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Issue 03/2020

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

News daily upated news

News daily upated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com Latest findings about the plastic eating wax moth Recently, a few insects, including the caterpillar larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella, have been identified as avid ‘plastivores’. These caterpillars are able to ingest and metabolize polyethylene at unprecedented rates. While it appears that G. mellonella plays an important role in the biodegradation process, the contribution of its intestinal microbiome remains poorly understood and contested. Recently Dr. Christophe LeMoine and Dr. Bryan Cassone of Brandon University – BU’s Department of Biology (Brandon, Manitoba, Canada) have published new findings in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a prestigious journal dedicated to biology. In a series of experiments, the two scientists, along with BU students Sachi Villanueva, Harald Grove and Oluwadara Elebute, present strong evidence of an intricate relationship between an intact microbiome, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) biodegradation and the production of glycol as a metabolic by-product. First, the scientists biochemically confirmed that G. mellonella larvae consume and metabolize LDPE, as individual caterpillars fed on polyethylene excreted glycol, but those excretions were reduced by antibiotic treatment. “So it seems that there is a synergy between the (gut) bacteria and their waxworm hosts that accelerates plastic degradation,” as LeMoine pointed out. Further, while the gut bacterial communities remained relatively stable regardless of diet, it could be shown that during the early phases of feeding on LDPE (24–72 h), caterpillars exhibited increased microbial abundance relative to those starved or fed on their natural honeycomb diet. Finally, by isolating and growing gut bacteria with polyethylene as their exclusive carbon source for over one year, microorganisms were identified in the genus Acinetobacter that appeared to be involved in this biodegradation process. Taken collectively, the study indicates that during short-term exposure, the intestinal microbiome of G. mellonella is intricately associated with polyethylene biodegradation in vivo. “Worms that eat our plastic waste and turn it into alcohol sounds too good to be true. And in a way it is,” said Dr. Cassone. “The problem of plastic pollution is too large to simply throw worms at. But if we can better understand how the bacteria works together with the worm and what kind of conditions cause it to flourish, perhaps this information can be used to design better tools to eliminate plastics and microplastics from our environment.” MT https://tinyurl.com/waxworm Biodegradable in water in less than 2 months Kompuestos (Plásticos Compuestos S.A., Barcelona, Spain) has launched Okean ® , a range of bioplastics with a clear objective: water biodegradability. The Okean product range can be fully biodegraded in sweet water under natural conditions, becoming biomass, carbon dioxide and water, and without leaving toxic residues. The three new bioplastics have been certified by the independent entity TÜV Austria with the OK biodegradable WATER certification, which follows the European standard UNE EN 13432, and recognizes the biodegradability of Okean products in 56 days in sweet water to a temperature between 20°C and 25°C. The products can be processed on standard equipment, offering a reliable alternative to traditional plastics. Similarly, thanks to its biobased composition (base of maize, potato, and other renewable sources), its production generates a smaller impact on the environment and contributes to a significant reduction in the carbon footprint. MT www.kompuestos.com New grade of Mater-Bi now market ready Novamont, Novara, Italy, announced that their new grade of Mater-Bi for extrusion coating and extrusion lamination on paper, board and other substrates is now ready for the market. The material can be composted in standard industrial plants in accordance with standard UNI EN 13432 and can be recycled along with waste paper. Developed through work which has combined various Novamont production technologies, in comparison with previous versions, the new grade offers an appreciable improvement in process stability, coating thicknesses and processing speed comparable with LDPE, and excellent adhesion to different substrates (paper, board, plastic films). From the point of view of environmental performance, objects manufactured using the new grade – cups, dishes for catering, thin boards for food use – are GMOfree, biodegradable and compostable. With excellent toughness and resistance to perforation, such objects are also suitable for contact with food and microwave use and offer excellent resistance to oils and fats. With this new grade Mater-Bi for extrusion coating, Novamont is in a position to satisfy the rise in demand for disposable products that can be composted together with paper and board, thus solving the problems associated with the limited availability of some raw materials. AT www.novamont.com 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15

