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Issue 06/2016

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  • Bioplastics
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News daily upated news

News daily upated news at Total and Corbion form joint venture In mid November, just days after lactic acid producer Corbion announced that the groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of construction of its new PLA polymerization plant in Thailand, the company sprang another surprise: the new plant will be a joint venture. French oil company Total and Corbion are partnering in a new joint venture for the production of PLA bioplastic in Thailand. The partners will each hold a 50 % stake in the new company. Together, Total and Corbion will build and operate a PLA polymerization plant with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per year at existing Corbion’s lactide production site in in Rayong, Thailand. The lactide production unit in included in the deal and will also become part of the joint venture. Plans for its expansion have also been made. Corbion will supply the lactic acid necessary for the production of the PLA and the lactide. The new company will be headquartered in the Netherlands and will launch operations in the 1 st quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals. “The joint venture, which will combine Total’s technical and marketing knowledge and leading position in polymers with Corbion’s expertise in lactic acid and biopolymers, will enable us to supply innovative products and will accelerate market acceptance,” Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion said. “I’m very pleased with this joint venture, which aims to become a major player in the growing bioplastics market,” commented Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals. “Corbion’s unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain makes it a natural choice for Total. The joint venture will allow us to supply an innovative material that is 100 % renewable and biodegradable and that responds to sustainability concerns.” The new PLA polymerization plant will be constructed using proprietary polymerization technology and technology supplied by Sulzer Chemtech Ltd. of Switzerland at the plant. The latter company will also be responsible for providing key equipment for the new plant. KL 25 years of PHB development in Brazil PHB Industrial S/A is celebrating 25 th anniversary this year. Since 1991, the company from Serrana, São Paulo, Brazil, has been developing its technology to produce PHB (Polyhydroxybutyrate) and its copolymer PHB-HV. Based on a completely renewable concept, the technology was developed considering the use of renewable resources such as sugar from sugar cane and other glucose sources. With a structured process by using also natural solvents, the PHB (biocycle ® ) is a fully sustainable, renewable and compostable material (being certified according EN13432 for over ten years). The PHB Industrial’s technology uses a non-recombinant bacterial strain, selected and improved of course for more than 20 years with a complete genetic sequencing, allowing high efficient fermentation process (short time x productivity). During its development, the technology has produced a set of patents filed and granted worldwide, embodying from the process to the applications. In parallel to the development of the production route and the product, the company made a large investment of resources in material engineering, with numerous applications being tested and validated by dozens of worldwide partnerships (covering but not limited to: injection moulding applications – packaging, health & beauty, toys, electronics, plasticulture such as tubes for seedling recipient or clamps for vegetables, denitrification, thermoforming, e.g. credit cards, polyurethanes (foam); was even validated for automotive applications. Examples are a central console (photo) or covering parts including parts under the hood – such as air filters. It is the PHB a biodegradable polymer with broad potential application in several areas, mainly injection moulding, but also can be applied as an additive to many biopolymers (as additive PHB increases the HDT for materials like copolyester (Ecoflex), PLA, PBS), thus expanding their field of use. Consolidated through a complete and detailed PDP (Project Design Package) PHB Industrial’s technology allows its licensing world with a vast potential market. MT 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/16] Vol. 11

News Biobased product database for public procurement From November 2013 to October 2016, the EU project Open-Bio investigated how markets could be opened for biobased products through standardization, labelling and procurement. As one main result informed by customer needs and demands, the project developed a database that provides relevant information about biobased end products to assist public buyers in making purchasing decisions. Its main goal is to simplify the lives of procurement officials that want to pay more attention to biobased products but don’t know where to start. Here is a starting point now! The database presents various biobased products which are relevant for public procurers and sorted by application area, product type and Common Procurement Vocabulary Code. Products include for example products made of biobased plastics such as office supplies, gardening equipment, or plates and cutlery. In the database, users find information about the biobased content of products, sustainability, functionality and end-of-life aspects, such as biodegradability. Claims are supported by references to standards, technical sheets and labels. The database shall become a starting point for public purchasers to get informed about the various biobased products available on the European market. It can be used as an entrance portal for market research in order to widen the public procurement product portfolio beyond conventional fossil based products. The database was developed by a European team led by the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) including nova- Institute; BTG Biomass Technology Group, TU Berlin and DLO. The project was coordinated by the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN).Suppliers of biobased end products are invited to join the database. Access is free of charge. Data will be presented in English. For more information, please contact For questions, please contact the researcher in charge Martin Behrens ( or the project communication officer Lara Dammer ( The database can be found on the Open-Bio website. MT Showa Denko to terminate Bionolle business Showa Denko (SDK) (Tokyo, Japan) recently announced their decision to terminate production and sale of biodegradable polyester resin Bionolle, which is used as material for various products including shopping bags and agricultural mulch film. SDK will terminate production of Bionolle by the end of December 2016, and sale of it by the end of December 2017. All employees currently engaged in SDK’s biodegradable plastic business shall be reassigned to positions in other businesses. SDK pioneered biodegradable plastic in Japan, and started to sell it in 1993. Recently, SDK has striven to cultivate market for compound products to form shopping bags, in response to the tightening of environmental regulations in Europe and China on shopping bags made from conventional plastics. This time, however, SDK concluded that it is difficult for the Company to continue production and sale of biodegradable plastic, since there has been no sign of improvement in the harsh market environment for biodegradable plastics business because of the delay in permeation of environmental regulations on plastic shopping bags and a fall in market prices of biodegradable plastics. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/16] Vol. 11 7

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