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Show-Review Rhetech,

Show-Review Rhetech, Whitmore Lake, Michigan, offer a range of natural fibre reinforced polypropylene. The fibres used in these compounds range from pine and maple wood through rice hull, flax and agave to coconut fibres. With a filling percentage of 30% different mechanical and thermal properties can be achieved, depending on the fibres used. For more details see separate article on p. 38. The Biopolymers & Biocomposites Reserch Team of Iowa State University presented their new Polymers Environmental Calculator. The software allows the easy comparison of cost and eco-profiles of different petroleum and biobased plastics. Developed in cooperation with USDA, Nypro and M-Base, it is a user-friendly, webbased application designed to calculate and compare processing costs, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. The Polymers Environmental Calculator was announced to be available from June 1, 2012. Among a number of companies from China exhibiting at NPE we‘d like to mention: China New Materials Holding Limited from Shandong This company is primarily engaged in the production, operation and R&D of completely biodegradable plastic materials and fine chemicals. They claim to be the only one in China capable of integrating upstream and downstream business and continuously manufacturing biodegradable plastics. The major products include BDO, PBS and PBS copolymers. Kureha Corporation: Kuredux ® PGA is a high-strength biodegradable polyester resin that is being evaluated for various industrial applications, including its use in the oil and gas industry. Since Kuredux gradually releases glycolic acid during its hydrolysis, it can be used in well fluids to change the pH level of a solvent solution and control its performance over a given period of time. In addition, the rate of degradation of Kuredux is quite fast, enabling its use as a sacrificial material for controlled placement within the well. For food and beverage packaging applications, Kuredux offers an excellent gas barrier to carbon dioxide and oxygen. It is currently used in multi-layer PET bottles to extend the shelf-life of carbonated soft drinks, while remaining compatible with industrial PET recycling processes. It also enhances the gas and moisture barrier of bio-based polymers such as PLA, while meeting ASTM D6400 and ISO 14855 standards for compostability. The medical grade, Kuresurge ® PGA, is being evaluated for resorbable sutures. ECOSPAN, a materials science research, development and production company focused in bio-based plastics for durable goods have a unique ‘whole solution’ approach to designing and delivering products and services to customers. They highlighted their proprietary BioFlow TM resins that are the foundation for their products. Ecospan works with the customer on application design, process development and delivers the end product to the customer. And they don’t stop there, they design and implement end-of-life strategies with customers for the most sustainable solution possible, including end-of-life product reclamation in a closed loop, regrind and reuse in other products. Ecospan delivers several solutions to Electronics industry customers including device parts, accessories and reverse logistics containers for highend personal devices. Examples were on display at NPE. Ecospan takes much of the burden of development off the plate of the customer while helping them significantly lower their carbon footprint. Of course a number of ‘black sheep’ in the list of ‘bioplastics companies‘ can never be avoided in such a big show. This includes companies which, when being asked for details, didn‘t really have bioplastics products in their portfolio or companies offering oxo-additives for conventional plastics. 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/12] Vol. 7

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