daily upated news at www.bioplasticsmagazine.com News 25 th Anniversary of OK compost The first certificate of TÜV AUSTRIA group’s OK compost for resins turned 25 this May. Back in 1995 very few resin manufacturers and film extruders were certified. Terms like "compostable" and "biodegradable" were far from well known. At that time it was pioneer work, the standard EN 13432 would not be around for another 5 years and another 10 until these products would finally make some waves in 2010. Philippe Dewolfs, Manager Bioplastics Certification at TÜV Austria Belgium remembers it well, “It was at this time that the original pioneers saw their perseverance rewarded, and we the number of certificates increased. From the first day, we have identified our customers by the now well-known ‘SCode’. In January 2010, we assigned the S150 code, and 10 years later, we are pleased to see that 96 of these companies are still on our certified product lists. Thus, pioneering does not always rhyme with risky adventuring!” Turning from history back to the here and now certification is more important than ever with the code S1500 only a few months away. The team of specialists grew and changed till the 1990s, now 14 experts are putting all their energy into evaluating and certifying products, monitoring the market to protect brands, improving their services and participating in numerous standardization groups to prepare tomorrow. Today the TÜV Austria group and their partners are represented in ten countries to facilitate contacts with local customers, national authorities and ensure market monitoring. Numerous laboratories are working to enable the TÜV group to decide whether products meet the criteria, or not. With the increased importance of certificates comes the misuse of them, the groups legal services in Vienna supported by the worldwide power of the TÜV network ensure that such violations are systematically prosecuted. 25 However now is a time for celebration, so Dewolfs, “I would like to thank my staff, those of the early days and those who joined us recently, our customers, for 25 years or a few days, the labs and all those who have travelled a long way with us.“ The team from bioplastics MAGAZINE wishes happy anniversary. AT www.okcompost.org Biobased carbon fibres Stora Enso and Cordenka have signed a joint development agreement to develop precursors for biobased carbon fibre. The co-development is driven by the need for high performance carbon fibre in transportation, construction and power generation. Stora Enso has been developing the technology for manufacturing carbon fibre from wood-based raw materials, i.e. dissolving pulp and lignin, at laboratory scale. The agreement announced today with Cordenka, a leading producer of premiumquality industrial viscose fibres, aims at upscaling the precursor development process to pilotscale operation. The precursor development is carried out with specialised manufacturing spinning equipment at Cordenka’s Obernburg production site in Germany. The venture is supported by BMC, owner of Cordenka, as part of their strategy to extend the reach of Cordenka into new growth markets and Asia. “It is exciting to partner up with Cordenka to develop biobased carbon fibre that replaces oil-based raw materials,” says Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division. “Our ambition is to provide industrial composite producers with a sustainable, yet cost-competitive, carbon fibre made from renewable and fossil-free materials. Thus, we continue to contribute to Stora Enso’s vision of a low-carbon society. We also look forward to attracting more partners downstream in the value chain, such as carbon fibre companies, to join the collaboration,” Mannström concludes. “Stora Enso and Cordenka are a natural fit. Stora Enso has developed important new technology and Cordenka has critical manufacturing expertise. Both companies have been manufacturing products based on renewable resources for decades and both are market leaders in their respective fields. Making carbon fibre precursors for composite reinforcement from woodbased feedstock is a major leap forward in material science,” says Kurt Uihlein, Chief Marketing Officer of Cordenka. Carbon fibre demand is increasing steadily at an annual growth rate of 10 %. The target of the partnership will be on developing carbon fibre initially for industrial applications requiring low weight and high mechanical performance, such as pultruded laminates used in manufacturing wind energy rotor blades. Today, 20 % of the global carbon fibre supply is used by the wind energy industry. Traditionally, carbon fibre is made from PAN (polyacrylonitrile) which is an oil-based raw material. The raw materials for biobased carbon fibre are cellulose and lignin, which come from trees. In the biobased carbon fibre process, cellulose is converted to viscose and mixed with lignin to form the spinning dope. The dope is spun into precursor fibre that is thermally converted to carbon fibre. MT www.storaenso.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/20] Vol. 15 7

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