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Issue 05/2020

  • Text
  • Polyurethane
  • Textiles
  • Fibres
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Sustainable
  • Packaging
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Fibres & Textiles Polyurethanes / Elastomers Basics: Resorbable Biopolymers

By: Barry Dean,

By: Barry Dean, Naperville, Illinois, USA BIOPLASTIC patents U.S. Patent 10,684,104(June 16, 2020), “Biodegradable Shotgun Cartridge”, Enrique Lopez-Pozas Lanuza; Bio Ammo S.L. (Santa Maria la Real de Nieva, Spain) Reference:WO 2016/174276 This patent teaches resolution to the environmental polution caused by spent shotgun shells to the natural enviroment in both sport shooting and hunting. The teaching is for a biodegradable shotgun cartridge with a rim, a case, at least one base wad and at least one container wad made from polylactic acid(PLA) and at least one other biodegradable polymer which exhibits elastomeric properties. A biodegradable plastic of this invention complies with EN 13432:2000 and ISO 14855 and ISO 16929 meaning at least 90 % degradation of weight within six months and preferably 90 % degradation of weight to a size of less than 2 millimeters within twelve weeks. The main biodegradable plastic taugth is PLA but in combination with a bioplastic exhibiting elastic properties such as polycaprolactone, polyhydroxyalkanoates and polybutylene succinate(PBS). In addition, the use of a mineral filler may also be used up to five % be weight, eg calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate or barium sulfate. U.S. Patent 10,704,063(July 7, 2020), “Process For The Biological Production Of Methacrylic Acid And Derivatives Thereof”, Graham Ronald Eastham, Gill Stephens and Andrew Yiakoumetti; Lucite International UK Limited(Billingham, Great Britain) Reference: WO2016/185211 This patent teaches a process for producing methacrylic acid and/or ester derivatives by biologically converting isobutyryl-CoA into methacrylyl-CoA by an oxidase enzyme and subsequently converting the methacrylyl-CoA into methacrylic acid and/or an ester derivative. The inventive steps taught include converting the isobutyryl-CoA to methacrylyl-CoA without the need for an electron transport system and having an enzyme with high substrate specificity for converting the methacrylyl-CoA to methacrylic acid thereby minimizing the intermediate build up. The biologically generated methacrylic acid can be converted to a desired ester, eg methyl or butyl via a biological or chemical process. Methacrylate esters serve as monomers for making high polymer polymethacrylate derivatives which are used in high optical clarity applications in consumer and construction markets via injection molding, thermoforming and coatings processes. This section highlights recent IP (patent) activity that is relevant to the field of bioplastics. The information offered is intended to acquaint the reader with a sampling of know-how being developed to enable growth of the bioplastics and bio-additives markets. U.S. Patent 10,745,607(August 18, 2020), “Biodegradable Additive Suitable For Use In WellBore Fluids”, Anders Grinrod, Beathe Pettersen and Anne Fosse; Schlumberger Norge AS.(Stavanger, Norway) This patent teaches a wellbore fluid which includes biodegradable polymers, specifically a polyhydroxyalkanoate latex. The polyhydroxyalkanoate latex particles when dispersed in an aqueous base fluid(i.e. water, sea water, brine) can strengthen sections of the wellbore reducing instability particularly in wellbore zones prone to fracture( eg shale formations) as well as reducing the risk of lost circulation. The nature of the polyhydroxyalkanoate latex renders performance and acceptability in environmentally sensitive areas, such as the North Sea. The wellbore fluid also includes a plasticizer and coalescing agent. The plasticizer as used interacts with the polyhydroxyalkanoate to lower its glass transition temperature and thereby its viscosity at a given temperature allowing for tailoring of the mechanical properties at use temperature. The level of polyhydroxyalkanoate latex taught is 0.1 – 20 weight % in the wellbore fluid. The type of polyhydroxyalkanoate taught is broad; [-O-CHR-(CH2) m-CO-]n where R is an alkyl group with 13 or less carbons and m is 1 – 10 units. The number of hydroxyalkanoate repeat units (n) can be 100 – 20,000. The wellbore fluids based on the polyhydroxyalkanoate latex that are taught have good temperature stability and biodegradability based on the data presented. 54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/20] Vol. 15

Patents U.S. Patent 10,716,455(July 21, 2020), “Bio-Renewable Floor Mats”; Eric Bookland and Dennis Baldwin; Purus International, Inc(Indio, California USA) This patent teaches bio-renewable compositions which can be used in the construction of control mats; commonly called “tacky mats”. These mats used in medical, nuclear, semiconductor chip manufacturing and waste removal applications are located at entrance and exit ways to capture particulate that otherwise would be detrimental to the operation. These mats are difficult to recycle because of the particulate contamination and therefore are typically disposed of once used. These mats are layered construction and this teaching focuses on the replacement of fossil fuel materials used in the construction of the mat layers with bio-renewable materials in an attempt to address the environmental concerns of 100 % fossil fuel based mat materials by reducing the carbon footprint. U.S. Patent 10,731,079(August 4, 2020), “Flame Retardant Polycaprolactone”; Eric J. Campbell, Sarah K. Czaplewski, Brandon M. Kobilka and Jason T. Wertz; International Business Machines Corporation(Armonk, New York USA) The patent teaches a process for and description of a flame retardant polycaprolactone where the polycaprolactone is functionalized with halide, phosphoryl and/or phosphonyl moieties that impart the flame retardant behaviour. Polycaprolactone is a renewably sourced polymer that when functionalized as taught may have applications in electronic devices where flame retardant behavior is desired. The patent teaches synthesis of functionalized caprolactone monomer or polymer(s) allowing for functionalization with halide, eg bromide; or phosphorus based phosphoryl and/or phosphonyl moieties. The functionalized polycaprolactone can be used neat or as an additive in another polymer to achieve the desired fire retardancy. The patent teaches the use of thermoplastic starch (TPS) as partial replacement of fossil based polymers, where the TPS is blended with either fossil based polymers, such as polyethylene or polypropylene; or renewable based polymers such as polylactic acid or polybutyleneadipateco-terephthalate(PBAT). The coextruded layers include an adhesive promoting the tack for particulate capture. Examples teach a preferred bio-renewable content of 20 – 40 % by weight. U.S. Patent 10,318,069(July 21, 2020), “Modified Polylactic Acid Fibers”; Vasily A. Topolkaraev, Ryan J. McEneany, Thomas A. Eby and Tyler J. Lark; Kimberly Clark Worldwide Inc(Neenah, Wisconsin USA) Taught is a composition and method for making biodegradable fibers based on polylactic acid. The polylactic acid(PLA) is blended with a polyepoxide modifier, extruded through a die and subsequently the extruded composition is passed through a die to form a fiber. It is taught that the polylactic acid reacts with the epoxide groups to form branches and extending the molecular weight of the blended composition. The branching and extended molecular weight results in improved melt strength and ductility relative to the PLA control. Tenacity of 1.5 – 3.5 gram-force/ denier and elongations of 100 – 350 % are achieved in the final fiber composition. Another advantage taught in this patent is improved melt stability which is critical to fiber spinning operations. The polyepoxide modifier taught is an ethylene based co- or terpolymer with glycidyl methacrylate content of approximately eight weight percent. The ratio of PLA: polyepoxide taught is 97-75 % PLA: 3 – 25 % polyepoxide, preferred are polyepoxide loadings of 3 – 5 %. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/20] Vol. 15 55

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