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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1202

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1202

Additives Application |

Additives Application | Masterbatch News Brighter hues and special effects New, bright green and gold pearlescents open new opportunities www.clariant.com Natural As part of a continuing effort to expand the color and appearance options available for compostable biopolymers, Clariant Masterbatches, Muttenz, Switzerland, is adding new brighter colors and eye-catching special effects to its RENOL ® -compostable product line. Typical of the new offerings are a brighter, clearer green concentrate and a gold-pearl special effect that can add sparkle to personal care packaging. Until recently, companies developing products from biopolymers had to make a difficult decision. They could use all-natural masterbatches and accept that the range of colors and additives available was limited, expensive and not very stable. Or, they could use conventional pigments and functional ingredients and compromise on the environmental friendliness of their product. Clariant’s Renol-compostable range provides them with a third choice that could lead to increased acceptance of biopolymers in new markets. Application targets include packaging and single- or limited-use products like plastic utensils, drink cups and pens. Renol-compostable colors and Cesa-compostable additive masterbatches incorporate conventional (non-natural) additives and pigments but they have been formulated and independently tested for compliance with EN 13432:2000 – the widely recognized European standard for compostable plastic packaing (including heavy-metal content and plant toxicity). In addition, Clariant has obtained the highly desirable ‘OK compost’ certification issued by AIB Vinçotte International (Vilvoorde, Belgium). The products made at Clariant facilities in Italy and Spain have obtained the Vinçotte approval stamp for the range of new eco-friendly masterbatches that they manufacture. The Renol-compostable product line includes masterbatches based on over 80 different pigments, and new color choices are becoming available every day. Cesa-compostable additive masterbatches include UV-stabilizer and antioxidant packages, with more additives currently pending review. Renolnature Renol compostable Ecotex-tested pigments Price/ Performance Renol-BL and BA standard range of MB for biopolymers Color Choice 42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7

Materials Energy (Biogas) Fertilizer (Liquid) Anaerobic Digester Bio Fiber (Solid) Good for AD Versatile bioplastic product enabling increased use of Anaerobic Digestion By Robert Kean Biodegradable Technologies Manager Cortec Corporation St. Paul, Minnesota, USA Anaerobic Digestion is a well known process by which organic wastes are decomposed in the absence of oxygen by anaerobic micro-organisms; often resulting in the production of significant amounts of methane gas. Anaerobic Digestion is most commonly used in wastewater and sewage treatment and in the treatment of animal manure waste. Over the past decade, there has been a strongly growing interest in Anaerobic Digestion as sustainable and environmentally friendly way to process biodegradable wastes and as a means to produce renewable energy. Anaerobic Digestion compatible waste bags will enable increased use of this technology. Anaerobic Digestion Basics Anaerobic Digestion can be implemented in a wide variety of configurations. Key variables include: temperature (mesophilic ~20-45˚C, or thermophilic ~49-70˚C), number of chambers/ stages, batch or continuous process, solids content in process (high solids ‘dry’ at 25-40% solids, high solids ‘wet’ at ~15-25% solids, or low solids at less than 15% solids), biogas use (burned on site or purified for sale), feedstock(s), and output streams/ treatments. Like many technologies, Anaerobic Digestion benefits from economies of scale; but small or medium size installations can be economically feasible in specific situations. Anaerobic Digestion systems can be designed for very efficient land use, for facilities in urban setting. If properly designed and operated, they produce no harmful emissions and minimal unpleasant odors. The outputs of Anaerobic Digestion usually include biogas, fibrous solid/sludge, and process liquor. The latter two may be combined in a slurry. The biogas is typically 50-75% methane. It can be combusted as-is or scrubbed/purified for sale as natural gas. The biogas typically contains 25-50% carbon dioxide and small quantities of other gases; including hydrogen sulfide (up to about 3%, which can be removed by scrubbing). The solid/sludge can be used in the same way as compost as a soil improver, or it can be composted after Anaerobic Digestion to increase the breakdown of lignin and cellulose. The process liquor is typically nutrient rich and can be used as a fertilizer. However, if liquor volume is excessive (e.g. with a large low-solids installation), process liquor may be discharged or re-used following additional treatment (primarily to remove nutrients and dissolved solids). Anaerobic Digestion is an excellent technology for treatment of (and energy recovery from) animal manure and numerous facilities have been constructed exclusively for this purpose. However, other biodegradable feedstocks produce significantly higher biogas yields. Favorable feedstocks include: food waste, paper, yard waste (grass/leaves), and crop residue. The biogas bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7 43

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