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06 | 2010

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K‘2010 Review ‘Green Shoe‘ Concept Bayer MaterialScience has developed a unique concept for a ‘green shoe’ that uses a whole host of sustainable materials and technologies. These include renewable polyurethane feedstocks, raw materials for solvent-free coatings and adhesives, and a polycarbonate blend and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) based on renewable resources. Up to 90 % of all components in the ‘Ecotrekker’ concept shoe can be given eco-friendly properties by using the company’s products. “Footwear manufacturers, end consumers and, not least, the environment can all benefit equally from this development,” explains Dr. John Zhang, head of Bayer MaterialScience’s Global Footwear Competence Center in Shanghai, where the concept was developed. In microcellular polyurethane elastomer systems for outer soles and midsoles alone, the proportion of renewable raw materials is as high as 70 %. This high value puts Bayer MaterialScience as a raw material supplier for shoe soles into the number one spot in the industry, as does a proportion of up to 40 % of renewable materials in the polycarbonate blend used and also the products and technologies developed inhouse for solvent- and plasticizer-free textile coatings and adhesive raw materials. Using these coatings and adhesives alone would cut global emissions of organic solvents by approximately 150,000 metric tons. The shoe cap used in this prototype of a safety shoe and made from a PC+PLA blend from the Makroblend ® range is not only lighter than the conventional steel cap. With its high proportion of biobased raw materials, this material with modified impact resistance is also more environmentally friendly and remains recyclable. Desmopan ® thermoplastic polyurethane products based on a high proportion of renewable raw materials have been used for the concept shoes’ heel counter, shoelace eyelets and, not least, the manufacturer’s logo on the sole. Due to its outstanding mechanical properties, the highly abrasion- and wear-resistant bio-based TPU can of course also be used for traditional TPU shoe components such as outsoles or decorative upper parts. www.bayermaterialscience.com www.simplefactorygroup.com. A Novel Protein-Based Flexible and Elastic Biomaterial MERIPLAST ® is a novel bioplastics from the French company Syral. It is entirely made from raw materials derived from agriculture and is fully biodegradable. The material has specific flexibility and elasticity properties, which makes it unique amongst the biodegradable and renewable materials currently available. Meriplast is fully bio-based, it is both renewable and biodegradable. The targeted applications of Meriplast are moulded objects for interior such as toys, leather imitation for office products (covers),design articles, pieces of furniture. Applications are still in the development phase. Meriplast can be processed on standard rubber processing machinery (injection moulding, calandering). Different grades that vary in extensibility and tensile strength can be produced. The material‘s natural colour is light brown but it can be coloured into a wide variety of tints. Bio Masterbatches Brazilian masterbatch and additive supplier Cromex from Sao Paulo, specialist in development and formulation of concentrates, presented a new line of white, black, color and functional additives masterbatches based on biopolymers made from 100% renewable source such as PLA obtained from corn starch, green polyethylene and sugar cane ethanol that provide less environmental impact and reducing CO 2 emissions with carbon footprint. Biomasterbatches provide easy application associated with color consistency in several focused on sustainability as a value for environment, working in the present for a better future. The company said the additives enable the bioplastics to serve markets such as automotive, toys, cosmetics and personal care packaging, among others. www.syral.com www.cromex.com.br 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 6

TODAY OUR CHEMISTS COMPOSE TOMORROW’S MATERIALS. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, more than 50% of Arkema’s research budget is dedicated to developing sustainable solutions for renewable energy, water management, composite materials and biopolymers. Arkema, a global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer. www.arkema.com

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