vor 3 Jahren

Issue 04/2020

  • Text
  • Bottles
  • Biodegradable
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Environmental
  • Renewable
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Bottle Applications Beauty and Healthcare Basics: bio-PDO, bio-BDO

Materials New

Materials New cellulosic, highly functional bioplastic Does it help to solve environmental issues such as marine plastic waste? NEC Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) recently announced [1] that NEC Platforms, a wholly owned subsidiary, has begun global sales of NeCycle, a cellulosic, highly functional bioplastic that contains approximately 50 % non-edible plant ingredients and biodegrades in natural environments in approximately four years. NeCycle is made up of cellulose, a non-edible plant resource obtained from woods, rice straw, etc., and safe ingredients, such as carboxylic acid components, e.g. acetic acid. The material is said to be featuring environmentally friendly properties, such as long-term degradability in the ocean, and having durability that is applicable to a wide range of products. NEC has an accomplished record of researching and developing this material, and is now beginning mass production and sales of this material through NEC Platforms. Plastic is a material with excellent moldability, durability, ability to be mass produced, and is an indispensable material for society, as it is utilized in all aspects of industry and life. However, since plastics are produced by consuming fossil resources, and there are concerns about their impact on the ecosystem by remaining as refuse without decomposing in natural environments, their lack of environmental friendliness has become a major issue. NEC was among the first organizations to begin addressing these problems with plastics, and has been developing alternative materials since the early 2000s. Recently, NEC Platforms succeeded in mass production of NeCycle by making improvements to its properties such as durability and establishing a manufacturing and quality assurance system. NEC Platforms will propose optimal component shapes, molding conditions, and mold designs for NeCycle, while expanding sales of pellets and molded components for interior products, automotive products, and office automation equipment that emphasize environmental and decorative properties. First, NEC Platforms will start with products that require a high level of added value and environmental friendliness, while planning expansion of business scale and aiming for annual sales of JPY 5 billion (approximately USD 46 million ) in fiscal yaer 2025. On a related website [2] Shukichi Tanaka, Research Manager, System Platform Research Laboratories at NEC says: “It’s a biomaterial that is composed of approximately 50 % inedible cellulose, but is similar enough to resin in terms of its properties to be used in electronics. I don’t think there’s any other material which contains such a high concentration of inedible plant-based materials while also maintaining the properties of resin to such a degree. I’d also like to bring your attention to how highly decorative it can be. It has a deep and warm blackness that is akin to that of lacquerware. The main characteristic of this material is that it can be freely molded and achieves this gorgeous blackness like lacquerware without any coating process. It can be manufactured by injection molding just like regular plastics. It does not need coating process unlike synthetic lacquerware (plastics coated with lacquer), so the shapes that can be formed and the ability to mass produce should be greatly increased. Aside from the obvious reduced negative environmental impact, it’s an entirely new kind of material that makes it possible give components of various shapes an air of luxury thanks to its black lacquerware-like appearance.” bioplastics MAGAZINE wanted to know a little bit more and contacted NEC Corporation. Being asked about the biodegradation in natural environments in approximately four years, Joseph Jasper of NEC’s Corporate Communications Division explained: “This long term biodegradative feature is the result of demonstrations held in simulated testing using artificial seawater. We therefore haven’t actually Japanese Lacquerware NeCycle (pellets) 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15

Materials confirmed it, but it is speculated that it will gradually fall apart due to hydrolysis.” We asked: “What about the risk or probability that is is eaten by animals, fish, marinemammals, birds in that timeframe between disposal in a natural environment and total biodegradation?” Joseph: “There is some possibility that it could be eaten by animals, etc., but we have referred to it as safe because NeCycle consists of safe ingredients such as cellulose, acetic acid, and other additives.” However, even if the material degrades over time, Joseph Jasper emphasizes that it should not be disposed off in nature. “NeCycle is expected to be used in durable products, and to be recycled. So we do not suggest disposal of the material in natural environments. We think of biodegradation as a secondary feature.” And finally, commenting on the headline of the press release [1] and Ocean plastics in general, Jasper answered “Although we believe that the reduction of disposable plastics is the most important factor, we also believe that expanding the use of NeCycle and raising the environmental awareness of consumers will contribute to solving this problem.” MT References: [1] NEC Platforms provides highly functional bioplastic, “NeCycle,” helping to solve environmental issues such as marine plastic waste; https:// [2] NeCycle®, a gorgeous and highly-functional cellulose-based biomaterial; index.html ‘Basics‘ book on bioplastics 110 pages full color, paperback ISBN 978-3- 9814981-1-0: Bioplastics ISBN 978-3- 9814981-2-7: Biokunststoffe 2. überarbeitete Auflage This book, created and published by Polymedia Publisher, maker of bioplastics MAGAZINE is available in English and German language (German now in the second, revised edition). The book is intended to offer a rapid and uncomplicated introduction into the subject of bioplastics, and is aimed at all interested readers, in particular those who have not yet had the opportunity to dig deeply into the subject, such as students or those just joining this industry, and lay readers. It gives an introduction to plastics and bioplastics, explains which renewable resources can be used to produce bioplastics, what types of bioplastic exist, and which ones are already on the market. Further aspects, such as market development, the agricultural land required, and waste disposal, are also examined. An extensive index allows the reader to find specific aspects quickly, and is complemented by a comprehensive literature list and a guide to sources of additional information on the Internet. The author Michael Thielen is editor and publisher bioplastics MAGAZINE. He is a qualified machinery design engineer with a degree in plastics technology from the RWTH University in Aachen. He has written several books on the subject of blow-moulding technology and disseminated his knowledge of plastics in numerous presentations, seminars, guest lectures and teaching assignments. Discounted price for this edition (as long as supply lasts) € 10.00 New edition coming soon Order now for € 10.00 (discounted price) (+ VAT where applicable, plus shipping and handling, ask for details) order at, by phone +49 2161 6884463 or by e-mail Or subscribe and get it as a free gift (see page 61 for details) bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15 35

bioplastics MAGAZINE ePaper