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Issue 01/2019

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Highlights: Automotive Foam Basics: Green public procurement Cover Story: PHB for food packaging

Patents By: Barry Dean,

Patents By: Barry Dean, Naperville, Illinois, USA Bioplastic Patents new series This new section highlights recently granted patents that are relevant to the specific highlight topics of each issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. The information offered is intended to acquaint the reader with a sampling of know-how being developed to enable growth of the bioplastics markets. U.S. Patent 10,150,977 (Dec 11, 2018),”Microorganisms and Methods for the Biosynthesis of Adipate, Hexamethylenediamine and 6-Aminocaproic acid”, Mark J. Burk, Anthony P. Burgard, Robin Osterhout and Priti Pharkya (Genomatica, Inc San Diego, Californis, USA) The patent illustrates and teaches a non-naturally occurring microbial organism based on at least one exogenous nucleic acid encoding an enzyme having a 6-aminocaproic acid, caprolactam, adipate or hexamethylenediamine pathway based on sugar or sugar metabolites. Ring opening polymerization of a bio derived caprolactam leads to a bio based nylon 6; while bio derived adipic acid and/or hexamethylenediamine leads to a bio based nylon 6,6. The carbon footprint for bio derived nylons should be advantageously lower than the current fossil derived counterparts. Both nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 have extensive application in the fiber market, but also have application in automotive interior and exterior components and are well represented in the ~150 kilograms of plastics currently found in automobiles and light trucks. U.S. Patent 10,125,255 (Nov 13, 2018), “Thermoplastic Elastomer Compositions Having Biorenewable Content”, Kevin Cai, Yundong Wang, Ryszard Brzoskowski, Prashant Bhadane, Basil Favis and Alain Perreault (Teknor Apex Company; Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA and Cerestech; Montreal, Quebec Canada) This patent teaches thermoplastic elastomers based on styrenic block copolymers modified with bio-renewable materials such as a softener, eg. modified soybean oil and a renewable polar polymer such as PLA. This technology illustrates the ability to tailor important styrenic block copolymer properties such as hardness, modulus (stiffness) and elongation through the use of renewable materials as additives. The ability to tailor styrenic block copolymers opens opportunities in the automotive applications such as interior fascia. U.S. Patent 10,087,300 (Oct 2, 2018), “Method for Preparation of PLA Bead Foams”, Chul B. Park and Mohammadreza Nofar (Synbra Technology BV, Etten- Leur Netherlands) A process for making foamed articles based on expanded PLA beads is taught. The foamed PLA is useful for thermal insulation, sound dampening, construction material and cushioning/packaging material. The process can be applied to both linear and branched PLA. The process involves taking un-foamed PLA pellets and heating the pellets to an annealing temperature, eg 120 – 124 °C and saturating the pellets with a blowing agent such as CO 2 while maintaining pressure and then depressurizing and cooling to room temperature to form the desired PLA based foam U.S. Patent 10,138,345(Nov 27, 2018), “Process for the Production of Expanded Polyester Foam Beads”, Uwe Keppeler; (BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany) The patent teaches a process where a polyester derived of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate); PBAT and PLA is used in making a foamed article. The PBAT content of the polyester is 50 – 99 % by weight and the PLA content is 1 – 50 %. The resulting foamed article is biodegradable and offers a balance of properties for tensile strength, compressive strength and rebound resilience for given densities. 30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14

Automotive bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14 31

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