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Issue 02/2015

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NPE Review NPE Review

NPE Review NPE Review By: Michael Thielen From March 23 to 27 the plastics world met in Orlando, Florida, USA, for NPE, the (inter …) National Plastics Exhibition organized by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI). SPI believes the bioplastics sector will play an important role in the future of the plastics industry as a whole, which is why this industry segment received a place of prominence at NPE2015, one of the world’s most important plastics trade shows that SPI produces triennially, and that brings together every sector of the plastics industry in one location. “Bioplastics is just one of several innovative industry segments that offer the entire plastics industry the opportunity to position itself as the material of choice for the next several decades,” said SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “Between the thousands of green jobs that bioplastics supports and continues to create and the day-to-day ingenuity displayed by bioplastics companies and their employees, this is an industry sector with its finger on the pulse of the plastics supply chain, and it makes sense to acknowledge its contributions at NPE.” After our preview in the last issue find here our Show-review: Greenpack Greenpack LLC from Guatemala presented biodegradable disposables made from non edible yam starch that they crop themselves in Guatemala. “Our material is lightweight, low cost and easy to process.” Said Gabriel Salazar, International Business and Sales Director of Greenpack. “This makes it an ideal substitute for conventional plastic that is currently used to produce one time use disposable products such as plastic utensils, cups and plates, garbage bags, t-shirt bags and product packaging.” Greenpack material is produced out of a bio hybrid resin based on up to 70 % sustainable and renewable plant starch (Vincotte OK Biobased 2 stars certified) that creates a new molecular structure that is 100 % biodegradable in approximately 15 months. So it is not certified compostable according to ASTM D 6400 / EN 13432 because it takes too long. No chemical additives are used in the production process and there are zero residues left after biodegradation has taking place. “Our products require no special waste management. The material will biodegrade naturally, similar to an orange peel, when it is in a microorganism rich environment. The more microorganism activity, the faster it biodegrades. When the material is incinerated it will produce 68 % less carbon emissions than conventional plastic.” Laurel Biocomposites Laurel Biocomposites LLC (Laurel, Nebraska) has earned USDA Certified Biobased Product Label for its Bio-Res PE and powder. Bio-Res PE and PP compounds are produced by combining DDGS (Dry Destillers Grains Solubles) a byproduct from the corn-2-bioethanol production, with PE and PP. Another product is Bio-Res PLA, which in addition is biodegradable. An interesting example of application that was demonstrated at NPE (at a joint booth with the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites CB 2 ) was an injection molded flower pot. Greenhouse trials with annual plants such as tomatoes and peppers, have shown improved plant and root growth (with up to 100 % more yield) when planted in pots made with Bio- Res compounds as compared to plants grown in traditional polypropylene pots. As compared to neat PLA, Bio-Res PLA can reduce the cycle times and mold stick when used in injection molding. The natural color is light yellow and takes colorant well. Highly concentrated masterbatch pellets can be used at inclusion rates of up to 50 %. 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/15] Vol. 10

NPE Review Vertellus Growing interest among consumers and legislators in the safety and environmental impact of traditional plasticizers is prompting the plastics industry to seek new solutions. Vertellus (Indianapolis, Indiana), a leading global supplier of additives to the plastics and polymer industries, is addressing this with its biobased, nontoxic Citroflex ® plasticizers (among others) that have a long history of safe use. The high-performance additive products, also deliver low volatility and low leaching, making them suitable for a wide range of polymers used in food packaging, medical applications and children’s toys. Vertellus’ Citroflex plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other polymers are citric acid esters, which have a long history as plasticizers and lubricants in food contact applications, such as rigid food containers and packaging films. These biobased, non-toxic additives have also demonstrated safety in children’s toys and medical applications. As an added benefit, Citroflex products deliver superior tensile strength and ultimate elongation performance compared to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA). Genarex Bylox and Bylox HT bioadditives have earned USDA biobased product certification. Both bioadditives from Alpharetta (Georgia) based company Genarex LLC have a biobased content of at least 98 %, according to ASTM D 6866. The USDA certification is a major milestone for Genarex, which is nearing full commercial introduction of its suite of bioadditives for a range of thermoplastic resins. Genarex’s Bylox and Bylox HT compounds – based on a heterogeneous blend of plant-based proteins and carbohydrates – are distinguished by low odor, easy processing, high thermal stability and ductility. Bylox is the flagship characterized by high ductility while Bylox HT is a high-performance option with a thermal processing window of up to 250 °C and near-zero odor. Both products can be blended with PP, PE and PVC at loadings up to 30 % without s a c r i f i c i n g the material performance. They can also be added to biodegradable plastics such as PBAT, PLA or PHA at similar loading levels. Jungbunzlauer Another exhibitor showcasing citric acid plasticizers is Jungbunzlauer from Basel, Switzerland. Jungbunzlauer’s CITROFOL ® products are compatible with a broad range of polymer types that include PVC, PU, acrylics but also biopolymers such as cellulosics, PLA and PHA. In most cases, Citrofol esters will replace traditional plasticizers as a safe drop-in solution at a competitive price level. Due to their low toxicity and compliance with stringent regulatory requirements, Citrofol is preferably used not only in sensitive applications such as medical devices, food packaging and pharmaceutical c o a t i n g s , but also in sealants and adhesives. Furthermore, industrial applications also benefit when using Citrofol products which results in low volatility and low migration according to the customer needs. Citrofol BII is a fully degradable citrate ester and is suitable for standard plastic products as well as for biobased plastics. This versatile, first-rate plasticizer is certified compostable by DIN CERTCO according ASTM D 6400 as well EN 13432. Tests and comprehensive analysis have proven that Citrofol BII is environmentally friendly, and that it leaves absolutely no residues or degradation products in the soil, which can then still be used as farmland. This is why Citrofol BII is particularly recommended for use in biopolymers such as PLA for agricultural applications (e. g. mulch films, or films used to prevent soil erosion). Furthermore, Jungbunzlauer’s citrate esters hold the USDA certificate for biobased products that verifies the amount of renewable biobased ingredients. bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/15] Vol. 10 35

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