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Issue 01/2021

  • Text
  • Products
  • Automotive
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Carbon
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Foam
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Automotive Foam Basics: Enzymes

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daily updated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com News New PLA compounds As a branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH, BIO-FED (Cologne, Germany) is the specialist for innovative and application-oriented biocompounds. The product portfolio under the trade name M·VERA ® was now expanded with a wide range of sustainable PLA-based compounds. The European Green Deal is a concept presented by the European Commission in December 2019 with the aim of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the EU by 2050 and thus becoming the first continent to be climate neutral. A 55 % reduction in CO 2 is to be implemented already in 2030. With its predominantly fossil-free and sustainable PLA-based products, Bio- Fed can offer an alternative material for a large part of packaging applications, for example. The relevant M·VERA grades can be processed both in the injection moulding and extrusion process, e.g. thermoforming. As a 100 % biobased and industrially compostable polymer, PLA is versatile. Possible applications include packaging for food and cosmetics as well as consumer items, such as office supplies or household goods. PLA compounds are characterised by variable stiffness and typically low shrinkage. The material properties can be individually adjusted by adding different fillers or reinforcing agents and additives. “If there is no suitable compound in our portfolio, we have the ability to respond to the wishes and requirements of the customers with our experienced research team and jointly develop tailor-made PLAbased compounds,” says Dr. Stanislaw Haftka, Sales Director at Bio-Fed. According to the manufacturer, transparent compounds are also possible. Moreover, biodegradability according to OK compost INDUSTRIAL is being sought. The compounds can also be coloured with the biobased AF-Eco ® masterbatches from the sister company AF- COLOR. These are developed and manufactured in close cooperation by the two companies. MT www.bio-fed.com Application example of environment-friendly cosmetics packaging EU Commission’s SAM report confirms role of biodegradable plastics A report entitled “Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment” published end of last year by the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) discusses, among other things, applications for biodegradable polymers that contribute towards achieving a circular economy and tackle the challenge of managing the EU’s mounting plastic waste problem. The industry association European Bioplastics (Berlin, Germany) was pleased to note that the report also highlighted the benefits of biodegradable plastic products “where it is difficult to separate plastic from organic material that is destined for a composting waste stream or wastewater treatment”. Packaging that is highly contaminated with food scraps, cannot be mechanically recycled and tends to end up being incinerated or, even worse, landfilled. (Read the full press release at tinyurl.com/EUBP-SAM). MT www.european-bioplastics.org PHA from Camelina seed Yield10 Bioscience (Woburn, Massachusetts, USA), an agricultural bioscience company, recently announced successful field testing of prototype lines of the oilseed Camelina sativa that have been programed to produce PHA bioplastics directly in seed. Yield10 has a long history with and deep knowledge of PHAs and it believes that direct production of PHA in seed as a co-product with oil and protein meal has the potential to enable the production of PHA bioplastics on an agricultural scale at costs in line with commodity vegetable oils to drive largescale adoption in the plastics markets. PHA bioplastics could ultimately be used to manufacture a wide range of fully biodegradable consumer products. The prototype plants tested in these studies were programed with microbial genes based on a recent patent filed for new technology developed by Yield10 researchers to produce Camelina seed containing high levels of PHA bioplastic suitable for field production. Several Camelina lines were grown in small plots at field test sites in the U.S. and Canada. All engineered lines tested produced PHA in the seed. The levels of PHA produced in seed at the two different locations were consistent and measured up to 6 % PHA of mature seed weight. (Read the full news at tinyurl.com//bM210101PHA). MT www.yield10bio.com 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16

daily updated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com Increasing lactide production in China Sulzer Chemtech, Newbury, UK, has won a contract to supply lactide production equipment to a project at Zhejiang Depei New Material Co.’s latest plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China. The processing equipment will enable the company to produce large volumes of high-quality lactide from plant biomass. The plant will leverage an innovative hybrid technology to reach high purity levels, resulting in outstanding thermal and mechanical properties. The project in Ningbo of Zhejiang Depei New Material, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Youcheng New Materials, is part of the company’s strategy to support the large-scale adoption of sustainable plastics and fibres made from renewable resources, such as biomass from agricultural processes. In particular, the new plant will produce plant-based L-lactide. This is an essential building block to obtain recyclable and compostable PLA, which can be used in a wide range of applications, from packaging to textiles and medical equipment. Sulzer’s separation technology will be at the heart of the processing facility and used to purify L-lactide dimers. The company has been selected based on its extensive expertise in sugar-to-PLA processes as well as its comprehensive portfolio of state-ofthe-art separation products. Sulzer’s mass transfer components are included in most industrial-scale PLA plants worldwide. The unit in Ningbo will leverage a unique hybrid process that combines distillation and crystallization to deliver materials of high purity grades while avoiding any thermal degradation. As a result, Zhejiang Depei New Material will be able to deliver high-quality lactide for the production of transparent, heat-resistant, and crystalline PLA for a broad range of industries. “We look forward to collaborating with Sulzer to develop this new, state-of-the-art processing facility,” the general manager at Zhejiang Depei New Material said. “As the Chinese market for recyclable bioplastics is skyrocketing, the advanced solutions from Sulzer will provide us with a competitive edge to address this high demand with high-quality biomaterials.” AT News www.sulzer.com PHA containers made from carbon emissions Teal bioWorks (Los Angeles, California, USA), the sustainable goods company best known for combining its leading material innovation with high-tech manufacturing, aims to further eliminate unnecessary harm to the environment with its first fully biodegradable and carbon negative packaging solutions developed for beauty and hotel industries. “The packaging industry has been producing plastic containers for decades, it's shocking how little sustainability efforts have been made in manufacturing,” says Kelly Nagasawa, biochemist and founder of Teal. Teal operates on science-backed discoveries that capture and transform methane + CO 2 gas emissions, that otherwise would be released in the atmosphere, into PHA. For the time being, however, Kelly cannot disclose their partner/supplier. Through strategic partnerships, Teal is set to see their premium, and costeffective jars and bottles come to market soon. Making the switch from plastic to biodegradable seamless with their injection mould capabilities and signature teal-coloured caps, also made of PHA. Teal hopes to generate awareness of this breakthrough material and ensure consumers they are helping the environment with no fine print. Teal is dedicated to changing not only the way industries manufacture and capture carbon but bring sustainable opportunities to future scientists and the community. “Working together is critical in our current environmental state, replacing plastic as soon as possible is important. The renewable and circular packaging revolution is here, and we think that's exciting.” says Kelly. MT www.tealpkg.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16 7

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