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News BASF and CSM JV for

News BASF and CSM JV for Biobased Succinic Acid BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany and Purac Gorinchem, The Netherlands, a subsidiary of CSM nv, announced in early August the start of negotiations to form a joint venture for the production of bio-based succinic acid. The companies have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on bio-based succinic acid since 2009. The complementary strengths in fermentation and downstream processing led to the development of a sustainable and highly efficient manufacturing process based on a proprietary microorganism. The demand for succinic acid is anticipated to grow strongly in the next years. Main drivers are expected to be bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticizers. During the existing cooperation critical steps of the jointly developed production process have been validated in several successful production campaigns. The resulting volumes were used to evaluate the market. “After successfully testing the BASF in-house applications we are now able to make large volumes available for external customers,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, Managing Director of BASF Future Business GmbH with regard to the recent industrial production campaign in June 2011. “The goal is to globally provide a high product quality and offer security of supply to the customers,” Fabrizio Rampinelli, Managing Director of Purac, added. “Through this bio-based succinic acid collaboration we aim to add another important new growth-pillar to our bio-based polymers and green chemical business.” The newly developed process combines high efficiency with the use of renewable substrates and the fixation of the greenhouse gas CO2 during the production. This results in a positive eco-footprint and makes bio-based succinic acid an economically and ecologically attractive alternative to petrochemical substitutes. The employed microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens is a natural producer of succinic acid and can process a wide variety of C3, C5 and C6 renewable feedstocks, including biomass sources. 2 nd Renewable Plastics The 2011 European Plastics News annual Renewable Plastics Conference was helf in Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 20 and 22. Over these two days influencial delegates from across Europe gathered to hear presentations on and debate subjects as diverse as ‘PHA from waste water, Plastic waste in the Ocean and PEF - a 100% biobased alternative to PET. On the stage to share their knowlege and views were (amongst others) Professor Hans Joseph Endres from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover, Bruno de Wilde from Organic Waste Systems, Ady Jager from NatureWorks BV and Dr Gareth Davies from Nokia The debate was lively with plenty of questions from the floor all expertly chaired by Dr John Wiliams, Head of Materials for Energy and Industry NNFCC. The feedback from the delegates has been excellent and the organisers - European Plastics News - are already consulting their diaries for next year. Tesco Drop ‘Oxo Biodegradable’ Bags UK supermarket chain Tesco has dropped so-called ‘eco-friendly’ carrier bags after evidence suggests they are doing more harm than good. Oxo biodegradable bags are made of non-renewable plastics, which are able to degrade in the presence of oxygen and sunlight thanks to the addition of small amounts of metals. Last year Tesco handed out over two billion oxo degradable bags to customers, but now the supermarket giant has had a re-think and stopped using the bags because they may be worse for the environment than conventional carriers. “We’ve been putting pressure on the supply chain for several years to consider the negative impacts of oxo biodegradable bags and move to more environmentally-friendly alternatives,” said Dr John Williams, Head of Materials at the NNFCC. “Plastics are excellent materials, highly functional and energy efficient. Promoting sensible and certified routes to reuse, recycle and dispose of plastics, will improve sustainablility. Artificially accelerating the degradation of an oil-based plastic is neither economically or environmentally sensible.” Tesco’s decision follows research by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which cast doubts over claims that the bag would degrade to water, carbon dioxide and biomass in just 18 months. Defra’s report concluded that degradability would depend on where and under what conditions the bag ended up after use. Certainly not an antidote to plastic littering as some producers claim. MT 8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6

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