Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

EPI’s Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic Approved by United Arab Emirates Government

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EPI Environmental Products Inc. is pleased to announce the receipt of a ‘Certificate of Conformity’ from the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), authorizing EPI to supply their TDPA® oxo-biodegradable plastic additives and products in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE Government has recognized the potential detrimental implications of plastic pollution on the environment. Nevertheless, a complete ban on plastic products is undesirable, while attempting to recycle all discarded plastic is impractical. The Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) has been mandated to enforce compliance of all new plastic bags with the bio-degradability requirements specified in the UAE Standard 5009/2009.

Effectively, all new plastic bags must be 100% degradable; thus, if discarded in the environment, the plastic must degrade without causing any harmful contamination. Therefore, the manufacture and supply of plastic products in the UAE is strictly contingent on their degradability credentials having been approved by the ESMA. Quality control is further ensured by periodic independent testing. EPI’s TDPA® oxo-biodegradable plastic products have been accredited by the ESMA to conform to the relevant standards. As they are 100% degradable and recyclable, when discarded, they will bio-degrade into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass, which are all inherent constituents of the natural environment.

Indeed, as the pioneer in the development and commercialization of oxo-biodegradable plastic additives, EPI is well-positioned to enter a collaborative partnership with the UAE Government to achieve our shared ambition of achieving sustainable and eco-friendly means of utilizing plastic products. Through a corporate philosophy of innovation and rigorous scientific validation of its technology, EPI remains the industry leader, as demonstrated in the superior degradation performance of EPI’s TDPA® oxo-biodegradable plastic additives compared to those of competitors.

The problem of pollution caused by degradable plastic waste is immediately apparent; moreover, if timely action is not taken, it represents a future environmental calamity. EPI applauds the UAE for their initiative in taking such positive action in dealing with this very real problem, and would like to thank all those involved in the certification process, for their dedication to a cleaner, healthier tomorrow.

About EPI Environmental Products Inc.:
Established in 1991 in Canada, EPI Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) with its UK subsidiary EPI (Europe) Ltd. has become a world leader in the fight against plastic waste. EPI licenses proprietary technology that causes plastic to degrade. Plastic bags, plastic film, plastic packaging and other single-use plastics can remain in the environment for decades. When these products are manufactured using EPI’s additives, they will degrade and subsequently biodegrade when discarded in soil, in the presence of microorganisms, moisture, and oxygen.


UM Launches Partnership With Renewable Chemical Company

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Two geoscience faculty members at The University of Montana have started a partnership with a private company to sustainably produce commercial products from algal biomass.

Potential products include organic fertilizers, natural pigments, food flavorings, fatty acids for biofuels, cholesterol-reducing compounds for food additives, and natural anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs. Natural inputs and nontoxic production methods will give potential products a competitive advantage over similar products produced from petroleum and other nonrenewable sources.

Carrine Blank, a research assistant professor in UM’s geosciences department, and Nancy Hinman, a geosciences professor, are working on the project with Blue Marble Biomaterials, a company specializing in fully sustainable, zero-carbon, specialty chemicals.

The company was founded by Kelly Ogilvie and James Stephens, a UM alum. Stephens, also the company’s chief science officer, leads Blue Marble’s role in the collaborative effort, which largely takes place in the company’s biorefinery near the Missoula airport.

“Our goal will be to tap into Blue Marble’s carbon dioxide waste stream and then turn that CO2 into algal biomass,” Blank said. “We will then work together to harvest commercial products from that biomass.”

She said the diverse collection of patent-pending cyanobacterial and microalgal strains they work with derive from a number of regional waters, including Puget Sound, Washington’s Soap Lake, and local rivers and lakes in Montana. Additional strains come from soil.

Blank said she and Hinman are working to publish a paper about the research being used with the UM/Blue Marble partnership.

Stephens says UM’s favorable attitude toward industry partnerships was one factor in the decision to move the company from Seattle to Missoula in 2010.

“Partnering with UM is key to our research and development program,” Stephens said. “Innovation happens at the nexus of science and market opporunity. This partnership combines Blue Marble’s expertise in chemistry, microbiology and industrial manufacturing with the University’s excellence in research methodology, geoscience and biology. By combining these strengths, we are able to take advantage of an existing market opportunity.”

Joe Fanguy, UM director of technology transfer, said the research partnership with Blue Marble offers an excellent example of how university research can aid private industry and help the Montana economy.

“Successful research collaborations with innovative companies like Blue Marble are a priority for the University’s research enterprise,” Fanguy said. “These partnerships stimulate new research, new inventions, new educational opportunities and, ultimately, new, high-wage jobs in our community, which is a big win for Missoula and Montana.”

