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03 | 2008

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The First Linear

The First Linear Polyethylene from 100% Renewable Raw Materials Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem announced the first certified linear polyethylene in the world made from 100% renewable raw materials. This achievement was obtained through the development of a technology using biobutene, which will enable Braskem to expand its line of green polyethylene. The linear polyethylene was certified by one of the most important international laboratories, Beta Analytic, attesting that the product is made from 100% renewable raw material, and its patent has already been deposited by the company. Antonio Morschbacker, the Technology Manager for biopolymers at the company, explains that this development represents an important technological leap for Braskem, since the production of green linear polyethylene demands the use of a second monomer (molecules used as raw material to make the polymer) from a 100% renewable source. In other words, besides sugarcane ethylene, a technology already dominated by Braskem, the researchers needed to elaborate a new technological route that would allow them to obtain high-yield butene from a renewable raw material. The main market for this linear polyethylene is the flexible packaging segment (films), which mostly serves the food industry. Still being produced at a laboratory scale, production of the green linear polyethylene will permit the product to be tested by selected clients interested in its performance and environmental advantages. At present, Braskem is concluding a project to set up an industrial unit to produce green ethylene that will supply the already existing polyethylene units in their installations, with the capacity to product 200 thousand tons per year and projected to start operations in 2010. www.braskem.com.br bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/08] Vol. 3

Events Focus on Performance Biopolymers In a symposium on advanced biopolymers on June19, 2008 the Mikrocentrum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, will put the emphasis on new applications for bio-based materials. The aims of the lectures (partly in English, partly in Dutch) of this ‘Themadag Biopolymeren’ are : • To explain the benefits of sustainable products • To present the trends in the bioplastics market and offerings of suppliers • To present bioplastics solutions for technical applications • To share information about adequate design rules and processing of biopolymer materials. In the symposium the modification of properties of PLA will be illustrated by Remy Jongboom of BioPearls. Dr. Urs Hänggi of Biomer will elucidate the unique characteristics of thermoplastic PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). New developments on the field of biobased polyesters and processing will be treated by Gerald Schennink of the Wageningen University Research centre. Together with improved versions of existing biopolymers companies are also bringing new bioplastics to the market. An example of a new product range is Arkema’s Pebax ® Rnew, a range of engineering thermoplastic elastomers with a 20 to 90% renewable carbon content. DuPont will present its new developments in Sorona ® and Hytrel ® materials, based on a biological polyol. Ir. Rolf Koster of the Design of Plastics department of the Technical University of Delft will talk about careful tuning of biopolymers in design and processing Governments stimulate the business development of bioplastics. Herman Feil of TDI BV will explain the results of programmes in the Netherlands, that have been developed for introducing bioplastics in new markets. He will talk about the possibilities of subsidies to support the development of new technologies and products. Prof. Jan van Hest of the Radboud University of Nijmegen will take the audience to a new world of materials, like spider silk which is a polymer based on proteins. Based on bio-organic principles in the future materials could be tailor-made with promising self-organizing or self-healing properties in the nano-range. The symposium will be concluded with a discussion on items like pro’s and con’s of biopolymers and opportunities vs. bottlenecks. Comparison of Different Bioplastic Materials Conference in Vienna The Institute for International Research (IIR Österreich GmbH) organizes the 2nd Bio-Plastics Conference in Austria. The conference is held on the 4th and 5th of June 2008 at the Hotel De France in Vienna. The validation of performance of PLA, PHB, PHA, Starch and Cellulose is one of the key topics at the conference. The conference will also focus on the latest developments of the bioplastic industry. Further topics: • Market development of bioplastics in EU, UK, USA, Japan and China • A comparison between PLA, PHA, PHB, Starch and Cellulose - Optical appearance, physical & chemical characteristics, thermal properties, barrier improvements • Improving appearance and performance of all biopolymers - How to improve function and optics of biopolymers? • Converting bioplastics and compounds • Printed and laminated Bio-films – status and trends • End of life options - Recycling and recovery of bioplastics During the two days experts from well-known companies such as Fraunhofer-Institut, Sukano Produkts LTD, maag GmbH, Novamont, Pro-Tech GmbH, Innovia Films, TECNARO GmbH and Natureworks LLC BV, etc will share their knowledge and give an overview of the bioplastic market and biobased products. This event is an excellent opportunity to meet and listen to experts of the biotechnology landscape and find out more about new developments and innovations. www.iir.at/biokunststoffe.html www.mikrocentrum.nl bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/08] Vol. 3

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