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Review Dow and

Review Dow and Crystalsev: Polyethylene from ethanol The Dow Chemical Company, the world‘s largest producer of polyethylene, and Crystalsev, one of Brazil‘s largest ethanol players presented their plans for a world-scale facility to manufacture polyethylene from sugar cane. The two companies will form a joint venture in Brazil to design and build the first integrated facility of its scale in the world. Start of production is expected for 2011 with a capacity of 350,000 metric tons. Transforming modified natural materials into innovative applications VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has built up extensive knowledge in modifying and adding new functions to natural polymers—such as starch, cellulose, and wood fibres—over the past 10 years. This work has resulted in a number of sustainable processes and commercial products, such as starch derivates for tailoring the surface properties of paper, starch-based pigments, water-based and hot-melt glues, injection moulding materials, dispersion formulations into coatings and adhesives as well as coating and matrix materials for the controlled release of ingedients. Gehr: extruded rods First in the world extruded rods made of biopolymer The family owned company GEHR, which is located in Mannheim, Germany, has extruded what is most probably the world’s first ‘biological rod’. PLA-L is the name of this biopolymer. PLA-L consists of Polylactide (PLA) and Lignin (= wood). With PLA-L, the worldwide leading company for extruded thermoplastics (POM, PVC, PEEK, etc), further expands its product range in rods. PLA-L is available in the diameters from 10 to 40mm. PLA-L is a thermoplastic material based on renewable, ecologically harmless and biodegradable raw materials. Under appropriate conditions it can be disposed of by either industrial composting or by climate-neutral incineration. PLA-L exhibits good mechanical properties that are similar to ABS. It shows a high stiffness (modulus of elasticity is 2740 MPa) and good impact strength. It also exhibits a good resistance to polar media such as acids, bases and solvents. It can be used in temperatures from - 30 °C to + 60 °C. „You can hardly imagine the variety of applications“, says Bernhard Grosskinsky, head of the technical department at GEHR. „Because of its advantages with regards to its biodegradability and consequent low environmental impact, it is very likely that PLA-L can be used in the toy and agricultural industry as well as in mechanical engineering and the medical industry.“ Elastogran: matress Matress made of 24% renewables Elastogran GmbH, a company of the BASF group presented Lupranol ® BALANCE. Through the application of a completely novel type of catalyst it has been possible for the first time to employ natural castor- oil in the production of low-emission flexible foam polyols. The new product is made up of 31% castor oil. A finished mattress made with Lupranol BALANCE contains up to 24% by weight of castor oil, without impairing the performance of the foam. This very high percentage of renewable raw material in the finished product is a breakthrough in the realm of polyurethane base products. 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Biodegradable compound SAM-A C&I Corporation Ltd from Korea presented their advanced technology to improve physical properties, processability and chemical stability of biodegradable resins which have inherently fragile properties. SAM-A offers this by enhancing the compatibility of biodegradable resins, proper composition and development of additives based on many years of experience. SAM-A‘s biodegradable resins are composed of PLA and aliphatic polyester, environmentally friendly and biodegradable plastics and can replace traditional plastics because they offer excellent physical properties such as strength, heat stability and chemical resistance, as can be read in their K‘2007 brochure. 3rd generation natural fibre composites At present Kareline Oy Ltd fom Joensuu, Finland say they have the widest range of bio-composites available in the market. These materials are based on PLA, but also natural fibre composites with a matrix of PP, PE, ABS, PS, POM are available. The natural fibre content varies between 20 to 55 wt-%. The reinforcing fibres used are wood-based cellulose fibres manufactured in the most ecologically advanced mills in the world. Wood raw material used in the process is environmentally certified. The Kareline ® composite granulates can be injection moulded in all standard thermoplastic injection moulding machines and tools. This material has already been in use all over the world in a wide variety of different machines and tools. Kareline: flexwood guitar Symphony in technology Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co. KG presented their machinery in Düsseldorf as well as in their premises in Troisdorf Germany. In the Technology Center in Troisdorf a premium 3-layer blown film line Filmtec 3-1700-IBC-RHS with IBC was shown among others. The flexible line concept with an excellent price/performance ratio features low-temperature screws and three REItorque extruders, so that the range of applications is completed by bio packaging. Processing of PLA material was be demonstrated on the high-performance thermoforming sheet line MIREX-W-3- 130/80/50-1000. The series is available as mono or coex line for up to 7 layers. Review BioLog: product examples New compounding process for bioplastics BioLog GmbH from Queis, Germany have developed a new patented bioplastic based on starch, chitosan and polyester. It can be processed in film blowing (10-30 µm) e.g. for food packaging or in thicknesses of 30-200 µm for mulch films, bags, liners or covers. Monolayer as well as multilayer applications are possible. Furthermore extrusion blow moulding, thermoforming films, injection moulding applications such as planting pots, cups, cutlery etc. Foam applications for building industry and packaging applications round off the portfolio. In Düsseldorf, BioLog presented themselves at the booth of Reimelt Henschel MischSysteme GmbH from Kassel, Germany. They developed a new process for the compounding of BioLog material. A new screw design of the twin-screw extruder allows to process higher amounts of starch even with a higher moisture content. bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 11

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