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Issue 01/2014

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  • Bioplastics
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Highlights: Automotive Foam Pharmafilter Land use

Foam Foam grade PBAT

Foam Foam grade PBAT Jinhui ZhaoLong High Tech Co.Ltd is located at Shanxi Province, China with an annual PBAT (polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate) production capacity of 20,000 tonnes. Jinhui is using a one step ring-opening polymerization technology and started PBAT production in July 2013. A compostability test (according to EN 13432) was completed at Beijing Technology and Business University. The products will obtain DIN-Certco certification (EN 13432) in March 2014. FDA certification for food contact is also available. Foam products are widely used in packing industry because of high impact absorption rate, low density, high specific strength, high heat and sound insulation abilities. Conventional plastic foam products not only may have isocyanate residue problem (in the case of polyurethane), they are quite difficult to re-collect or re-use due to their bulky volume. In order to avoid white pollution, there is a strong market demand for biodegradable foam products. Drive Innovation Become a Member In many cases biodegradable plastic foam products show a low melt flow rate resulting at low expansion ratio as well as a low yield ratio (broken foam bubbles). Jinhui is offering a foam grade PBAT resin which offers an expansion ratio of around factor 10 using carbon dioxide as a foaming agent. The foam products have a density between 0.13 g/cm 3 to 0.2 g/cm 3 , foam bubble diameters below 20 μm and a resilience of more than 80%. Jinhui’s marketing strategy is focused on excellent consulting and after sales service. Their foam grade PBAT customers will benefit from on-site technical support at no extra cost as well as unique customer tailor-made solution. As an example, by adding a nucleating agent the degree of crystallization can be increased to obtain a higher impact resistance surface in order to meet the customer’s exact requirements. MT 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9

Foam Mushroom packaging About a year and a half ago Sealed Air Corporation (Elmwood Park, New Jersey, USA) and Ecovative Design LLC (Green Island, New York) completed an agreement about the production, sales and distribution of Ecovative’s EcoCradle ® Mushroom ® Packaging, a unique technology for environmentally responsible packaging materials made from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, or mushroom roots. As part of the agreement, Sealed Air would be the exclusive licensee of Ecovative’s mycelium based material technology in North America and Europe for protective packaging applications. Sealed Air and Ecovative developed together plans for sales and marketing as well as the augmentation of production capabilities. Just recently, end of 2013, Sealed air started production in a converted facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The packaging material — albeit not exactly a bioplastic — can replace conventional plastic foams, such as those made from polystyrene, polyethylene or polypropylene. It is made by inoculating agricultural waste, that can be anything from corn husks, rice hulls to chopped up plant stocks with fungal mycelia. The mycelia grow extensively to form an intricate, interwoven network as they feed on the substrate. The composite is then heated to kill the mycelia and fuse the mass into a rigid, plastic-like substance. The properties of the material can be tailored by varying the organic substrate and type of fungus to grow in it. Target markets include protective packaging, automotive components, construction materials, shoes and floral foam [1]. There are several problems with polystyrene foams, Ecovative CEO Eben Bayer said. Polystyrene is made from oil, a limited resource with a fluctuating price, in a process that uses a lot of energy. And plastic packaging, which typically ends up getting thrown away, takes a very long time to degrade – and finds its way to oceans and beaches around the world. By contrast, he said, Mushroom Packaging, is renewable and biodegradable, and made from crop waste bought from farmers, providing them with additional income [2]. Examples for protective packaging are a wine-botttle box or protective corners for (e.g.) household appliances. Other applications for Ecovative’s Mushroom materials include insulating panels in building and construction, surf boards and much more. MT References: [1] Plastics News online, Nov. 12, 2013 [2] The Guardian online, Oct. 22, 2013 Info: watch video clip at bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9 29

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