roll-o-Matic, Denmark, stands for solutions that are flexible, faster and easier to operate, and in addition financially attractive. One example is Roll-o-Matic‘s star-sealed T-shirt kit for Delta converting lines. This kit is a newly developed and patented solution, which allows the production of star-sealed T-shirt bags, normal T-shirt, sinus/wave top, bottom- sealed and other bags on a standard Delta T-shirt line without any additional modules. It keeps the costs at a minimum, and compared to other set-ups the costs of the star-sealed kit is only a fraction. The stable solution with a line speed up to 160 m/min / 300 cycles / 2 lanes led to a very positive customer feedback. And the star-sealed kit solution is environmentally and financially favourable: As the skirt on the bag is very short, the waste of material is minimized to about half of the traditional skirt length. Star-sealed bags have a strong bottom, which allows ‘downgauging‘, i.e. producing thinner but not weaker bags. Bio-Bag Example from Italy With a slight adjustment of sealing temperature and sealing pressure, Roll-o-Matic Delta line with a star-sealed T-shirt kit is also able to run biomaterial, which makes the bag production even more environment-friendly. Italian leader in the production of Mater-Bi articles Sacme has developed a new concept: a star-sealed T-shirt bio-bag that comes together with a matching plastic waste bin. The concept is called Geo & Gea, the aerated system for collecting wet waste. The star-sealed T-shirt bag fits perfectly into the waste bin, and for the end user it functions as a waste bin for fruit, vegetables or other degradable products. The new concept has been very successful, as the market for smart solutions like this is still growing. Sacme, have been very content with the Roll-o-Matic starsealed kit solution, which allows flexible and stable production of star-sealed T-shirt bags. “With a flexible solution like this we are sure to give our customers an opportunity to extend their product range without having to make a heavy investment.” “And in a market where demands can change quickly, we believe it is a favourable choice,“ comments Mr. Birger Sørensen, Managing Director at Roll-o- Matic, Denmark. Innovative Hospital Waste Management System Pharmafilter BV, a bioenergy technology company based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has selected Mirel bioplastics by Telles (Lowell, Massachussetts, USA) for a suite of disposable products for hospital use. Pharmafilter BV is currently commercializing its patented Pharmafilter system as a cleaner, more efficient way for hospitals and the healthcare industry to reduce contaminated solid waste, food, and wastewater through anaerobic digestion. Outputs are biogas for fuel or power generation, biomass for energy conversion, and clean water. The initial range of single use products to be made from Mirel include: service ware items, bed pans and trash bags. Use of such disposable products made from Mirel can mitigate the need for reusable items, thus reducing human contact with contaminated service ware and its related safety concerns. Mirel products will be disposed of along with the hospital and healthcare wastes, and fed to the Pharmafilter system. The initial pilot project is scheduled to begin operation in March 2010 at Delft Hospital in Amsterdam. “We selected Mirel because it fits right into our system,” said Eduardo Van Den Berg, CEO of Pharmafilter BV. “Mirel has the performance properties for single-use plastic service applications and it is biobased and biodegradable, so it is the most appropriate solution for the Pharmafilter process.” “Mirel’s broad range of applications and biodegradation properties make it an ideal product to integrate with anaerobic digestion systems for waste disposal and bioenergy production,” said Bob Engle, General Manager, Telles. “We are excited about our role in this innovative process for the conversion of potentially harmful waste products into bioenergy. In addition to the primary use of Mirel as a biobased plastic for high performance service ware and packaging, Mirel may offer a secondary value as an energy source arising from its disposal through anaerobic digestion.” Pharmafilter cooperates with its partners to realize its goal: a cleaner hospital and a cleaner environment. Pharmafilter utilizes water experts with skills ranging from pollution to purification and receives important and indispensable support in the Netherlands and in Europe. Partners include the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport; VROM; Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management; Waterboard Delfland; STOWA Reinier de Graaf Groep; Municipality of Delft; European environment subsidy Life+; SenterNovem; and BTG. www.mirelplastics.com 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/10] Vol. 5

Application News Forest Plant Container Made in Chile www.udt.cl In Chile the development of biodegradable materials dates back about a decade. One of the highlights in this area is the work of the University of Concepción through the Technological Development Unit (UDT). In 2005 for example, UDT was involved in the set-up of a pilot scale production of biodegradable polymers, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and polylactic acid (PLA). The raw material used for the bacterial fermentation of lactic acid was organic waste generated by the famous Chilean wine industry, where the residue of the grapes was used as an organic substrate. High Value for Forestry Currently UDT, in conjunction with the Chilean companies Proyectos Plasticos and Forestal Minico, is developing a forestry plant container from biodegradable composite materials consisting of PLA, wood waste and various additives. This development has been motivated by an attractive market in Chile that has grown up around forest production and which uses polypropylene plastic containers in nurseries for the development and transfer of seedlings into the forest. Here the seedlings are manually removed from the container and planted in the ground, which can constitute a risk of damage to the seedlings. This in turn leads to significant losses in the forestry sector, as up to 5% of seedlings are destroyed on average. To avoid such losses a biodegradable container was delveloped that survives the nursery stage and can be planted together with the seedling in the forest. Technological innovation and concrete results This technological innovation developed by UDT has led to a PLA-based material with up to 50% wood flour content. Compared to pure PLA, this leads to lower production costs, improved processability by injection moulding and an increased rate of biodegradation. The technology involves the production of biodegradable composite material pellets in a co-rotating twin screw extruder, which produces a compound of the components including additives to achieve a good compatibility between PLA and wood, and to improve its mechanical properties and processability. The pellets are then injection moulded by Proyectos Plasticos into forest containers. In a second stage of this innovation nutrients are incorporated in the formulation of the material, to be released in a controlled manner during the biodegradation process in the soil, thereby improving plant growth. The results of the biodegradation in line with ASTM 5338D have been established in terms of weight loss and release of CO 2 as a product of microbial activity in about 120 days. MT Bags for Electronic Road Toll Tags www.inapol.cl www.costaneranorte.cl Inapol Ltda, Chile is a bag manufacturer who has already developed some products from bioplastics, for example Mater-Bi from Novamont. Now they announced to be the first producer in Chile to launch a bag made 100% from bioplastic raw material for a big client. “We have already made 150,000 bags of a Mater-Bi material that will be used by Costanera Norte to wrap ‘electronic tags’ for toll roads instead of using polypropylene,” says Sebastián Aguilar, Gerente Comercial of Inapol. Due to heavy traffic and many congestions in Santiago, Chile had introduced a toll system for the use of interurban highways. Toll roads are fully automated using electronic toll collection technology. This entails drivers fixing an electronic tag in their vehicle which communicates with roadside equipment. These tags are distributed free of charge by the private operators of the toll roads as part of their concession contract. “This is the first initiative of a big company in our country in order to make concrete actions to promote renewable and biodegradable materials, “ says Sebastián Aguilar. “Costanera Norte started a campaign to reduce CO 2 emissions, and they thought that this bag could be a contribution for that purpose. We made that bag, and here in Chile is the first initiative to promote this kind of materials.” MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/10] Vol. 5 37

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