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Issue 02/2018

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  • Bioplastics
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Materials products on

Materials products on the market, how they can be processed and for which applications they are suitable. The Technology Push has to be balanced with the Market Pull to a much larger extent. This has been made clearer in the scheme below presented some time ago by Danimer Scientific: From this picture it appears that a PHA-copolymer with high co-monomer content, suitable for tie-layers, is quite different from one with low co-monomer content, suitable for injection moulding applications for instance. Compounders, converters and OEMs need to understand which product is the best fit for their applications. Good chance that they need more than just one PHA-product to meet all their needs. People often ask about the PHA-market and its competitors, but there is no PHA-market yet (it’s very very small still), so there are no competitors yet. Players developing the technology and the market for their PHAproducts simply have to build this market together, since customers don’t want to be single-sourced (don’t want to risk their brand-image), want to have product choice and need supply-security. During the last 3-4 years we see that several companies bringing a variety of PHA-products to the market have formed alliances in the value chain to accelerate the application developments and hence market growth. This goes all the way to major OEMs, like the Bodyshop, IKEA, PepsiCo and Proctor & Gamble as examples. We also see that a number of companies started to license their manufacturing technology, but the challenge here is that no one has any or sufficient large-scale industrial experience yet with their new manufacturing technology. However, many scale-up projects are underway with intended startup dates in 2018. All this is reason enough to organize the 1 st PHA-platform World Congress to address the virtues and the challenges of the PHA-platform. This congress will now be held on 4 th and 5 th September 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (see next page). Roughly speaking it takes 20 years and one billion Dollar or Euro (1) to develop a new polymer, (2) to get market acceptance from many customers, (3) to produce it at industrial scale and (4) to write black figures in the end. This is true for both fossil-based and bio-based polymers and has recently been demonstrated by PLA and now also by PEF and PHA-platform polymers, albeit that the last two don’t write black figures yet. The objective of our 1 st PHA-platform World Congress is to review and discuss the four steps mentioned above covering the whole value chain from polymer design & production to large market acceptance. There are many dozens of companies and institutes in the world active on the microbiological aspects of making PHA-polymers from all waste streams one can imagine, which is just a part of the first step mentioned above. These matters are extensively covered in the bi-annual global symposia (ISBP) that are organized since 1988. This year George Chen organizes the ISBP in China in October ( Only 5-10 companies are active in trying to industrialize a variety of PHA polymers, while some, but very little academic work is done on the effect of the molecular topology of those polymers on a whole series of polymer performance characteristics (physical, rheological, optical, thermal). The main focus of the congress is on the industrialization aspects of the PHA-platform polymers in every step of the value chain, so also including the compounding, conversion and application development steps. High MW (>700M) Blow Molding (Rigid Packaging) Blown Films (Garbage Bags) Elastomeric Film (Gloves) High MW (1MM+) Molecular Weight Functional Fiber (Melt Spun) Spun-bond NW Synthetic Paper Foam (cups) Thermoforming Coating/Lamination (Melt Resin) (e.g.,coated paper, NW) Cast or Tintered Films (e.g., breathable) Tie-Layer Adhesives Melt Blown NW Injection Molding Low MW (500M) 5% 10% 15% Stiff / Brittle Flexible / Ductile Soft / Elastic Composition (Comonomer Content), The co-monomers are mcl groups, such as hexanoate, octanoate or decanoate. (Source: Danimer Scientific) 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/18] Vol. 13

Save the Date 04-05 Sep 2018 Cologne, Germany organized by Co-organized by Jan Ravenstijn PHA (Poly-Hydroxy-Alkanoates or polyhydroxy fatty acids) is a family of biobased polyesters. As in many mammals, including humans, that hold energy reserves in the form of body fat there are also bacteria that hold intracellular reserves of polyhydroxy alkanoates. Here the micro-organisms store a particularly high level of energy reserves (up to 80% of their own body weight) for when their sources of nutrition become scarce. Examples for such Polyhydroxyalkanoates are PHB, PHV, PHBV, PHBH and many more. That’s why we speak about the PHA platform. This PHA-platform is made up of a large variety of bioplastics raw materials made from many different renewable resources. Depending on the type of PHA, they can be used for applications in films and rigid packaging, biomedical applications, automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, toys, glues, adhesives, paints, coatings, fi bers for woven and non-woven and inks. So PHAs cover a broad range of properties and applications. That’s why bioplastics MAGAZINE and Jan Ravenstijn are now organizing the 1 st PHA-platform World Congress on 4-5 September 2018 in Cologne / Germany. This congress will address the progress, challenges and market opportunities for the formation of this new polymer platform in the world. Every step in the value chain will be addressed. Raw materials, polymer manufacturing, compounding, polymer processing, applications, opportunities and end-of-life options will be discussed. When there is sufficient interest there will be a workshop on the basics of the PHA-platform in the afternoon of September 3 rd , preceding the conference.See website for details. Platinum Sponsor: Gold Sponsor: Silver Sponsor: Media Partner: Supported by: Bronze Sponsor: 1 st Media Partner Institut für Ökologie und Innovation bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/18] Vol. 13 35

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