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issue 02/2021

  • Text
  • Balance
  • Moulding
  • Carbon
  • Recycling
  • Plastics
  • Sustainable
  • Products
  • Renewable
  • Biobased
  • Packaging
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Injection Moulding Basics: Mass Balance

Material News Vegetable

Material News Vegetable proteins replace petro-based raw materials Research teams at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV (Freising, Germany) are collaborating with partners to use the promising techno-functional properties of vegetable proteins for industrial applications. The aim of the so-called TeFuProt project (short for techno-functional protein) is to shift away from petroleum and make more use of proteins from agricultural waste products for industrial applications. Rapeseed as a source of protein The processing of agricultural raw materials such as rapeseed results in large quantities of protein. So-called rapeseed meal and rapeseed press-cake are by-products of rapeseed oil recovery. “Up until now, this residue has mainly been used as feed in livestock farming. Which is a limited usage because of the bitter substances contained”, explains Andreas Fetzer, scientist at the Fraunhofer IVV. Due to their functional properties, such as the ability to form foams, gels, and films, and their ability to retain water, the protein fractions of the rapeseed press-cake have a huge potential for a broad range of technical applications. They are ideal as additives for paints, varnishes, adhesives, lubricants, building materials, detergents, and polymers. “The vegetable proteins are opening the door to the development of novel, sustainable, biobased products with improved properties”, explains Fetzer. And this also reduces the dependence on fossil resources and drives forward climate-friendly production. Fetzer and his colleagues successfully recovered four types of protein through four distinctly different processes. The protein isolates recovered often have a protein content of over 90 %. Chance to create breakthrough innovations The long-term project work of the 18 partners involved has produced a series of promising products, some of which are already available as prototypes. These include biodegradable films as a packaging material for detergent pouches or as plant coverings, as well as fibreboard from production residues and binding agents modified with rapeseed protein. Flame-retardant insulating foams for the construction industry or moulded foams for packaging, fibre protection and dye transfer inhibitors in eco-friendly laundry detergents, thickening components for lubricants, or binders for lubricating lacquers and additives in universal cleaning agents for wood surfaces complete the list of innovative solutions. “In many cases, we have successfully integrated the proteins into the products and generated properties with added value”, says the researcher. The next steps aim to optimize the preparations and get them ready for the market. The long-term aim of the partners is to replace petrochemicalbased products with biobased ones on a large scale and create added value through the use of vegetable proteins. AT www.ivv.fraunhofer.de Rolled rapeseed protein film: The film-forming properties of rapeseed proteins are of great interest for a large number of technical applications such as paints, varnishes, polymers, cleaning agents, lubricants, or adhesives. After the rapeseed has been de-oiled, protein-rich residues remain (rapeseed meal and press cake). Biobased high-performance polyolefin elastomer Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (Horgen, Switzerland), a business division of Dow, announces the expansion of its high-performance Affinity GA polyolefin elastomers (POE) with the launch of biobased Affinity RE. New Affinity RE is one of the first biobased high-performance polyolefin elastomers on the market. This solution has enabled Dow customer Henkel’s (Düsseldorf, Germany) Technomelt Supra Eco line to achieve another milestone in both companies’ sustainability goals. Climate change is among the greatest technical, social, and economic issues the world is currently facing. That is why reducing the carbon footprint is more vital than ever. As consumers demand more sustainable solutions from suppliers and brands, Affinity RE offers an alternative to fossil fuel-based products and can help to reduce the carbon footprint whilst delivering the same well-known performance as the entire Affinity GA range. To achieve this, Affinity RE is made using biobased feedstock such as tall oil – a by-product created by the paper-milling industry and ultimately sourced from sustainably managed forests. This whole process is certified on a mass balance basis by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC). The Affinity RE range consists of three grades with 100 % biobased content on a mass balance basis to optimize the carbon footprint of hot melt adhesives. AT www.dow.com | www.henkel.com 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/21] Vol. 16

New world-scale plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facility Recycling Eastman Chemical Company Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently announced the company's plans to build one of the world's largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities at its site in Kingsport, Tenn., USA. Through methanolysis, this world-scale facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products, creating an optimized circular economy. Over the next two years, the company will invest approximately USD 250 million in the facility, which will support Eastman's commitment to addressing the global waste crisis and to mitigating challenges created by climate change, while also creating value for its stakeholders. Utilizing the company's polyester renewal technology, the new facility will use over 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods to produce premium, high-quality speciality plastics made with recycled content. This process of using plastic waste as the main feedstock is a true material-to-material solution and will not only reduce the company's use of fossil feedstocks but also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20–30 % relative to fossil feedstocks. "Eastman has been a leader in the materials sector for over 100 years and continues to be a valued partner to our state," said Governor Lee. "I'd like to thank the company for investing in Kingsport and its highly skilled workforce, and for focusing on innovative technology that enhances the quality of life for people not just in Tennessee, but around the world." Eastman was one of the pioneers in developing methanolysis technology at a commercial scale and has more than three decades of expertise in this innovative recycling process. Eastman's experience with methanolysis makes it uniquely qualified to be a leader in delivering this solution at a commercial scale. Polyester renewal technology will be an especially impactful solution, as lowquality polyester waste that cannot be mechanically recycled and would typically be diverted to landfills, incineration, or end up in the environment can instead be recycled into high-quality polyesters suitable for use in a variety of enduse durable applications. "While today's announcement is an important step, it is just part of the company's overall circular economy strategy," said Costa. He added that Eastman is actively working on the next steps forward with its circular economy initiatives including partnerships and direct investments in Europe. This facility, which is expected to be mechanically complete by year-end 2022, will contribute to the company achieving its ambitious sustainability commitments for addressing the plastic waste crisis, which includes recycling more than 230,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually by 2030 via molecular recycling technologies. The company has committed to recycling more than 115,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually by 2025. AT www.eastman.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/21] Vol. 16 45

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