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Issue 01/2023

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Highlights: Toys Automotive Basics: Amorphous PHA Digital product passports

News daily updated News

News daily updated News at Offtake agreement on PEF for industrial fibres Avantium (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), a leading technology company in renewable chemistry, and Monosuisse (Emmenbrücke, Switzerland), a leading producer of a wide variety of synthetic monofilaments for industrial use, have signed an offtake agreement giving Monosuisse access to PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a 100 % plant-based and fully recyclable polymer with a wide range of applications such as packaging, film, and textiles. The PEF is made from FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), to be produced in Avantium’s planned FDCA Flagship Plant. This world’s first commercial facility for the manufacture of FDCA from plant-based sugars is currently under construction in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, and Avantium expects to start production in 2024. Monosuisse will purchase PEF for the use in monofilament yarns, which can be used in a broad range of industrial applications. In addition to packaging materials made from PEF, Avantium is increasing its focus on the development of PEF for fibres and yarns. For many years, Monosuisse has been committed to sustainability in all areas of production. The company focuses on the reduction of waste, the use of environmentally friendly raw materials, as well as reducing its carbon footprint. Sustainability is a criterion for the choice of its suppliers. To this end, Monosuisse and Avantium have joined efforts in the development of PEF-based monofilament yarns, which resulted in a positive evaluation of the performance of PEF-based monofilaments. Monosuisse has now signed an offtake agreement and will further develop sustainable and high-performance PEFbased monofilament yarns for commercial introduction when the Flagship Plant is operational. “We are impressed by the potential and performance of PEF in monofilament yarns. Beyond its sustainable advantages, such as being 100 % plant-based and fully recyclable, PEF is spinnable in the existing spinning lines without any hurdle or further investment”, states Philipp Kohler, Chief Technology Officer at Monosuisse. Bas Blom, Managing Director of Avantium Renewable Polymers, comments: ”We are very pleased with the offtake agreement from Monosuisse. It shows that PEF has great potential as yarn in various applications. The decision of Monosuisse to use PEF for monofilament yarns means the opening of a new market for our high-quality, plant-based polymer”. MT | USD150 million for Advanced Recycling In early January, Nexus (Atlanta, GA, USA) announced it has agreed to terms for an equity raise of USD150 million. The funding round, led by Cox Enterprises, also from Atlanta, will accelerate the growth of Nexus Circular's market-leading advanced recycling process. Cox Enterprises, focused on building the world’s most innovative businesses in cleantech and environmental sustainability will become the majority owner. These funds will support efforts to deliver on recycled-plastic commitments by accelerating the expansion of Nexus Circular’s market-leading advanced recycling process. Nexus has consistently produced, and commercially sold, high-quality, ISCC PLUS certified circular products made from landfill-bound plastics, diverting over seven million pounds to date. This financing enables Nexus to build additional capacity to serve its expanding customer base and meet the outsized demand for recycled-plastic products. Nexus plans to build facilities that have the capacity to process more than 115,000 tonnes of used plastic annually. MT | Europe's first vertically integrated biorefinery to produce and recycle PLA Following the construction of its first PLA (poly-lactic acid) plant in China in 2021, Futerro's ambition is to set up a new fully integrated biorefinery in the industrial and port area of Port-Jérôme, France. Futerro, a Belgian company from Escanaffles and leader in the production of PLA, has started negotiations with Caux-Seine Agglo and its economic development agency Caux-Seine Développement in order to build a new generation of vertically integrated biorefinery, with an annual production capacity of 75,000 tonnes. The project should potentially create 250 direct jobs and 900 jobs in adjacent sectors. This fully integrated biorefinery aims to include a lactic acid unit transforming raw materials of agricultural origin, a PLA conversion unit and a unit dedicated to molecular recycling of PLA. Futerro has already put an option on a plot of land of approximately 26.5 hectares located in the commune of Saint-Jean-de-Folleville, on the Port-Jérôme industrial estate, and has begun the ecological and environmental analysis procedures on site. During 2023, the project will also be the subject of a preliminary consultation. AT/MT 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/23] Vol. 18

