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Issue 03/2020

  • Text
  • Additives
  • Masterbatches
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Plastics
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Additives/Masterbatches Marine Littering

Market Biobased

Market Biobased Feedstock Bioeconomy has an integral role in the future circular plastics economy in decreasing feedstock dependence on virgin fossil resources. Biomass (B in Fig 3) utilized for biobased plastics and plastic replacing alternatives can originate from several natural resources: biomass from agriculture and forestry, algae and marine biomass, as well as different agricultural and process side- and waste streams such as food waste, biowaste, ashes and dusts, rejects and recovered materials, etc. In some applications the plastic can be replaced, for example by foamed cellulose instead of polystyrene for package cushioning. Cellulose is an integral structural component of green plants and some algae as well, and it is the most abundant renewable resource in the world. It is a multi-purpose material of the future for example in composites, high-performance plastics, membranes, filters and foams. Renewable Materials in Finland Cellulose fibre products are on the market and we all know and use them. On top of that there are new innovative materials under development. The innovation pipeline includes materials such as thermoplastic cellulose and nanocellulose. One of the most significant properties of packaging manufactured from wood fibre is its recyclability. The same fibre may be recycled from one product to another four to seven times until it becomes shorter and its technical characteristics disappear. Eventually, the fibre becomes a valuable biofuel. Carbon remains bound in the product for as long as the fibre is in circulation. CO 2 as Feedstock Turning CO 2 from the cause of climate change into a valuable raw material is an important part of the future circular plastics economy. CO 2 can also be a valuable intermediate for monomer manufacturing (A in Fig 3). The challenge is to capture CO 2 from the atmosphere, industrial processes, and degradation processes. Technologies for this do exist but need further development to be economically feasible [3]. We envision CO 2 to be an essential building block of the carbon reuse economy. Some polymers can be directly synthesized from CO 2 , e.g. polyurethanes and polycarbonates. Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) also has many other applications. In the context of plastics, CCU in combination with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis yields synthetic naphtha. Synthetic naphtha can be further converted to polymers, as is already now done with fossil naphtha. Furthermore, it is obvious that renewable carbon is the feedstock for a sustainable plastics economy. Renewable carbon covers recycled plastics feedstock, biobased materials and carbon dioxide. However, it must be very clear that the recycling industry’s high energy requirements should also be fully covered by renewable energies in order to prevent the release of additional fossil CO 2 . Carbon Capture und Utilization (CCU) processes are in development and will provide renewable feedstock-based products and thereby mitigate climate change. Novel circular business models and changes in regulations are needed in order to support a sustainable transition towards circularity. To accelerate the transformation of the industry, and of both developed and developing societies, we need new approaches with technologies and innovative business models across the plastics value chain. Our vision is to stop plastic pollution and make the plastics value chain climate neutral by establishing material circularity, while maintaining material performance and economic feasibility of plastics. Our ambition is to see innovation and cuttingedge technologies as key elements in establishing this. We wish to highlight that even though the challenges faced are immense, they can be overcome. We at VTT will continue our work in research, development and innovation in the circular plastics field and call for collaboration to start creating the much-needed sustainable circular economy together today. References 1. Strategies to reduce the global carbon footprint of plastics. Zheng, J. and Suh, S. 9, s.l. : Nature Climate Change, 2019, pp. 374-378. 2. Carus, Michael and Raschka, Achim. Renewable Carbon is Key to a Sustainable and Future-Oriented Chemical Industry. s.l. : Nova Institute, 2018. 3. Advances in the use of CO 2 as a renewable feedstock for the synthesis of polymers. Grignard_et_al. s.l. : Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, 48, 4466, 2019, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, 48, 4466. www.vttresearch.com A Carbon dioxide Y B Renewable biomass Mono P O L C Fossil sources Monomer Polymer Figure 3 Different sources for Plastics Manufacturing 54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15

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