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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1106

News NatureWorks

News NatureWorks Received Award NatureWorks was recently honored with the 2011 Leader of Change Award from The Foundation for Social Change and the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP). The Leader of Change award recognizes visionary executives of companies, financial institutions, and advocacy groups that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the pursuit of sustainability whereby environmental and social performance are embedded in the competitive strategy of the organization. “We named NatureWorks a leader of change, because the company demonstrates several compelling proof points,” explained Louise M. Guido, CEO of the Foundation for Social Change. “NatureWorks is not a longstanding, conventional company that decided to ‘go green,’ this is a company actually founded – just 10 years ago – on the simple principle of selling sustainable performance products, giving contemporary industry a new way to do business and today’s consumer a new choice. And, as the Ingeo Earth Month project demonstrated, NatureWorks’ early bet on environmental performance is clearly paying off.” NatureWorks joins a prestigious group of other 2011 Leader in Change award recipients, including Billabong, Domini Social Investment Fund, DSM, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Marks & Spencer, Philips Lighting, Seventh Generation and Unilever. “NatureWorks is founded on the very principles recognized by the 2011 Leader of Change Award,” said Steve Davies, marketing and public affairs director for NatureWorks, “Ingeo allows companies to do business differently – by opening the way for brands to bring innovative and sustainable products to their customers without compromising performance and appeal.” MT www.natureworksllc.com First Bio-based EPDM Rubber in the World LANXESS from Leverkusen, Germany is strengthening its commitment to produce premium synthetic rubbers from bio-based raw materials. The specialty chemicals company aims to commercially produce ethylenepropylene-diene monomer (EPDM) from bio-based ethylene by the end of the year. It will be the first form of bio-based EPDM rubber in the world. EPDM is conventionally produced using the petroleum-based raw materials ethylene and propylene. Alternatively, Lanxess plans to use ethylene derived purely from the renewable resource sugar cane. The company Braskem S.A. will supply the bio-based ethylene via pipeline to Lanxess’ existing EPDM plant in Triunfo, Brazil. “Lanxess’ ongoing search for alternatives to fossil fuels underlines its commitment to reducing CO 2 emissions through sustainable production,” said Guenther Weymans, head of Lanxess’ Technical Rubber Products business unit. “We are very excited that our Brazilian plant will be the pioneer for bio-based EPDM.” “Lanxess will contribute to broaden our portfolio of renewable chemicals’ clients. This agreement will bring the benefits of green ethylene to other important applications and markets. Lanxess has extensive automotive experience and an excellent reputation in this market, which makes it an ideal partner,” said Marcelo Nunes, Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Director. Triunfo currently produces 40,000 tonnes per year of regular EPDM rubber and it is expected that the first batches of the product Keltan Eco will amount to several hundred tonnes. The company’s other EPDM production sites are based in Geleen, The Netherlands, Marl, Germany, and Orange, Texas, USA. All EPDM grades will be sold in the future under the brand name Keltan. EPDM is used above all in the automotive industry but also in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries. Its properties include very low density, good resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering as well as good electrical insulation properties. In addition, Lanxess is already seeking alternative sources to produce the premium synthetic rubber product butyl rubber, which is used predominantly in the tire industry. Together with Colorado-based Gevo, Inc, Lanxess is developing isobutene from renewable resources starting with corn. Isobutene is a key raw material needed in the manufacture of butyl rubber. Last year, Lanxess started up a new onsite power plant at its Brazilian site in Porto Feliz, which produces iron oxide pigments. The innovative, highly efficient cogeneration plant for the production of electricity and steam is powered by bagasse, a fibrous component of sugar cane that is left over after sugar production. Thanks to the use of this renewable, environmentally friendly raw material, energy can be produced on a CO 2 - neutral basis for the site. MT www.lanxess.com www.braskem.com 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/11] Vol. 6

News New Additives for High-Performance Bioplastics Compared to conventional high-performance plastics, bioplastics have their limitations – among other things in terms of stability and strength. The Düsseldorf/Germany based chemical company Henkel and the compounder and biopolymer specialist Tecnaro from Ilsfeld-Auenstein, Germany have worked together to overcome these limitations. In cooperation with Tecnaro, Henkel has now succeeded in developing new high-performance polyamide additives based on renewable raw materials that can significantly improve the performance of bioplastics. Containing a large proportion of natural raw materials, the additives of Henkel’s Macromelt brand are ideal for the production of industrial plastics. This has become possible through the use of dimer fatty acids based on natural oils (e.g. rapeseed and tall oil). Along with a general increase in the proportion of bio-sourced ingredients, the new additives also have a positive impact on the performance profile of bioplastics. Impact resistance and fiber-matrix adhesion are much improved by these additives. Depending on the plastics formulation, the additives are capable of reducing processing temperature, in some cases considerably. This diminishes the stressing of the fibers employed, with a positive effect on stability and appearance. By developing Macromelt polyamide technology further, Henkel is thus helping to improve the quality and usability of bioplastics and paving the way for further high-end applications. Thanks to the many years of successful cooperation between Henkel and Tecnaro, tailored biopolymers and composites containing Macromelt additives are already expanding Tecnaro’s broad range of biomaterials www.henkel.com www.tecnaro.de New Institute Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB) is now in business The manufacturing and the industrial use of bioplastics and biocomposites is one focus of research by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans- Josef Endres and his team at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, Germany. At Faculty II (Mechanical and Bioprocess Engineering) of this University the new ‘Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites’ (IfBB) started work on November 1 st , 2011. The formation of the new institute can be seen as the result of the success enjoyed by previous research on bioplastics and biocomposites. With the new institute all further ambitions and projects can be expanded with less restriction. The production, usage and disposal of biopolymers, cellulose based natural fibres and thermoplastic composites are the main focus for the Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites. The scientists there are, as an example, working on applied processes of material development. There is a close cooperation between the new institute and industry with regard to all industrial processes along the whole process chain: chemical research, materials development, machine manufacturer and the bioplastics converting industry – all working closely together. For example in collaboration with Henkel the scientists have developed a correction pen. In the future bioplastics will be used more and more in other technical applications, such as in the automobile industry. Here there has been cooperation with Volkswagen in Wolfsburg for many years, as well as with KraussMaffei Technologies and KraussMaffei Berstorff in Hanover. The interest in bioplastics and biocomposites is growing continuously, and commanding the attention of politics, industry and consumers. Many products, for example food packages, beverage bottles and sports equipment, are now manufactured from biobased materials. Such applications will certainly be increasing during the next years, and for which the new Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites is in an excellent starting position. www.fh-hannover.de The fiber-matrix adhesion of bioplastics is much improved by the additives of the Macromelt brand. bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/11] Vol. 6 7

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