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Issue 01/2020

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  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
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Highlights: Automotive Recycling Cover Story: Biobased Fur

Automotive Tyres from

Automotive Tyres from sugar cane: Co-crosslinking, improved grip and more sustainability As one of the leading manufacturers of speciality chemicals, Kuraray (Hattersheim, Germany) will present new liquid rubber grades at the Tire Technology Expo 2020 (25-27 Feb, 2020) in Hanover, Germany, at booth C438. A special focus will be on Kuraray’s bio- based Liquid Farnesene Rubber. A long-lasting high level of road grip by tyres is extremely important for safety. At the same time, consumers expect replacement of petroleum-based materials, which provide the required elasticity in the tyre production process. Kuraray, a leading manufacturer of speciality chemicals, has developed Liquid Farnesene Rubber (L-FR), which is synthesized sustainably from beta-farnesene derived from renewable resources such as sugar cane. Adding Liquid Farnesene Rubber to the compound improves the performance and lifetime of tyres. This new material keeps its elasticity, especially at lower temperatures and provides optimal adhesion on snowy and icy roads. Tyre manufacturers also benefit from faster cross-linking and lower viscosity. This leads to a more efficient production process. “Adding our newly developed biobased Liquid Farnesene Rubber gives rubber compounds low viscosity and they remain elastic after vulcanization, even at low temperatures,” says Ralph Böhm, Senior Manager Sales Elastomer at Kuraray. He adds: “With its unique structure, Liquid Farnesene Rubber offers an optimum performance balance in treads, especially in terms of grip on snow and ice.” The material, which is made from renewable resources, can replace conventional liquid rubbers in a wide range of tyre manufacturing applications. Liquid Farnesene Rubber is based on beta-farnesene, a renewable monomer derived from sugar cane. Using established fermentation processes, proprietary yeast strains convert sugar sources such as sugar cane into beta-farnesene. Melt Viscosity (Pa.s at 38 degC) Liquid Farnesene Rubber is synthesized from the basic Fig. 3: Special structure for easier processing: Highly branched molecule chains in Liquid Farnesene Rubber (L-FR) produce significantly lower viscosity and a higher molecular weight compared to liquid isoprene rubber. Therefore, rubber compounds with Liquid Farnesene Rubber have improved flowability. 1000 100 10 1 0.1 0 L-IR L-BR L-FR 50000 100000 150000 Molecular Weight Vulcanized Unvulcanized Paste G' (MPa) G' (MPa) Fig. 1: Winter tyres get optimal grip on snow and ice monomer by polymerization. Permanently elastic tyres The special structure of highly branched molecular chains reduces entanglements and results in lower viscosity compared to liquid isoprene rubbers. Due to its high molecular weight, Liquid Farnesene Rubber co-crosslinks during the vulcanization process. There is a significant reduction in bleeding of the lowmolecular components to the outside surface, which occurs with conventional plasticizers – and that results in permanently high elasticity and constant properties over the entire lifetime of the tyres. Faster crosslinking, higher processing rates In addition, tyre manufacturers benefit from the fast crosslinking of Liquid Farnesene Rubber. Its good co-reactivity ensures fast vulcanization. This allows shorter processing cycles, reduced energy consumption and higher processing rates. “With its unique properties, Liquid Farnesene Rubber enables the development of tyres that reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles, generate less heat and stop vehicles safely even on icy surfaces,” says Marcel Gründken, Manager Market Development & Technical Service at Kuraray. Manufactured from renewable resources and easy to process, the material increases efficiency and sustainability in tyre production.” MT 1.0E+00 1.0E 1.0E -01 -01 1.0E 1.0E -02 -02 1.0E 1.0E -03 -03 www.kuraray.eu 1.0E 1.0E -04 -04 L-FRMw=135k L-IR L-IR Mw=60k 1.0E 1.0E -05 -05 L-BR L-BR Mw=45k 0 0 2 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 10 10 12 12 14 14 Time (min) Fig. 2: Beta-farnesene from renewable resources such as sugar cane. Fig. 4: Increased efficiency in tyre production: Thanks to a highly reactive double bond at the end of each molecular branch, rubber compounds based on Liquid Farnesene Rubber (L-FR)from Kuraray react significantly faster during the vulcanization process. This reduces the energy used in tyre production and increases processing rates. Formulation Liquid Rubber 100, 100, ZnO ZnO2,SA1,AO1, S3,DM1.5,DT0.5 DMA DMA conditions Frequency: 10 10 Hz Hz Strain:5.0% Temp: 125°C 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/20] Vol. 15

