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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1205

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News Ingeo Biopolymer

News Ingeo Biopolymer Stable in Landfills A peer-reviewed article appearing in the journal of Polymer Degradation and Stability concludes that Ingeo PLA is essentially stable in landfills with no statistically significant quantity of methane released. This conclusion was reached after a series of tests to ASTM D5526 and D5511 standards that simulated a century’s worth of landfill conditions. “This research is the latest in a series of NatureWorks initiatives aimed at understanding and documenting the full sustainability picture of products made from Ingeo,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO, NatureWorks (Minnetonka, Minnesota). “We work with a cradle-tocradle approach to zero waste. What this means in terms of landfill diversion, for example, is ideally that Ingeo foodservice ware would be composted (…), and that (other products made of) Ingeo resins and fibers would be mechanically or chemically recycled and not landfilled. However, these systems are still emerging and developing. The reality today is that a percentage of Ingeo products end up in landfills. And now we can say with certainty that the environmental impact of that landfilling, in terms of greenhouse gas release, is not significant.” Verbruggen added that several months ago Ingeo was the first biopolymer to receive tandem certifications for sustainable agricultural practices in growing feedstock. “NatureWorks is looking at sustainability from a 360-degree perspective – from sustainable agriculture to facilitating sustainable end-of-life scenarios for Ingeo bioplastic and fiber.” Conditions in landfills can vary considerably by geography, management practices, and age of waste. As a result, researchers Jeffery J. Kolstad, Erwin T.H. Vink and Bruno De Wilde, and Lies Debeer of Belgium-based Organic Waste Systems performed two different series of tests spanning a broad spectrum of conditions. The first was at 21˚ C (69.8˚ F) for 390 days at three moisture levels. The first series did not show any statistically significant generation of biogas, so the team decided to push the stress tests to a higher and more aggressive level and instituted a series of high solids anaerobic digestion tests. Today, some landfills are actively managed to act as ‘bioreactors’ to intentionally promote microbial degradation of the waste, with collection and utilization of the by-product gas. To capture this scenario, the second series of tests were designed to simulate high solids anaerobic digestion under optimal and significantly accelerated conditions and were performed at 35˚C (95˚ F) for 170 days. While there was ‘some’ biogas released in this aggressive series of tests, the amount released was not statistically significant according to the peer reviewed research paper. Both series of tests were designed to represent an examination of what could happen under a range of significantly accelerated anaerobic landfill conditions and were roughly equivalent to 100 years of conditions in a biologically active landfill. MT www.natureworksllc.com www.ows.be Info: Download the complete 10-page study http://tinyurl.com/PLA-landfill Biolice project launched in Brazil Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients (Ennezat, France) has just launched its industrial project to build a biolice bioplastic granules factory in Pato Branco, Brazil. These granules are made from corn flour and are biodegradable/ compostable, with the project being carried out in conjunction with the Guerra family, which is already working with Limagrain in corn seeds in Brazil. This 2,000 m 2 factory will start operating in a year’s time, with a production capacity of 8,000 tonnes of biolice. The total amount invested has not been disclosed. Damien Bourgarel, VP for the Cereal Ingredients Division: “It is a great pleasure for me to lay the first stone of the bioplastic granules factory, which will play a part in forming a genuine waste composting chain in Pato Branco, with the Guerra family, which is leading the way in agri-business in Brazil. This partnership sees Limagrain providing the fruits of its research conducted over more than 10 years in biolice granules, which were first created in France, as well as its technical know-how and marketing methods. Alongside, the Guerra family will be providing its knowledge of the Brazilian market and access to a local production chain”. He added that “Our aim for biolice is to become globally involved in biodegradable plastics. Like India and China, Brazil is a target country for the biolice biodegradable and compostable raw material”. MT www.limagrain.com 8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/12] Vol. 7

News Environmental Communications Workshop False or misleading communication of environmental product properties is a widespread problem in the marketplace. An almost fully biobased tailgate The German Fourmotors racing team, famous for its biodiesel driven Bioconcept Car (see for example bM 01/2007, 01/2010 and 01/2012), and now closely cooperating with IfBB (Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, Hanover University, Germany) have proudly announced the next step in their joint development. In early September, the first biobased vehicle tailgate was presented to representatives of the press on the German racetrack - the Hockenheim-Ring. The project is co-funded by FNR (the agency for renewable resources, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV)) The tailgate, which was already made from natural fibre reinforced petroleum-based resins, is now being produced from linen (flax fibres) and an epoxy resin made from renewable resources. “The amount of biobased components in the resin is currently at 45%, i.e. together with the natural fibers 75% in the composite, and we are constantly researching ways to increase this ratio with regard to the material performance,” says Professor Hans-Josef Endres of IfBB. For example the flax fibres are woven in a special twill-weave that allows the textile to be draped into the desired 3D-shapes. Currently still hand-laminated, as there are only a few parts needed for the racing car, IfBB is certainly also evaluating series production methods such as RTM and injection moulding of thermoplastic natural fiber reinforced biocomposites for the mass production of such parts. Motorsports have always been a playground and cutting-edge for innovative developments that finally found their way into automotive series production. The testing conditions for automotive components are definitely much tougher than normal traffic conditions. “Ten rounds on the famous ’Nordschleife‘ at the Nürburgring can be compared to about 10,000 kilometres in everyday traffic,“ says Tom von Löwis, head of Fourmotors. In line with its initiative for good environmental communication (see p. 43), European Bioplastics; the association for the European bioplastics industry; announce its 1 st Workshop on Environmental Communication for bioplastics. The workshop will take place on 5 th November 2012 at the Maritim proArte Hotel in Berlin, Germany (one day prior to the annual European Bioplastics Conference). Who should attend and what to expect Generally the workshop is open to everybody interested in the topic of environmental communication for bioplastics. However, the primary target group of this workshop are communications and marketing experts, brand managers and product designers of or interested in the bioplastics industry. The half-day workshop, 9.30 am (registration from 9:00) to 2 pm, will cover a number of examples after an introduction regarding environmental communication rules in general and specific for bioplastics benchmark. In the second phase of the workshop, the participants will focus in smaller groups on assigned environmental communication cases. The workshop will end with the presentation and discussion of the developed solutions. 40 places are available, more details and registration via the website www.european-bioplastics.org/ecg. Thus the biobased tailgate is just one of a multitude of automotive plastic applications that can be converted into biobased versions. The team around IfBB and Fourmotors will continue their work. bioplastics MAGAZINE will report on the project in more detail in issue 01/2013. MT www.fourmotors.com www.ifbb-hannover.de bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/12] Vol. 7 9

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