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Materials New biobased

Materials New biobased EPDM grades Synthetic rubber specialist LANXESS (headquartred in Leverkusen, Germany) will be adding not one but five new grades to its portfolio of green ethylenepropylene-diene elastomers (Keltan Eco) before the end of 2013. This will lead to a further significant increase in the range of applications for this synthetic rubber using ethylene from a state-controlled, biobased source. The five new grades are drop-in variants of conventional EPDM rubber grades from Lanxess that are already in widespread use. If all goes according to schedule, they will be commercially available in the second half of 2013. “Since the market launch of the first Keltan Eco grade in 2011, we have received a huge amount of positive feedback from the rubber sector,” says Oliver Osborne, Head of Global Marketing at Lanxess‘ Keltan Elastomers business unit. “Numerous market players – and not only our own customers – are delighted that there is finally a synthetic rubber with a key component from a renewable source. We are seeing clear signs of considerable interest in greener rubber solutions and this has led us to significantly expand our range of Keltan Eco grades,” he adds. The first Keltan Eco variant, which is now marketed under the name Keltan Eco 5470, is made from biobased ethylene at Lanxess’ Triunfo site in Brazil. It is a generalpurpose, medium-viscosity grade with a diene content of around five percent that is suitable for a whole host of applications. “From July, we will be launching no fewer than five additional grades,” reveals Osborne. The new additions include amorphous grades with a high molecular weight and high diene contents for rapid vulcanization, a high-Mooney variant with a medium diene content and two low-Mooney variants with especially good flow properties. Keltan 6950 Eco and Keltan 9950 Eco (around 9% diene), for example, are suitable for the manufacture of solid and foamed automotive glazing seals – still one of the most important applications for EPDM. Applications for Keltan 8550 Eco (around 5% diene) include the production of window seals in the construction sector, while Keltan Eco 3050 and 0500R, with their particularly low viscosity and no termonomers containing double bonds, are special grades for oil additives. “All five products will create many more opportunities for customers who are interested in using biobased EPDM grades, such as producing foamed profiles from a biobased rubber. We have focused on Keltan variants that are already used to very successful effect in their conventional form, which makes it particularly easy for users of these products to switch to the new grades,” says Osborne. “Naturally, the ethylene that we use to produce the new Keltan Eco variants 6950, 9950, 8550, 3050 and 0500R is still made from sugarcane in Brazil,” confirms the Keltan specialist. All five new Keltan Eco grades contain around 50% ethylene from this sustainable source. MT 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/13] Vol. 8

Materials News Biobased PBT LANXESS (Leverkusen, Germany) and Genomatica (San Diego, California, USA) announced that Lanxess has run a production campaign of biobased Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) in Lanxess’ world-scale production plant using 20 tonnes of biobased 1,4 butanediol (bio-BDO) made with Genomatica’s commercially-proven, patented, direct fermentation process from sugar. This BDO fully complied with the demanding Lanxess specifications for petro-based BDO allowing a direct feed of 100% biobased BDO into the continuous production process. The properties and the quality of the resulting biobased PBT are fully equivalent to conventional petro-based PBT with regard to all tested parameters. The world-scale PBT plant, with a capacity of 80,000 tonnes per year, is located in Hamm-Uentrop, Germany, and operated as a joint venture in which Lanxess has a share of 50%. “We were excited to validate the biobased BDO made with Genomatica’s process as a one-to-one replacement for petro-based BDO for the production of our PBT,” said Hartwig Meier, Head of Global Product and Application Development of the High Performance Materials Business Unit of Lanxess. “This is a strong signal to the market and a tremendous step forward in our future plans to offer our high-tech plastic Pocan in a biobased version, too. Due to its unchanged properties Pocan compounds based on biobased PBT can directly be used in established application fields such as automotive or electro & electronics area. This fits very well with our strategy of Green Mobility.” “Lanxess’ achievement proves how quickly biobased monomers can be integrated into world-scale polymer production plants when you deliver the exact same performance for an existing, high-volume chemical,” said Christophe Schilling, Ph.D., CEO of Genomatica. “This is additional proof that we got the details right.” MT New range of biosourced polyamides Arkema, Colombes, France, expands its offering with Rilsan ® T range, some new biosourced polyamide 10.10 processed from castor oil. Manufactured at its Serquigny facility in France, it benefits from unrivaled raw material integration, boosted by the recent acquisition of Casda and Hipro as well as a new joint venture with Jayant Agro. Arkema’s PA10.10 is the only polyamide to rank between PA6.10, PA6.12 on the one hand, and PA10.12, PA12, PA11 on the other, all of which are already part of Arkema’s product range. Over and above the well-known properties of long chain polyamides (chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, mechanical properties), Rilsan T affords an excellent degree of rigidity (in particular when reinforced with glassfiber), thermal stability, permeability to petrol and gas, and processability, while consisting of up to 100% renewable carbon. Rilsan T also benefits from what sets Arkema’s polyamides apart in terms of technical possibilities (e.g. exclusive multilayer solutions for transport markets) and services (it qualifies for the exclusive Rcycle offer of service which covers the collection, sorting and recycling of waste, and the development of a range of recycled polymers). The various PA10.10 grades already available cover most applications in the field of transport (monolayer or multilayer brake lines for trucks and fuel lines for cars), industrial pipes, cables, and injection molded parts for sports or electronics applications. “This innovation has been developed to meet the most pressing needs of our customers, who are looking for a credible alternative to high performance polyamides, but with specific thermomechanical properties. Thanks to our full integration, from raw material to polymers, we provide a solution that suits our customers’ medium to long term capacity and competitiveness needs”, explains Lionel Guerdoux, Managing Director of the Specialty Polyamides business unit. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/13] Vol. 8 23

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