Materials Milestone in Nylon sustainability World’s first tonne of renewable nylon 6 intermediate Eighty years after nylon’s first commercial production [1], clean manufacturing technology leader Genomatica (San Diego, California, USA) achieved a new milestone for the material — its production of the world’s first renewablysourced tonne of Caprolactam, the key ingredient for nylon-6, made from plants instead of crude oil. Nylon, the first totally synthetic fiber to be made into consumer products [2] including apparel and carpet, is responsible for an estimated 60 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year through traditional production which begins with crude oil. Genomatica’s innovation, alongside partner and major European nylon producer Aquafil (headquartered in Arco, Italy), will produce 100 % renewably-sourced nylon that delivers equivalent performance to the conventional nylon that touches millions of people’s lives, but with lower environmental impact. This biobased nylon has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a USD10 billion global industry that produces over five million tonnes of nylon-6 per year, to make carpet, clothing, car interiors, engineered plastics and food packaging. “DuPont’s landmark production of nylon eighty years ago introduced a highly versatile staple material to the apparel, textile and engineering product industries,” said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “It’s a terrific material, and now, with the power of biotechnology, we can reinvent where it comes from. This is a major step forward in offering a new, more sustainable future with a better nylon for the full range of industries it serves.” Genomatica’s technology to make a naturally sourced nylon, recently recognized as a special mention in TIME’s Best Inventions [3], is made possible by fermentation. The company engineered a high-yield microorganism for the fermentation step of the process, which will use sugars from a variety of sources as the feedstock to make the cyclic amide caprolactam, the key intermediate for nylon-6. This milestone marks Genomatica’s successful scaling of this process to produce one tonne of the intermediate. The caprolactam is then converted into nylon-6 polymer chips and yarn by Aquafil in Slovenia. Global partners have played a key role in accelerating Genomatica’s bio-nylon program. Aquafil was the first to join Genomatica’s program, bringing funding support and nylonrelated chemical, quality and market expertise. Additionally, Project EFFECTIVE [4], a consortium with 12 partners including major brands like H&M, Vaude, Carvico and Balsan, was formed to drive the production of more sustainable biobased fibers for widely-used consumer products made from renewable feedstocks. “95 % of Americans think sustainability is a good goal and we’re seeing consumers demand more sustainable products,” Schilling went on to say. “Our technology provides brands with a solution to meet this consumer demand for better-sourced products.” Genomatica has previously developed processes for other bio-based chemicals, such as 1,4-butane diol (BDO), a building block for a variety of biobased plastics, that has been licensed by BASF and by Novamont [5]. The company’s comprehensive nylon intermediates programme aims to deliver biobased processes for the production of hexamethylenediamine, caprolactam and adipic acid (HMD, CPL and ADA). For nylon intermediates, Genomatica’s processes are intended to provide on-purpose alternatives to current processes while avoiding the price volatility or limited supply sources of current raw materials such as benzene or adiponitrile. Genomatica’s technology also has the potential to avoid unwanted byproducts and waste streams characteristic of many current processes, the company reports [6, 7]. MT www.genomatica.com References [1] https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/whatischemistry/ landmarks/carotherspolymers/first-nylon-plant-historical-resource.pdf [2] https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/whatischemistry/ landmarks/carotherspolymers/first-nylon-plant-historical-resource.pdf [3] https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2019/5734646/genomatica-bionylon/ [4] http://www.effective-project.eu/ [5] N.N.: Genomatica to develop biobased nylon intermediates in third development program; https://www.bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/news/ meldungen/Genomatica-announces-new- development-program.php (7 Aug 2014) [6] https://www.innovationintextiles.com/clothing-footwear/biobased-nylonintermediates-become-focus-of-genomaticas-development-programme/ [7] Genomatica Confirms Nylon Intermediates as Third Set of Biobased Processes Under Development; https://www.genomatica.com/_uploads/ pdfs/_Genomatica-announces-nylon-intermediates-program.pdf (5. Aug 2014) Info See a video-clip at: tinyurl.com/genomatica bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/20] Vol. 15 17

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