Blank says such industry partnerships also offer educational opportunities for UM students. Since 2010 Blue Marble has hired six UM graduates, including four students from the College of Technology. Currently, Blue Marble hosts five interns from UM who gain broad experience in biology, chemistry, engineering and business operations.

For more information on Blue Marble Biomaterials, visit

Compendium of Leading Bioethanol Technologies

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The use of ethanol as an alternative motor fuel has been steadily increasing around the globe over the past few years. Being an oxygenated fuel, it is less polluting compared to gasoline and it can be produced from corn via fermentation. In the United States, most of the ethanol is produced from corn by dry corn milling. Production of ethanol from corn is fraught with several environmental and social issues. Cellulosic biomass may become an alternative feedstock for ethanol production. Since the United States has a large cellulosic biomass production base. Ethanol produced from cellulosic feedstock and utilized as a substitute for gasoline could help in promoting rural development, reducing greenhouse gases, and achieving energy independence.

There are numerous challenges, both technical and infrastructure-related, associated with commercializing lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for ethanol production. While large quantities of various crop wastes go unused throughout the world, these lignocellulosic materials are difficult to efficiently convert into chemical products due to their complex polymeric structures. Innovative new technologies that couple biotechnology and chemistry with process engineering are necessary in order to achieve efficient commercial processes.

In this report, PEP presents process designs and associated cost estimates for producing ethanol in the United States from cellulosic biomass such as wood chips, corn stover, corn cobs and municipal solid waste. Six economic models are provided of which five are based on biochemical approaches, while one is based on a thermochemical approach. The biochemical routes considered in this report are: dilute acid pretreatment with ammonia conditioning, dilute acid pretreatment with lime conditioning, concentrated acid hydrolysis, ammonia pretreatment, and conventional corn dry milling. The thermochemical approach considered is indirect gasification of biomass followed by chemical synthesis of ethanol from syngas. While the technologies considered are very promising, the production cost of cellulosic ethanol does not yet meet the goal set by U.S. Department of Energy (a minimum ethanol selling price of $1.49/gal by 2012, in 2007 dollar). This is largely due to the high capital investment required for a new plant. Large scale initiatives underway in the United States could change the competitive situation for cellulosic ethanol in the longer term. Some of these initiatives include development of feedstock infrastructure to lower the potential cost of cellulosic feedstock. Other initiatives are underway related to processing technologies for lowering fixed capital requirements.



Virent and The Coca-Cola Company Sign Agreements to Develop and Supply 100% Renewable, Recyclable PlantBottle™

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Virent and The Coca-Cola Company announced today they have entered into a new strategic partnership to accelerate the commercialization of renewable, recyclable materials for beverage packaging. The companies have signed multi-year, multi-million dollar Joint Development and Supply Agreements to scale-up Virent’s plant-based Paraxylene (PX), trademarked BioFormPX™, as a route to commercially viable, 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle™ PET resin. Virent’s BioFormPX will be used in Coca-Cola’s existing supply chain to make 100% bio-based PTA that will be mixed with biobased MEG to produce PlantBottle™ PET Resin with 100% bio-based content.

“The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to provide its customers with PlantBottle™ packaging made from 100% renewable and recyclable materials is a bold example of visionary brand leadership,” said Lee Edwards, CEO of Virent. “I am delighted that Virent’s partnership with Coca-Cola will play a significant role in achieving this vision.”

“While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent is a company that possesses technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years,” said Rick Frazier, Vice President, Commercial Product Supply, The Coca-Cola Company. “This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant-based materials.”

Virent and The Coca-Cola Company will rapidly progress both development and engineering under this effort, with Virent targeting 2015 for the first commercial plant opening. The majority of the PX produced from Virent’s first plant will be allocated for purchase by The Coca-Cola Company’s supply chain partners for the Company’s product packaging. Virent will reserve the remainder of the BioFormPXTM for market development in complementary PET and polyester applications.

The world’s largest soft-drink maker introduced the PlantBottle™ packaging in 2009, which consists of a conventional plastic made with up to 30 percent plant-based material. Since that time, The Coca-Cola Company has aggressively sought viable plant-based options for the remaining 70 percent of the material. Virent’s BioFormPX™ product will allow Coca-Cola to offer its customers up to 100% renewable, 100% recyclable bottles which can be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities.

About Virent

Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Their patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based sugars and agricultural residues into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The products are “drop-in” replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations. The development of Virent’s BioForming® technology platform is supported through strategic investors including Cargill, Shell and Honda, as well as 120 employees based in Madison, Wisconsin.


