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Issue 01/2014

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Highlights: Automotive Foam Pharmafilter Land use

Events Wolfgang Bauer

Events Wolfgang Bauer (company Helmut Lingemann) with Michael Thielen Chung-Jen (Robin) Wu (Supla) Peter Kelly (Pharmafilter) And the winner is ... 8 th Global Bioplastics Award for Helmut Lingemann This year the prestigious “Bioplastics Oskar” was given to Helmut Lingemann GmbH & Co. KG (Wuppertal, Germany) for their innovative spacer profiles NIROTEC EVO for insulating window glazing. The Annual Global Bioplastics Award, proudly presented by bioplastics MAGAZINE, was awarded for the 8 th time now. The award recognises innovation, success and achievements by manufacturers, processors, brand owners or users of bioplastic materials. It was given to Wolfgang Bauer, Head of Quality Management of Helmut Lingemann on December 10 th 2013, during the 8 th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin. From a list of almost 20 proposals five judges from the academic world, the press and industry associations from America, Europa and Asia have selected five finalists and now announced the winner. Helmut Lingemann GmbH & Co.KG have been involved for more than 30 years as an innovative market leader in The new spacer system NIROTEC EVO is applied in windows and facades with a high level of insulation to reduce the energy losses by using double and triple glazing. The technological requirements are high strength and structural reinforcement (e.g. tensile modulus), low thermal conductivity, no fogging when used in insulating glass, no incompatibility with other components in the insulation of windows and facades. In combination with the target of reducing the use of fossil fuels this can only be achieved by using a biopolymer. Together with a partner, a tailor-made blend of different biopolymers based on PLA, biopolyester and further additives were developed, which met the requirements 100%. Until now about 2 million metres of NIROTEC EVO have been processed into insulating glass units. The biopolymer ratio is approximately 40 tonnes. If NIROTEC EVO were used for the total annual production of insulating glass units in Europe, about 18,000 tonnes of this bioplastic material could be applied. The material selection of stainless steel foil and this bioplastic material for the manufacture of such spacers is unique. The applicability and thermal characteristics of the material combination for the spacer NIROTEC EVO represents a milestone in innovation for the insulating glass industry. “The judges decided for Helmut Lingemann’s spacer profiles, because this is an example which shows that potential applications can be found in areas that do not come to ones mind immediately. And even though it offers a potential for high volumes of a bioplastic material,” said Michael Thielen, publisher of bioplastics MAGAZINE and member of the jury. “And the application makes use of the biopolymers very special properties, in this case the mechanical and thermal properties combined with the very important feature of ‘no fogging’ which is essential for this application. In addition the chosen biopolymer blend features very special adhesion properties and allows high speed bending procedures of the profiles. Modern thermal insulation technology meets modern materials; this is how ecological development should look like in todays technology age”, Michael Thielen added. This year for the first time also a second prize was awarded. Since both proposals had received the same number of points from the judges, this year the secoind prize went to two runner-ups: Supla and Kuender received the prize for the PLA-compound application introduced in the last issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE: Kuender’s 21.5” all-in-one touch screen PC. The other second prize went to Pharmafilter for the holistic approach of an anaerobic digestion system for hospitals (and other facilities). For more detailed information please read the article on pages 30f. 8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9

Events More than 350 participants from 215 companies caught up on the latest discussions, developments and progress in the bioplastics industry during the 8 th European Bioplastics Conference. Once more, the leading European event for the bioplastics industry provided excellent opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange and business contacts. 86 %of the participants came from Europe, 8 % from North America and South America, and the majority of the remaining 6 % from Asia. “Bioplastics made from bio-feedstock, and reintegrated into the biosphere as a nutrient, or recycled together with conventional plastic, clearly have a potential for being a truly sustainable material. And it could reduce fossil fuel consumption,” stated EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik in his opening speech to the 8 th European Bioplastics Conference on the 10 and 11 December in Berlin, Germany. In his video message he pointed to the crucial role, bioplastics can play in Europe’s transition towards a circular biobased economy. Potočnik encouraged the bioplastics industry “to continue their work on making bioplastics a truly sustainable material, neutral in its impact on food production and biodiversity”. However, he also pointed out that the industry needs to continuously and transparently inform the public about their products and processes in order to clarify its position and prosper in the future. These recommendations were picked up directly by a group of experts in a panel discussion on sustainability criteria investigating the most relevant question: “How to assess the sustainability of bioplastics in a fair way?” The panel started with a presentation by Professor Matthias Finkbeiner from the Technical University Berlin on “Perspectives of Life Cycle Assessment of Bioplastics”. “LCA is still the best available tool to assess the environmental performance of bioplastics as fact-based as possible”, Finkbeiner stated and commented on the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) approach introduced by the European Commission as “LCA overkill introducing pseudo solutions in order to achieve comparability”. 8 th European Bioplastics Conference connected expert elite on bioplastics The panel discussion then focussed on the need to break down the complexity of assessing the sustainability of bioplastics, the need to use available and valid methodologies and to provide easy to use tools to consumers to understand these assessments and how they impact on the product they are using. Another highlight of the 8 th European Bioplastics Conference was the annual market data update by European Bioplastics and the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (IfBB - University of Applied Arts Hannover, Germany). The data once more emphasised the success of bioplastics industry with production capacities multiplying from around 1.4 million tonnes in 2012 to more than 6 million tonnes in 2017. All material types are gaining ground with biobased, non-biodegradable ‘drop-in’ solutions, such as biobased PE and biobased PET, leading the field. As in previous years, bioplastics MAGAZINE got the chance to honour the winner of the Annual Global Bioplastics Award. The prize was awarded to company Helmut Lingemann GmbH & Co.KG for their new spacer system NIROTEC EVO. For more details see page 8. MT Mark your calendar: The 9th European Bioplastics Conference will be in Brussels/Belgium on 02-03 December 2014 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/14] Vol. 9 9

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