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News Fraunhofer and Univ. Hannover bundle resources The Hochschule Hannover – University of Applied Sciences and Arts is one of the first universities of applied sciences in Germany to have a Fraunhofer Application Center starting in 2012. So far, Fraunhofer Application Centers usually exist at major universities only. In close cooperation between the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institute WKI, directed by Prof. Dr.- Ing. Bohumil Kasal, and the Hochschule Hannover, the Fraunhofer Application Center for Wood Fiber Research (HOFZET) is expected to bridge the gap between industry and science. Head of the new Fraunhofer Application Center and at the same time WKI staff member will be Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres, who also directs the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB) at Faculty II – Mechanical Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering of the Hochschule Hannover. “The creation of HOFZET will lead to a marked increase in bio-based materials research performed in close cooperation between the Hochschule Hannover and the Fraunhofer Institute”, Prof. Endres says. “Also, this is an important step forward to link up university-based research and the industry in the Braunschweig / Hanover region and beyond.” Over the first 3 to 5 years HOFZET will receive a grant of approximately Euros 3 million in public funds from the German federal state of Lower Saxony. The Center is expected to be self-sustaining when the grant funding expires after five years. Research at HOFZET will focus on all aspects of higher-value use of wood fiber materials for technical applications. WKI’s extensive experience in the development of wood fibers and wood-based materials as well as in the chemistry of wood, cellulose and renewable resources, combined with the very successful research on biocomposites conducted at the Hochschule Hannover in collaboration with industry partners for about 15 years, will form a solid basis for future joint activities. By pooling their resources, the two institutions will be able to expand their research potential for the benefit of all partners concerned. “Sustainability cannot be achieved without natural fibers“, says Prof. Kasal, director of the Fraunhofer WKI. “Wood fibers have the highest potential and offer great possibilities for application ranging from the building and construction industry to high-performance composites.” In the future, new applications will be investigated, new products and technologies developed and issues raised that are growth-enhancing for the economy. The new Application Center will play a leading role in this process. MT Bio-based plasticizers from LANXESS LANXESS (Leverkusen, Germany) is strengthening its commitment to renewable raw materials. The German specialty chemicals company aims to produce phthalate-free plasticizers from bio-based succinic acid from 2012 onwards. Its strategic partner is the U.S. company BioAmber, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. BioAmber is a global leader in succinic acid generated on the basis of renewable resources. Together, the two companies are developing plasticizers, whose cost-effectiveness and safety profile make them sustainable alternatives to phthalate-containing formulations. BioAmber produces succinic acid through the fermentation of renewable raw materials. The process developed by BioAmber consumes considerably less energy than the production of succinic acid using fossil fuels, is significantly more cost-effective and has a better carbon footprint. In the future, the company plans to use waste from the agriculture industry and sugarcane processing as starting materials. “Our cooperation with BioAmber is a unique opportunity to launch a new generation of plasticizers on the market that meet all legal regulations and can also score in terms of environmental aspects and sustainability,” said Jorge Nogueira, head of Lanxess‘ Functional Chemicals business unit that manufactures phthalate-free plasticizers. As a result of legal initiatives, demand for phthalate-free plasticizers is growing in markets such as North America, Western Europe and Japan. An increase in demand is also being observed in global growth markets such as Latin America. Authorities are increasingly restricting the use of phthalate-containing plasticizers for consumer goods such as toys, food packaging and cables. MT 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7

News Ajinomoto and Toray jointly research bio-PA iStock Obama calls for increased use of biobased products On February 21, 2012 the White House released a memorandum signed by US President Barack Obama detailing part of the Administration’s plan to increase the use of biobased products including such made from biobased plastics. The announcement makes provisions to increase the number of products designated in the program for Federal procurement by 50% in the next year, as well as increasing federal procurement of certified biobased products. The increased access to the federal procurement market is a major boost to biobased products producers, providing a consistent market for their products. In addition to the Presidential Memorandum, the newspaper USA Today carried a story in their February 21 issue featuring an interview with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack said, „We want to get to the point where we‘re using everything we grow and everything we raise,” to reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase rural jobs. The article included a picture of the USDA Certified Biobased label that consumers will see more and more of on their store shelves in the future. The online version also includes a video of the USA Today interview with Secretary Vilsack. MT The full text of the Presidential Memo, The article in USA Today and Secretary Vilsack’s announcement can be downloaded from Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and Toray Industries, Inc. (both Tokyo, Japan) have entered into an agreement to begin joint research for manufacturing the nylon raw material 1,5-pentanediamine (1,5- PD) from the amino acid lysine produced from plant materials by Ajinomoto using fermentation technology, and commercializing a biobased nylon made from this substance. Biobased nylon is a type of nylon manufactured by polymerizing chemicals produced from plant materials. The biobased nylon that Ajinomoto and Toray will research and develop is produced from plant materials by decarbonating the amino acid lysine through an enzyme reaction to make 1,5-PD, which Toray then polymerizes with dicarboxylic acid. The amino acid lysine is a core product of the Ajinomoto Group produced using fermentation technology. This biobased nylon fiber made from 1,5-PD is not only sustainable because it is plant-based, but also shows promise for development into highly comfortable clothing. For example, nylon 56 fiber manufactured using 1,5-PD is pleasing to the touch, yet has the same strength and heat resistance as conventional nylon 66 fiber made from the petrochemical derivative hexamethylenediamine. It also absorbs and desorbs moisture nearly as well as cotton. MT Foils for Thermoforming • special foils • OFO-Naturale = oeconomisch+ oecologisch means: sustainability … our motivation from the beginning OFO-Natylene Go pro nature and notice the difference! Reduce GHG emissions! Use OFO-Natylene which has taken 2,5 kg CO 2 to create 1 kg Bio-PE. Available in natural or requested color. Take advantage of the possibility to use OFO-Natylene several times. We will take back regrinded punch scrap out of the thermoforming process – but carefully sorted according to the type. Use OFO-Natylene for the packaging of your BIO-products. Suitable for deep freezing and cooking vegetables in the micro wave. Please contact OFoTec-Folien GmbH for OFO-Natylene: Phone: +49 (0)7473 91434 Fax: +49 (0)7473 25989 Mobile: +49 (0)170 2976703 e-Mail: D-72147 Nehren (Germany) bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/12] Vol. 7 7

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