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Materials PHBV from

Materials PHBV from Tianan-Biologic Article contributed by Dr. Jim Lunt, VP Sales & Marketing, Tianan Biologic Materials Co. Ltd, Ningbo, PR China and Ruud Rouleaux, Managing Director, Peter Holland bv, Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands Product examples Tianan Biologic Material Co. Ltd is located in Ningbo, one of the major cities in China’s economically dynamic Zhejiang Province. Ningbo is situated in the central part of China‘s coastline and south flank of the Yangtze River Delta, bordering Shanghai and Hangzhou. The Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone (NETD) is located in the north-east of Ningbo city, behind the largest deepwater port in China-Beilun port. Established in 1984, NETD is one of the earliest and largest development zones at the national level in China. NETD has established a reputation as the most promising location for development in China with its strategic geographic location, numerous natural resources, wide variety of industries and a modern transportation network. Today, Tianan Biologic is the world’s largest producer of PHBV, a fully biobased and 100% biodegradable polymer that is derived through a completely natural fermentation process. PHBV is short for Poly-β-Hydroxy Butyrate-co- Valerate and is a crystalline biopolymer with high temperature resistance. After the production facility with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes of PHBV was installed in Ningbo China in December 2003, about one month later Tianan began to sell PHBV on a trial basis. In April 2004, Tianan was certified by ISO 14855. The company presently produces 1,000 tonnes of PHBV and by the end of November Tianan will be increasing capacity to 2,000 tonnes per year. Tianan Biologic’s mission is to become and remain a world leading producer of PHBV bioplastics while positively contributing to the world’s environment and economy. The com- 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/07] Vol. 2

Materials pany’s future plans are to grow the market for PHBV to create sufficient demand to install additional capacity of 10,000 tonnes in mid 2009 and then further additional capacity of 50,000 tonnes to come on line mid 2011. To achieve these goals, Tianan will follow a disciplined and focused approach to the marketplace. Today the key demand for such products is in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan Australia, and New Zealand. Over time an increasing demand is expected in China, Korea and other Asian markets as well as South America. The key targeted market segments for Tianan Biologic’s PHBV product can be divided into three general categories: 1. Bioplastic applications, where 100% renewable resource and 100% biodegradability are required. Typical applications envisaged are in injection molded cosmetic containers such as lipstick casing, and other cosmetic products. Blow molded or injection stretch blow molded shampoo bottles. Paper coated products. 2. Biodegradable products, where 100% renewable resource is not needed but biodegradability is still required. Typical products in this category are blends of PHBV with other biodegradable products, such as the starch based materials and synthetic biodegradable polyesters. Potential applications include thermoformed or injection molded non-clear containers, with improved flexibility and a wider property spectrum than can be achieved from PHBV alone, and blown film products. 3. Biobased products for more durable applications where full biodegradability and 100% renewable resource would be preferred, but blends with non renewable and non biodegradable Petrochemical based products are an option. This may be required to achieve the required properties and still achieve a meaningful reduction in the overall use of petrochemical derived plastics and an improved environmental footprint. Typical products in this category could include: Blends of PHBV with non degradable impact modifiers for gift card /credit card applications. Blends of PHBV with natural fibers and petroleum based impact modifiers and other plastics for computer casings, automotive, cellular phone, Ipod and other hand held consumer devices. As a biopolyester, PHBV is made by bacteria, using natural sugars as the food source, and can be fully digested by naturally occurring bacteria. When finally disposed of in compost or bacterially rich environments such as soil and water, it completely decomposes into carbon dioxide, water and biomass PHBV also has high biological compatibility and good barrier properties to water, gas and aroma permeation. Potential product applications, in addition to those discussed above, exist for a wide range of other applications such as medical materials (sutures), films products (mulch films, shopping bags, and compost bags), disposable items (pens, tableware), packaging materials (especially for food packaging), etc. Tianan Biologic is accelerating its product development and manufacturing and marketing efforts to bring these goals to reality. The company is looking for dedicated partners who share this same vision. Initial quantities of Tianan’s PHBV products (less than 200Kg), for sampling, and/or technical information can presently be acquired through r.rouleaux@peterholland.nl (for Europe) or directly from Tianan jl@tianan-enmat.com www.tianan-enmat.com www.peterholland.nl bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/07] Vol. 2 25

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