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Issue 04/2020

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

10 Years ago News 52

10 Years ago News 52 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15 Published in bioplastics MAGAZINE Automotive Bioplastics Design Challenge A kick-off event in Stuttgart/Germany in July marked the start of the ‘Automotive Bioplastics Design Challenge (abdc)‘. Bioplastics producers and automobile manufacturers, their suppliers as well as development and design offices working in the automobile sector are all invited to participate. Over the coming year, ‘abdc‘ is aiming to evaluate and further develop commercially available bioplastics and such under development for their suitability in automotive engineering in terms of design aspects. The results will be presented to the public at ‘Automobile Summer 2011‘, organised to celebrate the invention of the car 125 years ago. From the organizer‘s point of view, many bioplastics that are currently under development are either too expensive or will not be available in the near future in sufficient quantities to enable wide commercial use. This means that many biobased polymers will only be launched on the market once the general conditions have permanently changed and they have become more advantageous than petrochemical plastics. Biopro Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Germany) and the Biopolymers/ Biomaterials Cluster are planning to give end users insights into biobased materials that will be available in the future, aiming that this dissemination of knowledge will have a positive influence on innovation processes and their introduction on the market. The interaction of all the stakeholders along the value creation chain will ensure that biomaterials are thoroughly tested and made available for technical application as soon as possible. Major focus will be put on the assessment of material properties, as well as aspects relating to processability, surface properties and ageing stability. These are issues that are not generally of primary importance in research, even though they have a considerable influence on the marketability and market potential of materials. During the ‘abdc‘ developers and designers from the automobile sector will be able to test various biomaterials-based prototypes and give valuable feedback to polymer developers on the expected market acceptance and unexplored optimisation potentials of the biomaterials. A key feature of the project is a biomaterials database aimed at providing users with an overview of marketable materials and materials under development. The database will include technical and design-related decision criteria rather than economic issues, and users will be invited to select materials for the production of certain components or component groups, produce prototypes and test the materials for their suitability in serial production of the components. The empirical values (with regard to processability, technical suitability and design aspects, etc.) will then be included in the database and made available to other participants. It is planned to continue the cooperation beyond the one-year project runtime. BSL /10] Vol. 5 New: In July 2020 Ralf Kindervater, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg said: Biobased plastics 2010: Back then, we felt like a voice in the wilderness when, together with the Biopolymers and Biomaterials Cluster, we became involved in the work on biopolyamides and were actually able to show that, thanks to BASF, Daimler, Fischerwerke and Bosch, novel (yet familiar) polyamides based on renewable resources could find application in modern plastic products. Those early products, made from at least partially biobased polyamides, served as a blueprint for the emerging bio-economic activities at the time, attesting to a future in which the economy could also function without crude oil, natural gas and coal. Reinforced Bio-PA Follow us on twitter: BASF’s polyamide 610 is being joined by additional grades. Four new glass fiberreinforced materials now complement the unreinforced grade Ultramid S3K Balance. They are designated Ultramid S3EG6 Balance, Ultramid S3WG6 and S3WG7 Balance and Ultramid A3HG6 Balance. Their glass fiber contents are 30 % (G6) and 35 % (G7) and they will be available in sample quantities in Europe as of September. According to BASF two properties in particular make this material a competitor to other long-chain high-performance polyamides such as PA 612 or PA 12: its hydrolysis resistance, i.e. its great resistance to hot water and steam as well as its resistance to environmental stress cracking when exposed to aggressive chemicals. 10 years later, with the Paris Climate Protection Agreement in place, the EU’s Green Deal in the making and a rethinking of our reliance on global value chains in the light of the Coronavirus, the experience and knowledge gained 10 years ago regarding regional, decentralised production chains for biobased plastics in combination with a locally-based circular economy, are being revisited with fresh interest. The three new grades in the Ultramid S Balance line are thus especially well-suited for overmolding of metal and electronic components that come into contact with aggressive fluids. They are also of interest for housings and transmission components where dimensional stability is major factor. Connectors, tubing and reservoirs in coolant circuits that must satisfy demanding requirements for hydrolysis resistance represent an additional field of application. The material has already demonstrated its performance capability in wheel speed sensors that are exposed to water spray and can be attacked by road salt. It feels like we’ve seen this before. This is what is called deja vu. Perhaps now, the time is right. Blended with PA 66, PA 610 yields the new grade Ultramid A3HG6 Balance. This product is characterized by a property profile that lies between that of PA 66 and Ultramid S Balance, while retaining its high resistance to environmental stress cracking and exhibiting in addition very good resistance to hot oil. This proposes oil pans and oil filter housings as well as radiator end caps as target products. One of the raw materials for production of Ultramid S Balance and Ultramid A Balance is sebacic acid, which is derived from castor oil. Thus, over 60 % of the base polymer for the product family comes from renewable resources. BSL Like us on Facebook:

