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Issue 04/2015

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Content Imprint 04|2015 Events 8 bio!CAR announcement & programme Building & Construction 10 PLA blends in building and construction 12 WPC and NFC market trends 14 Forest based composites for façades and interior partitions Blow Moulding 16 PEF, a biobased polyester with a great future 20 ALPLA showed first PEF bottles 20 World’s first 100 % bio-based PET bottle 22 New biodegradable packages for dairy products 24 The biobased future of beer packaging? Foam 32 Foamed blocks from NF-reinforced starch 36 Sandwich panel from wood and bioplastics 38 Foams made from modified standard PLA Basics 41 Plastics foaming July / August 3 Editorial 5 News 28 Application News 42 Glossary 46 Suppliers Guide 49 Event Calendar 50 Companies in this issue (photo: Publisher / Editorial Dr. Michael Thielen (MT) Samuel Brangenberg (SB) contributing editor: Karen Laird (KL) Head Office Polymedia Publisher GmbH Dammer Str. 112 41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany phone: +49 (0)2161 6884469 fax: +49 (0)2161 6884468 Media Adviser Caroline Motyka phone: +49(0)2161-6884467 fax: +49(0)2161 6884468 Chris Shaw Chris Shaw Media Ltd Media Sales Representative phone: +44 (0) 1270 522130 mobile: +44 (0) 7983 967471 Layout/Production Ulrich Gewehr (Dr. Gupta Verlag) Max Godenrath (Dr. Gupta Verlag) Mark Speckenbach (DWFB) Print Poligrāfijas grupa Mūkusala Ltd. 1004 Riga, Latvia bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on chlorine-free FSC certified paper. Total print run: 3,800 copies bioplastics magazine ISSN 1862-5258 bM is published 6 times a year. This publication is sent to qualified subscribers (149 Euro for 6 issues). bioplastics MAGAZINE is read in 92 countries. Every effort is made to verify all Information published, but Polymedia Publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or for any losses that may arise as a result. No items may be reproduced, copied or stored in any form, including electronic format, without the prior consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in articies do not necessarily reflect those of Polymedia Publisher. All articies appearing in bioplastics MAGAZINE, or on the website are strictly covered by copyright. bioplastics MAGAZINE welcomes contributions for publication. Submissions are accepted on the basis of full assignment of copyright to Polymedia Publisher GmbH unless otherwise agreed in advance and in writing. We reserve the right to edit items for reasons of space, clarity or legality. Please contact the editorial office via The fact that product names may not be identified in our editorial as trade marks is not an indication that such names are not registered trade marks. bioplastics MAGAZINE tries to use British spelling. However, in articles based on information from the USA, American spelling may also be used. Envelopes A part of this print run is mailed to the readers wrapped in I’m Green bio-polyethylene envelopes sponsored by FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Willich, Germany Cover Jeanette Dietl / Fotolia Composing: Michael Thielen / Mark Speckenbach Follow us on twitter: Like us on Facebook:

daily upated news at News Newlight signs off-take agreement with Vinmar covering 8.6 mio tonnes PHA over 20 years Newlight Technologies (Costa Mesa, California, USA), a biotechnology company using an advanced biological carbon capture technology to produce sustainable materials, announced today that it has signed a take-or-pay off-take agreement with Vinmar International Ltd (headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA) Under the terms of the 20-year master off-take agreement, Vinmar will initially purchase and Newlight will sell 450,000 tonnes (1 billion pounds) of AirCarbon PHA. The Vinmar contract provides for the sale of 100 % of AirCarbon PHA from Newlight’s planned 22,000 t/a (50 million pounds) production facility for 20 years. The contract will also cover 100 % of the output from a 136,000 t/a (300 million pound) AirCarbon production facility and a 272,000 t/a (600 million pound) AirCarbon production facility for a total of up to 8.6 million tonnes (19 billion pounds) over 20 years. AirCarbon is a PHA-based thermoplastic made from greenhouse gas that is used and being developed for use in a wide range of products, including films, caps and closures, furniture, electronics accessories, bottles and other applications. Newlight produces AirCarbon by combining a breakthrough high-yield biocatalyst with air and captured methane-based greenhouse gas emissions to produce a biobased AirCarbon thermoplastic material that is cost competitive with petroleum-derived thermoplastics. Earlier in June The Bodyshop (L’Oreal) and Newlight had announced a research and development partnership to introduce AirCarbon in The Body Shop ® products. The Body Shop is the first company to commit to an effort to industrialization of AirCarbon in the beauty industry. Other companies that committed to use AirCarbon include Dell, Sprint (for exclusively produced iPhone ® 5 and 6 cellphone covers) and Virgin Mobile USA. KL/MT Mark Herrera (Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY) Producing PLA just got cheaper and greener PLA is already a part of our everyday lives. And yet, PLA is not yet considered a full alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics, as it is costly to produce. Researchers from the KU Leuven Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis now present a way to make the PLA production process more simple and wastefree. Their findings were published in Science. The production process for PLA is expensive because of the intermediary steps. “First, lactic acid is fed into a reactor and converted into a type of preplastic under high temperature and in a vacuum”, Professor Bert Sels explains. “This is an expensive process. The pre-plastic – a low-quality plastic – is then broken down into building blocks for PLA. In other words, you are first producing an inferior plastic before you end up with a high-quality plastic. And even though PLA is considered a green plastic, the various intermediary steps in the production process still require metals and produce waste.” The KU Leuven researchers developed a new technique. “We have applied a petrochemical concept to biomass”, says postdoctoral researcher Michiel Dusselier. “We speed up and guide the chemical process in the reactor with a zeolite as a catalyst. Zeolites are porous minerals. By selecting a specific type on the basis of its pore shape, we were able to convert lactic acid directly into the building blocks for PLA without making the larger by-products that do not fit into the zeolite pores. Our new method has several advantages compared to the traditional technique: we produce more PLA with less waste and without using metals. In addition, the production process is cheaper, because we can skip a step”. Professor Sels is confident that the new technology will soon take hold. “The KU Leuven patent on our discovery was recently sold to a chemical company that intends to apply the production process on an industrial scale. Of course, PLA will never fully replace petroleum-based plastics. For one thing, some objects, such as toilet drain pipes, are not meant to be biodegradable. And it is not our intention to promote disposable plastic. But products made of PLA can now become cheaper and greener. Our method is a great example of how the chemical industry and biotechnology can join forces”. KL bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/15] Vol. 10 5

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