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Issue 01/2021

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

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daily updated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com News An alternative to ‘The Golden Fleece of Fabrics’ A new bicomponent spunbond material that can serve as an effective N95 face mask filter – without the need for a meltblown filtration layer – has been developed by Nonwovens Institute (NWI) at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC, USA), with assistance from a number of INDEX20 exhibitors, including ExxonMobil (headquartered in Irving, Texas, USA) and NatureWorks (Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA). The development was in response to the immediate and pressing need for meltblown nonwovens in early 2020 when shortages earned them the epithet “the Golden Fleece of Fabrics” and they became the source of sometimes fierce international trade disputes. NWI executive director Benham Pourdeyhimi explained that the new media development arose from reactivated work on microfibrillation which was initially undertaken for the filter industry. N95 efficiency can be achieved with just two layers of the new spunbond fabric and there are a number of other benefits. In short, it cuts out the need for a meltblown layer which has been such a huge block in the supply chain for face masks during the pandemic. The spunbond-only media also requires no electrostatic charging, which has been another bottleneck in the production of face masks last year, and because the materials are strong – unlike classical meltblown materials – they can also be cut and sewn by traditional techniques. Further, they have the potential to be re-used a number of times after cleaning. In terms of productivity, spunbonding is also much faster than meltblowing. On the latest state-of-the-art Reifenhäuser Reicofil 5 lines, for example, throughput for spunbond fabrics is now up to 270 kg per metre of beam width, compared to 70 kg per metre width for meltblown. The material can also be based on bicomponents of Ingeo PLA and polypropylene and NatureWorks has been an active partner in the development, donating significant amounts of its Ingeo PLA, which improves the productivity of the spunbond process by at least 30%. “This is a faster and better way to make N95 filter media and not just a new product, but a more efficient process too,” said Robert Green, Vice-President of Performance Polymers at NatureWorks. “Being involved in the development has been exciting.” Another partner has been ExxonMobil, which has donated polypropylene and Vistamaxx resins (TPE-O - polypropylenebased elastomers). “We have worked with the Nonwovens Institute for over ten years and this development is a good example of the collaborative projects and teamwork involving companies from across the nonwovens supply chain during the pandemic,” said John Roberts, Strategic Marketing Executive at ExxonMobil. “Collectively the industry has a great deal to be proud of this year.” AT Source: www.indexnonwovens.com N95 mask (generic picture, not made of PLA) Novamont acquires BioBag Novamont (Novara, Italy), a world leader in the development and production of biochemicals and compostable bioplastics, recently announced it has acquired BioBag Group (Askim, Norway), a leading supplier of low-impact solutions for waste collection and packaging. The acquisition will allow Novamont to benefit from BioBag’s highly specialised independent distribution in areas where the buyer is less present. The two companies will be able to offer a more complete solution set to the market and to create long-lasting alliances with key stakeholders such as large retailers and communities. Together they plan to build even more demonstrators (innovative projects that enhance separate organic waste collection and composting systems) especially in North America, the Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe and Australia. The transaction is an important step forward in a collaborative journey that began twenty-five years ago. Novamont’s original vision in the 1990s was to build an integrated value chain for bioplastics and biochemicals linked to initiating and improving the separate collection of organic waste. This became the starting point for what is now called the circular bioeconomy to which both Novamont and BioBag have made important contributions. (Read the full news at tinyurl.com/bM202101). MT www.novamont.com | https://biobagworld.com 8 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16

ioplastics MAGAZINE presents: bio PAC #biopac Call for Papers still open! Conference on Biobased Packaging 03 - 04 Nov 2021 - Düsseldorf, Germany www.bio-pac.info Most packaging is only used for a short period and therefore give rise to large quantities of waste. Accordingly, it is vital to make sure that packaging fits into natures eco-systems and therefore use the most suitable renewable carbon materials and implement the best ‘end-of-life’ solutions. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE (in cooperation with Green Serendipity) is now organizing the 4 th edition of the bio!PAC - conference on packaging made from renewable carbon plastics, i.e. from renewable resources. Experts from all areas of renewable carbon plastics and circular packaging will present their latest developments. The conference will also cover discussions like end-of-life options, consumer behaviour issues, availability of agricultural land for material use versus food and feed etc. The full 2-day conference is planned to be held on 03-04 Nov 2021 in Düsseldorf, Germany (Maritim Airport Hotel). Bronze Sponsor Coorganized by supported by Media Partner bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16 9

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