Opinion Conclusions of a study on compostable plastics and microplastics unsupported by data Francesco Degli Innocenti, Ecology of Products Director, Novamont, Italy Francesco Degli lnnocenti of Novamont comments on the results of a study by Accinelli et al., recently published by Waste Management titled “Persistence in soil of microplastic films from ultra-thin compostable plastic bags and implications on soil Aspergillus flavus population “ The abovementioned and heavily cited study [1] suggest that thin compostable plastic bags show very limited degradation and are a source of microplastics. “Therefore, the application of industrially processed compost to agricultural fields is likely to contaminate the soil with these UT (Ultra Thin) film particles” state the authors and say “regulation should be seriously considered”. This news is clearly of great concern and fuels the over-emotional discussion over biodegradable plastics. I have read the paper and some statements are totally unsupported by the data. In normal time, any criticism over the methodology and the conclusions of a scientific publication should be delivered by using the same media. For example with a “letter to the editor”. This will be done in due time. However, a novelty of modern times, which would deserve a doctoral thesis in sociology, is the union between academic research and web communication. Scientific articles become media tsunamis, often bearers of news of doom. Yes, “news of doom” because positive news does not make “audience”. Thus, I am forced to anticipate some preliminary technical remarks using less formal but faster media [2]. 1. Accinelli et al. makes claim about the risk that compostable bags produce microplastics during composting 2. The best thing to do in order to verify whether a material produces fragments “during composting” is to make a composting test. 3. However, Accinelli et al. did not perform any composting test. Thus, it is not particularly robust to draw conclusions on the formation of fragments during composting without performing any composting test 4. They instead tested soil degradation by using a test method, which is neither standardised nor verified, based on soil burial of samples protected with a net in centrifuge tubes. 5. The fragments increase toxinproducing Aspergillus flavus population. How Accinelli et al. can judge the environmental and safety relevance of the findings without any reference? What is the effect of other packaging or natural materials on these species? No data. Above all. What was the purpose and scope of the research? Was it about the ecological risk in case of littering? This is a relevant subject and research on it is called for [3]. However, a proper methodological approach is then needed to reach any sensible conclusion. What is the expected transport route (bags do not bury themselves into centrifuge tubes); what are the conditions found in the different environmental compartments? What is the Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC) of the bags in soil? What type of environmental conditions do the centrifuge tubes try to simulate? We trust the researchers will complete the study by considering the fate and effects of littering. In the meantime, it would be relevant if conclusions and abstract could be limited to the findings and framed within the scope of the search, in order not to stir unfounded discussions and political speculations. [1] Accinelli, C. Persistence in soil of microplastic films from ultrathin compostable plastic bags and implications on soil Aspergillus flavus population, Elsevier Science Direct, wasman.2020.06.011 [2] Degli Innocenti, F; :Conclusions of a study on compostable plastics and microplastics unsupported by data,, Daily News, 26 June 2020; meldungen/20200626_compostable-vs-microplastic.php [3] Degli Innocenti, F; Broeton, T.: Intrinsic Biodegradability of Plastics and Ecological Risk in the Case of Leakage; ACS Publications, https://doi. org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c01230 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15 53

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