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News Photo: RacingThePlanet Limited ( Novamont supported antarctic marathon runner The Italian marathon runner Francesco Galanzino joined six other athletes in crossing the coldest landmass in the world, racing over 250 km in temperatures ranging from -10 C° to -30°C. Starting out by sea from Argentina, they crossed the Southern Polar ice cap in 5 days, from 21 November to 1 December, 2007. Galanzino, wherever possible, replaced traditional plastics with biodegradable and compostable plastics. Novamont provided him with kits of single-use Mater-Bi tableware as well as sorted collection refuse bags. This allowed all refuse to be returned to Italy for intelligent disposal. Every kg of organic matter which is properly initiated in compositing allows for a saving of about 250gr in CO 2 emissions, considerably reducing environmental impact. www.4deserts/thelastdesert/ Novomer raises .6 million to bring novel ‘eco-plastics‘ to market Novomer Inc., a Cornell University spin-off founded in 2004, announced that it has raised US-.6 million in series A funding. Physic Ventures co-led the financing in partnership with Flagship Ventures. The company is today pioneering a family of highperformance, biodegradable plastics, polymers and other chemicals from renewable substances such as carbon dioxide. Founded in 2004, Novomer’s technology is based on the discoveries of Professor Geoffrey Coates and his research group at Cornell University. Coates is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of polymer science and a leading innovator in the increasingly vital arena of sustainable materials. The national trade magazine of the American Chemical Society wrote about Novomer‘s pioneering work: “Geoffrey W. Coates and his group at Cornell University have spent a decade developing catalysts to incorporate CO 2 into polymers. Two successes, building on work by other groups dating back to the late 1960s, are β-diiminate zinc acetate and salen cobalt carboxylate complexes. These catalysts promote alternating copolymerization of various epoxides with CO 2 to make biodegradable aliphatic polycarbonates. Meredian Inc. announced acquisition of PHA technology from Procter & Gamble Meredian, Inc. a privately held corporation from Georgia, USA, announced the acquisition of an extensive intellectual property portfolio from The Procter & Gamble Company relating to Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) technology. Procter & Gamble developed the technology through more than a decade of research, resulting in a highly functional and cost effective material, which will now be produced commercially by Meredian, Inc. “We are very pleased and excited to bring leading-edge, green technology to the marketplace,“ said S. Blake Lindsey, President of Meredian, Inc. “Meredian biopolymers combined with our existing DaniMer and Seluma biopolymers will enable us to provide synergies within these technology platforms and will result in one of the world‘s most versatile biopolymer product lines.“ Harry Coleman, director of P&G‘s External Business Development adds, “As part of our open innovation strategy, P&G was seeking an enthusiastic company that could efficiently commercialize our intellectual property on polymers. We selected Meredian because of their dedication to biopolymers and strong ability to take our development work to the next level - delivering products to the market. We look forward to future collaboration with Meredian in this area.“ Meredian expects to begin construction in 2008 on the first of four planned production facilities; the first will be located in the Southeastern United States. Meredian plans to produce over 600 million pounds of biopolymers annually. bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

New study on ‘Nanohybrid’ PHB News In its November issue ACS‘ Biomacromolecules, a bi-monthly journal, published a study on the development of a new biodegradable ‘nanohybrid’ plastic, based on PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate). In this study, Pralay Maiti, Carl A. Batt, and Emmanuel P. Giannelis (all from the Department of Material Science and Engineering or the Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York) compared the strength and biodegradation rates of a ‘hybrid‘ of PHB which contains ‘nanoclays‘ (nanoparticles of clay) to ‘conventional‘ PHB. It was observed that the modified PHB showed increased mechanical and thermal properties and decomposed faster than regular PHB. The biodegradation rate of the nanohybrid PHB is enhanced significantly in the presence of nanoclay. In about seven weeks the material decomposed almost completely, whereas the rate of biodegradation is quite slow in pristine PHB, as the researchers discovered. 2007/8/i11/html/bm700500t.html Biggest European WPC Congress After the great success of the First German WPC Congress in 2005 (WPC=Wood-Plastic-Composites) the organiser, nova-Institut from Hürth, Germany, arranged the Second German WPC Congress on 4th and 5th of December 2007 in Cologne. About 350 participants from 24 countries saw presentations that were simultaneously translated into English. 30 companies showed their innovations in the accompanying exhibtion. Among the highlights of the event was the first WPC Innovations award and the introduction of a ‘certificate of quality‘ by the Association of the German Wood-Based Panels Industries (VHI). Even though the matrix in WPCs is still mainly made of polypropylene, an increasing number of developments also cover the use of biobased polymers as matrix components. Bio-coated paper cup range launched by Huhtamaki Huhtamaki‘s range of single-use BioWare cups, plates, containers and cutlery is now being completed with bio-coated paper cups for hot and cold drinks. The BioWare paper cup range is the first complete bio-coated paper hot and cold cup range launched in Europe, as the company stated. The bio-coating allows the paper cups to be composted in industrial composting facilities. Fibers for the paper cups come from sustainably managed forests and can be traced back to their origin. The cartonboard material has Forestry Stewardship Council‘s (FSC) chain of custody certificate. BioWare paper cups are as strong and rigid as conventional Huhtamaki heavy board cups. The complete range of hot and cold cups include cup sizes from 100ml to 500ml, making this range suitable for different beverages and drink sizes. Excellent customized printing and promotional options, but also attractive BioWare stock design with ‘compostable’ printing, are available. Designed to fulfill the needs of various foodservice operators, BioWare products work in uses ranging from outdoor festivals and mass events to catering and daily food and beverage service. By using BioWare, restaurants and event organizers can combine the waste stream for packaging and food. bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

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