mercredi 2 décembre 2009

Bioplastics News: NatureWorks, Novamont, Teknor Apex

In support of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, NatureWorks will be involved in a range of activities, including product placement in the main conference hall, new materials for the Nordic Fashion Association’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and a unique biotechnology showcase highlighting the latest innovations for everyday life.

NatureWorks, based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, is the company behind Ingeo™ fibers and bioplastics — innovative materials based on plants, not oil, which enable the creation of a unique and comprehensive range of consumer products, everything from packaging to electronics and from clothing to baby care. And, as a company with the unique mission of bringing to market a family of low carbon footprint performance biomaterials that offer a more responsible choice to the consumer, NatureWorks sees the Copenhagen summit as a critical platform to showcase those products.
Novamont increases bio content of Mater-Bi

During the 4th European Bioplastics Conference (Berlin, Nov 10-11, 2009) Novamont, the leading Italian company in the bioplastics sector, presented the 2nd generation of Mater-Bi®, now available on an industrial scale. It is a wide range of grades for technical applications in the sectors of flexible films and coatings characterised by an increase in the content of renewable raw materials, low levels of production of greenhouse gases and less dependence on mineral oil based feedstocks.
Behind the 2nd generation of Mater-Bi materials are the integration of Novamont’s starch-based technology with the technology of polyesters from vegetable oil, covered by an abundant patent portfolio and a significant investment in new plants and new capacity. Today Novamont’s Biorefinery has a total production capacity of 80,000 tons/year.

Starch compounds improve on previous bioplastics

Teknor Apex’s bioplastics division has developed a new range of compounds based on blends of thermoplastic starch (TPS) with petrochemical polymers, including polypropylene, linear lowdensity polyethylene, and biodegradable copolyester.

The Terraloy compounds are made using a process developed by Cerestech, Inc and licensed to Teknor Apex. The process converts granules of starch from corn, wheat, tapioca, or potatoes into a masterbatch containing TPS and a host polymer. When the blend is with another bioplastic or a biodegradable copolyester, the resulting compound is 100% biodegradable.

Bio-based plastics are often touted as “biodegradable.” But this term has several stipulations behind it. While these products may in fact have components that are capable of degrading, this process only occurs under specific conditions and biodegradable plastics cannot be composted in a backyard compost pile. Because the material requires very high heat, these plastics can only degrade in a commercial composting facility.

But is PLA better than your average PET bottle? According to Keith Christman, senior director Market Advocacy for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), it depends heavily on the product. In fact, in a study of traditional HDPE milk jugs versus glass jugs and PLA jugs, HDPE out-performed both materials.

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