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05 | 2008

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selected additives, will

selected additives, will enable wood fibres to compete in the future with higher priced fibres such as hemp, or flax - or even glass fibres - in higher performance moulded bioplastic applications. Summary Non-Food Scion’s approaches to bioplastic products have as a key point of difference a focus on utilising non-food resources such as those from forestry, and from a wide range of waste streams or other reject materials. It is not just about plant pots and ground pegs as end products – several other product development projects with industry (New Zealand and international) are being progressed. Scion’s bioplastics technologies, which are based on, or incorporate, waste derived polymers, through various modification technologies, could be used to make furniture parts, electronic/appliance parts or casings, packaging - virtually any use conventional plastic is put to. Scion has researched a wide spectrum of biomass wastes and natural resources and has evaluated their suitabilities to plastics processes. Scientists have then developed modifications or treatments of such wastes to enable their use in common plastic processes such as extrusion or injection moulding. Discovering what ‘biomass’ wastes are best suited for what product or performance attribute is part of the fun. Some of them have definite potential. Some have none at all (at present!). www.scionresearch.com Sofitel Hotel, Munich, Germany 3-4 December 2008 Now in its 10th year, European Plastics News Bioplastics Conference is the place to gain an independent viewpoint on the state of bio-sourced polymer capabilities and markets. Cut beneath the hype and get the critical information to decide whether the Bioplastics option makes sense for your business, and whether the biosourced route will improve your environmental position. To register Jenny Noakes EPNconferences@crain.com +44 (0) 20 8253 9621 www.bioplasticsconference.com Confirmed speakers • Coopbox Europe SpA • FostPlus • Frost & Sullivan • AVA Packaging Solutions • Merquinsa • Polish Packaging Research & Development Centre • Polyone • Utrecht University For speaking opportunities Lisa Mather on +44 (0) 20 8253 9623 or email lmather@crain.com For sponsorship opportunities Levent Tounjer on +44 (0) 20 8253 9626 or email ltounjer@crain.com The 3rd Annual Bioplastics Awards Dinner for developers, manufacturers and users of bio-based plastics will be held on 3 December - www.bioplasticsawards.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3 35

Non-Food PHA from Switchgrass – a Non-Food-Source Alternative Scientists and engineers have been at it for years, trying to crack the code for an economically viable and agriculturally available resource that can be used as a feedstock to produce significant amounts of bioplastics. Research has been done with sugarcane, flax, cotton, tobacco, alfalfa, potato, oilseed, and of course, corn. Many of these resources have shown the potential for engineering into bioplastic, but none without sacrifice. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - based Metabolix has been hard at work evaluating renewable solutions to help minimize the negative environmental impact of plastics and has had a breakthrough that promises to literally change the landscape of the industry. Switchgrass “There is a need throughout the world, not only in the U.S. and Europe, to identify renewable resources that can be used as feedstocks in the production of plastics. It is a glaring truth that oil is not the answer, and so Metabolix and others are hard at work evaluating natural resources that can help to reduce the amount of petroleum and chemicals that go into plastics, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our carbon footprint,” commented Brian Igoe, VP and Chief Brand Officer of Metabolix, Inc. Metabolix is often viewed as one of the leaders in the bioplastics industry, primarily as it relates to its production of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) via the microbial fermentation of sugars. This first generation bioplastic, called Mirel, is a family of bioplastics created within the cells of engineered microbes. Mirel starts with corn sugar, as this is the most economic feedstock in the U.S., but the technology is adaptable for cane sugar in Brazil or even palm oil in Southeast Asia. What differentiates Mirel from other biobased plastics is its combination of high performance and biodegradability in a wide range of environments including soil, home compost, industrial compost, municipal waste treatment facilities, septic systems and even wetlands, rivers, and oceans. In the second quarter of 2009, Telles, the company’s 50-50 joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland, will begin producing 110 million pounds (approx. 50,000 tonnes) of Mirel bioplastic per year at a production facility being constructed now in Clinton, Iowa, USA. Second Generation Bioplastics Over the last seven years, Metabolix scientists have been working to engineer the genetic pathways that would make it 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

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