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News Bioplastic

News Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance Eight of the world’s leading consumer brand companies and conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced in mid November the formation of the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) to support the responsible development of plastics made from plant material, helping build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry. These are The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Ford, H.J. Heinz Company, Nestle, Nike, Inc., Procter & Gamble and Unilever. The primary focus of BFA will be on guiding the responsible selection and harvesting of feedstocks—such as sugar cane, corn, bulrush, and switchgrass—used to make plastics from agricultural materials. As the development of these renewable materials has grown, so has the opportunity to address their potential impacts on land use, food security, and biodiversity. BFA intends to bring together leading experts from industry, academia and civil society to develop and support informed science, collaboration, education, and innovation to help guide the evaluation and sustainable development of bioplastic feedstocks. Consumers across the world increasingly are looking for more sustainable products, including those made from plant-based plastics. With increasing market demand for food and fiber in the coming decades, responsible sourcing of these materials is the key to enabling sustainable growth. “This alliance will go a long way in ensuring the responsible management of natural resources used to meet the growing demand for bioplastics,” said Erin Simon, of WWF. “Ensuring that our crops are used responsibly to create bioplastics is a critical conservation goal, especially as the global population is expected to grow rapidly through 2050.” The Alliance’s eight founding companies, along with WWF, are supported by academic experts; supply chain partners; suppliers; and technology development companies, all of whom are focusing on a variety of issues, challenges, and possible tools within the growing bioplastic industry. Latest generation of Mater-Bi Novamont (Novara, Italy) recently presented its products from the 3 rd and 4 th generation of Mater-Bi ® , the family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics designed to resolve specific environmental problems, but also to offer opportunities for reindustrialisation through the creation of integrated Biorefineries. In this way it is possible to manufacture bioplastics capable of optimising the use of resources and minimising environmental risks associated with end-of-life, while also complying with the following requirements: a percentage of renewable carbon ( 12 C/ 14 C) over the 50% threshold; cradle-to-grave greenhouse emissions significantly lower than those of traditional plastics; recyclability in accordance with the standards of national recycling consortiums; compliance with certain standards for marine biodegradation; biodegradability in composting in accordance with the EN 13432 standard; sustainable biomass used in production. The new generation of materials, that integrate the two consolidated technologies of complexed starches and polyesters from oils with two new technologies, can be used in a wide range of applications, including flexible and rigid films, coatings, printing, extrusion and thermoforming. It contains an even higher proportion of renewable raw materials than before, leading to an even lower level of greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil feedstock. The industrialisation of the two new highly innovative technologies will make it possible to produce two monomers from renewable sources. The first is from the vegetable oil production chain, obtained using a world leading technology which transforms oils into azelaic acid and other acids through a chemical process (in the advanced stage of development by Matrìca). The other comes from the sugars transformed through fermentation into 1.4 BDO, using Genomatica technology. Novamont had presented the roadmap for future generations of Mater-Bi products at the European Bioplastics Conference held in Berlin in 2009; the objectives set then have been rigorously pursued thanks to the creation of a system of strategic alliances, with investments in the order of 300 million euro. “The creation of the third and fourth generations of our bioplastics marks an important milestone in the strategy for developing the Novamont model of the integrated biorefinery, based on connected proprietary technologies applied to declining industrial sites. In Europe these sites can become catalysts for the regeneration of areas which are currently facing serious difficulties, as part of a regional development model with local roots and a global vision, encouraging entrepreneurship and teaching the efficient use of resources through a real school in this field,” said Alessandro Ferlito, Novamont’s Commercial Director. MT 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8

News Meredian announces full production capabilities Meredian, Inc. (Bainbridge, Georgia, USA), a privately held manufacturer of fully renewably sourced and completely biodegradable PHAs, with a range of Fortune 500 clients anticipating their products, expects to be operating at full capacity by the second quarter of 2014. “Our team has worked tirelessly to design, install and deliver developmental quantities of PHA from our pilot facility for client selected high value applications. Today, we have committed to providing yet another four million lbs. (1,814 tonnes) in the near term to complete these joint development activities while enabling the launch of multiple commercial applications in mid- 2014” said S. Blake Lindsey, President, Meredian. “This timing aligns perfectly as we come on line with the Bainbridge facility and optimize our PHA production systems”. Meredian’s next steps include preparing the Bainbridge plant for full production for their clients, as well as continuing to educate consumers regarding this innovative technology. “It is especially gratifying to note our ability to offer highly functional cost effective biodegradable alternatives to petro based plastics,” explained Paul Pereira, Executive Chairman of the Board, Meredian. “Having the largest PHA production facility in the world, Meredian will produce over 30,000 tonnes of PHA per year at the Bainbridge facility. We recognize that growth is required for bioplastic materials. Engineering plans are now completed for right sized Meredian facilities to be placed globally to best serve our customers. The company expects multiple projects to be underway simultaneously in order to meet the demand of our customers,” states Michael Smith, VP Manufacturing & Engineering, Meredian. MT Green revolution in the polyester chain M&G Chemicals, headquartered in Luxemburg, announced in late November its decision to construct a second-generation bio-refinery in the region of Fuyang, Anhui Province of China for the conversion of one million tonnes of biomass into bioethanol and bio-glycols. The project is expected to be realized through a joint-venture with Chinese company Guozhen which will make available one million tonnes of straw biomass and use the lignin resulting as a by-product from the bio-refinery to feed a 45 MW cogeneration plant which will be constructed at the same time as the biorefinery in the same site. M&G Chemicals will be majority partner of the bio-refinery and minority partner of the power plant. The bio-refinery will employ PROESA technology licensed from Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Biochemtex (a company belonging to the Mossi Ghisolfi Group), US private equity fund TPG and Danish enzyme producer Novozymes. The second-generation bio-refinery will be approximately four times the size (measured by volume of biomass processed) of that built by Beta Renewables in Crescentino, Italy, which was recently inaugurated. The plant, which is expected to require capital expenditures of approximately half a billion US dollars, is expected to be brought on stream in mid 2015. Necessary enzymes will be supplied by Novozymes, one of the world’s largest enzymes producers and one of the partners in the Beta Renewables joint venture, which owns the rights of the Proesa technology. “This is the first act of a green revolution that M&G Chemicals is bringing to the polyester chain to provide environmental sustainability to both PET beverage packaging and polyester textile” said Mr. Marco Ghisolfi, CEO of M&G Chemicals. “The timing and scope of our green polyester revolution and our manufacturing entry in China from the green PET raw materials avenue is even more relevant considering The Coca-Cola Company has announced plans to use PlantBottle packaging, which is partially made from plants, for all of their PET plastic bottles across the globe by 2020.”, Marco Ghisolfi added. “The second-generation bio-refinery and power cogeneration project is the core part of the Biomass Utilization Park that Guozhen plans to build in Fuyang City. Fuyang is rich in biomass resources; Guozhen is experienced in biomass collections and logistics; and M&G Chemicals owns the proven cuttingedge technology. Our cooperation will open a new era of biomass utilization and provide an effective solution for the full exploitation of biomass to tackle Chinese energy demand and environmental issues,” said Mr. Li Wei, Chairman of Guozhen Group. bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8 7

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