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Issue 03/2016

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Compostable
  • Starch
  • Injection
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1603

Report Co-products from

Report Co-products from potato processing Dutch company converts a co-product into high value technical grade potato starch Most of our readers certainly know that certain bioplastics can be made from plant starches of different sources, for example PLA from corn starch or TPS from potato starch etc.. And you probably also know that besides food and feed starch has been used for multiple technical applications for decades. Now, besides using starch directly derived from plants, those mentioned above and others, there is also a lot of waste starch available that can be used for such purposes. However, “we don’t call it waste, we call it side streams or co-products,” as Roel van Haeren, Sales Director of the Dutch company Novidon explains. In order to get as much as possible first-hand information on this topic bioplastics MAGAZINE visited Novidon in Nijmegen in mid May. Here is our report: During the industrial processing of potatoes, for example into French fries, potato crisps or other products a lot of so-called side stream potato starch is coming free. In most cases the starch is in the process water. “We take Figure 1 Figure 2 this starch out of the process water and bring it to our factory,” says Christiaan Oei, Area Sales Manager of Novidon. Novidon is part of the Duynie Group, specialized on the utilization of co-products of different agricultural product industries. Their slogan is “Care for co-products”, well explained in a YouTube-clip on their website. Duynie Group itself is owned by Royal Cosun, a cooperative of 9,500 sugar beet farmers and the only one sugar company in the Netherlands. Novidon runs plants in Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Wrexham (UK), Veurne (Belgium) and Hodiskov (Czech Republic). In the past the starch containing process water of the potato industry went to wastewater treatment plants, landfill or was converted into animal feed. But Novidon thought that there was too much value in the starch and decided to upgrade the co-product into high value technical grade potato starch. Today Novidon is utilizing this raw material all year round. The company collects the side stream starch from more than 75 different suppliers spread all over Europe. And while Novidon is specialized on potato starch, the Duynie Group also collects other co-products such as potato peels, sugar beet pulp, wheat distillery syrup, potato flakes or peas that are out of specs for human consumption etc. “A total of ± 4.5 million tonnes a year, which represents one truckload per 4 minutes”, Roel says. These co-products are converted by different Duynie Group companies into feed, pet-food and other uses including the energy recovery through anaerobic digestion in biogas plants as a last step. The products of Novidon are native and modified potato starch. Basically these products can be distinguished into three major groups. The first group is native starch. This starch goes into applications such as the paper industry (paper mills), textiles and also into the bioplastics industry. The second product group is drilling starches. These products are used for oil and gas drilling in many countries in the Middle East, North and West Africa, for example. In oil and gas drilling a so-called drilling mud is being used e. g. for cooling, cleaning and lubricating the drill bit and for maintaining the walls of the borehole. Water based drilling muds can consist of starch and 30 to 35 other ingredients such as bentonite (clay). Starch in combination with bentonite provides very good properties in terms of preventing process water (fluid loss reducing) from entering the surrounding soil. And the last group are adhesives for various applications. This includes wall paper paste, glue for paper sacks or labelling glues. 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/16] Vol. 11

Report Potato starch in – high value starch out About 100,000 tonnes per year of side stream starch could be generated in Europe as co-products of the potato converting industries. More than 50 % of that amount is being collected by Novidon and converted into technical grades for the different applications. The starch is partly collected by an own fleet of ± 8 trucks and delivered to the different locations of Novidon. In order not to transport too much water, the company tries to get the starches as dry as possible. So starch can be delivered in a rather dry, powdery format (fig. 1) or in form of a slurry that is dumped into a bunker by a tanker truck (fig. 2). This slurry is then processed in several steps. In different cyclones heavier contaminations such as sand, protein and fibres, e. g. from potato peels are centrifuged off. This is followed by a drying process. Figure 3 shows the filling of the final dried and cleaned product into big bags. But the starches can also be filled in paper sacks. Only at this stage the starch is being evaluated in Novidon’s modern laboratory. Depending on certain properties a decision for the final field of applications is made. Native potato starch to bioplastics One of Novidon’s customers is BIOTEC in Emmerich, Germany, about 45 kilometers away. Biotec converts the native potato starch of Novidon to high quality bioplastics called BIOPLAST, which are biodegradable and compostable, and can be used for different applications such as film blowing (for the production of different kinds of bags – figure 4) or injection moulding. “This was something very interesting for us to learn”, says Roel van Haeren. “Together with Biotec, Novidon achieved to use their potato starch as a raw material for Bioplastics.” And Johannes Mathar, Project Manager R&D at Biotec amends that “potato starch showed to be the best starch for our bioplastics.” A few years ago Biotec made an evaluation and compared starches from corn, cassava, wheat, peas and other sources. While about 6,000 – 13,000 tonnes (depending on annually changing availability) of starch are converted into adhesives, 3,000 – 15,000 tonnes go to oil- and gas drilling approx. 20,000 – 35,000 tonnes are sold as high value native starch. 5 – 7 % of this amount goes into the bioplastics industry, for example to Biotec. With these figures in mind – in addition to the fact that Novidon’s potato starch is derived from co-products – it can be clearly stated, that such bioplastics from starch are in no competition to food and feed, an extremely durable solution ready for expansion. www.novidon-starch.com www.duyniegroup.com www.biotec.de By: Michael Thielen Figure 3 Figure 4 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/16] Vol. 11 37

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