Biobased polyolefin market The global market for biobased polyolefins is forecast to multiply by a factor of more than 20 between 2022 and 2032, reaching a volume of more than 4.7 million tonnes according to a ground-breaking report released by MLT Analytics (Singapore). This impressive growth is set to be fueled by a variety of end-use applications, including existing mainstream bio-polyethylene applications such as extrusion coating, shopping bags, and blow-moulded containers, and emerging bio-polypropylene applications such as hygiene, housewares, and rigid and flexible packaging. “2022 was a breakout year for bio-polyolefins in that we saw a notable diversification in the supplier base, with emerging suppliers developing and augmenting their commercial presence in the market, and adding to the dominant presence of incumbent producer Braskem”, said MLT Analytics CEO and co-founder Stephen Moore. “We also saw the bio-PP market more than triple in scale between 2021 and 2022 as mass-balance-based polymer production kicked off in Europe and Japan”, he added. Most global polyolefin suppliers have announced sustainable polyolefin targets, typically to be achieved by 2030, that involve a mixed slate of polymers derived from biobased, chemically-recycled, and mechanically-recycled feedstocks. And while the latter two routes may be preferred by some resin producers, brand owner and consumer pressure look like ensuring biobased polyolefins will play a notable role in achieving sustainability targets. The European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) in its current form is a potential complicating factor to market growth for bio-polyolefins according to Moore, “The Commission has essentially signalled its preference for C 12 /C 14 assay over mass balance as the preferred means of measuring bio content and added that biobased plastics should target durable applications such as pipe and automotive, thereby functioning as carbon sinks. I don’t believe this is a stance that will be acceptable to bio-polyolefin suppliers given their investment in the mass balance approach”. Bio-PP On the bio-polyolefin supply side, Braskem, the main incumbent supplier is being joined by a stable of European, Japanese, and Korean suppliers, with Dow Chemical, also increasing its presence via production assets in Europe. Bio-polyolefin suppliers also need to ensure they can secure sufficient biofeedstocks to polymerize their products for the market according to Moore. “Most bio-refineries focus on the production of bio-fuels, with bio-naphtha being a lower priority by-product”, noted Moore. MT 100 50 0 2020 2025 2030 Bio-LLDPE Bio-HDPE Bio-EVA bio-polyolefin consumption (see more graphs at (Source MLT Analytics) News daily updated News at Biorizon teams up with Kaneka to create a sustainable premium polymer Researchers from Biorizon (Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands) co-initiator VITO (Mol, Belgium) and chemical company Kaneka Belgium (Westerlo) joined forces to conduct research to create a lignin-based polymer that outperformed its fossil-based counterpart in terms of thermal stability and UV-blocking properties. Kaneka liquid polymers are widely recognized as the premium choice of base resins for producing high-quality sealants, adhesives, and coatings. Their unique properties enable products that contain Kaneka’s polymers to deliver outstanding performance for a wide variety of markets, including construction, industrial, transportation, flooring, waterproofing, DIY, and specialty markets. Luc Peeters, R&D Manager at Kaneka Belgium: “In 2018, we joined forces with Biorizon co-initiator VITO to develop an improved and biobased version of Kaneka MS polymer based on lignin. Known for its solvent-free and extremely low VOC emissions, Kaneka MS Polymer has a proven track record in green innovation. This research opportunity to replace fossil raw materials with lignin demonstrates our ongoing commitment to offering the next generation of biobased Kaneka MS Polymers”. Researchers from Biorizon co-initiator VITO and chemical company Kaneka Belgium joined forces to conduct research to create a lignin-based polymer with premium properties. This was published in the leading journal Biomacromolecules (impact score 6.60) and in adhesion ADHESIVES + SEALANTS – The Trade Journal for Adhesives and Sealants. The research shows that high-performance, partly biobased MS polymer products can be obtained by blending MS polymer with molecularly engineered lignin-based fragments. The lignin fragments can be functionalized to be either non-reactive or reactive with MS polymer. The mechanical properties and thermal stability of the products are influenced both by the molar mass of the lignin fragment and by the type of functionalization used. Particularly the reactive lignin dimer shows a high potential for strongly improving the thermal stability of MS polymer-based systems, which results in the possibility to broaden the application area of MS polymer. In addition to the increased thermal stability, other functional advantages that could potentially be expected from tailored lignin additives include UV stability, anti-oxidant activity, or even flame retardancy. AT/MT | | bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/23] Vol. 18 7

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