The Coca-Cola Company and Gevo Partner to Develop and Commercialize 100% Renewable Plastic Bottles

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Gevo, Inc., a leading renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, today announced a groundbreaking agreement with The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) to create renewable para-xylene from plant based isobutanol, which will accelerate the development of Coca-Cola’s second-generation PlantBottle™ packaging made from 100% plant-based materials. Gevo will work with Coca-Cola to enable and deliver an integrated system to produce renewable para-xylene, a key building block towards reaching Coca-Cola’s goal of creating all of their packaging from renewable materials. The work will take the technology from lab-scale to commercial scale and support Coca-Cola’s efforts to lead the beverage industry away from fossil-fuel based packaging by offering an alternative made completely from renewable resources.

“While the technology to make biobased materials in a lab has been available for many years, we believe Gevo possess technologies that have high potential to create it on a global commercial level within the next few years,” said Rick Frazier, Vice President Commercial Product Supply, The Coca-Cola Company. “This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our PET plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant materials.”

Coca-Cola identified Gevo as a leader in the race to commercialize renewable PET following an exhaustive search and evaluation of technologies from around the world. The global market for PET is 54 million metric tons and has a value of $100 billion, with approximately 30% used for plastic bottles. In this next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging, Coca-Cola plans to produce bottles entirely from renewable raw materials.

“We are extremely gratified to have won the confidence of The Coca-Cola Company and are excited to support Coca-Cola’s sustainable packaging goals with this agreement to develop and commercialize technology to produce para-xylene from biobased isobutanol,” said Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo. “New technologies need champions. The Coca-Cola Company is in a unique position to drive and influence change in the global packaging supply chain with this development. You cannot ask for a better champion than one of the world’s most respected and admired consumer brands.”

Isobutanol is a four-carbon fermentation alcohol that can be converted into para-xylene using known chemical processes. Para-xylene is a key raw material in PET production. Gevo has previously announced supplying Japanese chemical giant Toray with lab-scale quantities of renewable para-xylene. Toray has successfully converted Gevo’s para-xylene into PET films and fibers.

About Gevo

Gevo is converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. The Company plans to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a “drop in” basis into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.

Avantium and The Coca-Cola Company sign partnership agreement to develop next generation 100% plant based plastic: PEF

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Exceptional functional properties make biobased plastic PEF a suitable alternative for future beverage packaging following technology break-through by Avantium


Dutch research and technology company Avantium has developed a patented technology YXY to produce 100% biobased PEF bottles. Currently PET is the most widely used oil-based polyester. Based on the performance of the new PEF material, Avantium believes PEF will become the next-generation biobased polyester.

Today the company announced an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) to further co-develop Avantium's YXY technology for producing PEF bottles. First milestones include the start-up of an Avantium PEF pilot plant, officially opened on December 8th in Geleen, the Netherlands. It is expected that other large co-development partners will join from early 2012.

Avantium's CEO Tom van Aken: "Our YXY solution for the packaging industry creates a new biobased plastic with exceptional functional properties at a competitive price. We believe it is economically viable and has a significantly reduced environmental footprint. We have already made bottles with exceptional barrier and thermal properties and our production process fits well with existing supply chains. We plan to initiate commercial production of PEF in about three to four years."

PEF can be derived from any biomass feedstock containing carbohydrates, such as sugarcane, agricultural residues, plants and grains. Using YXY as a fast and efficient chemical-catalytic technology, these carbohydrates can be converted into a wide variety of bioplastics.

Current process economic estimates indicate that PEF will be a viable alternative to petroleum-based PET. Says Tom van Aken: "PEF is 100% biobased and when commercialized will be fully recyclable. We believe that PEF fulfills key criteria to become a next generation biobased plastic for food, beverages and other applications. We are very excited about the co-development phase we are entering with The Coca-Cola Company to continue the development of PEF and make this new material ready for mass production and recycling. Their leadership and experience in commercializing biobased materials make them a great partner to work with as we commercialize this exciting new material".

On 8 December, Avantium officially opened its pilot plant in the Netherlands, to start up its YXY process at scale. The pilot plant, with a capacity of 40 tons per year, produces PEF material for application development. The collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company is key to secure a smooth transition into the mass production phase of PEF bottles. Avantium is also actively discussing partnerships with other leading brand owners to develop PEF bottles, fibers and film. In the longer term Avantium will license its YXY technology to enable large scale, world-wide production and use of its biobased plastic materials.

About Avantium

Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY - its brand name for the technology to produce chemical building blocks for green materials with exceptional product properties at a competitive price. Combined with the significant reduction in environmental footprint, Avantium's lead application PEF, fulfills all key criteria to become the next generation biobased plastics for bottles, film and fibers.

Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. It has a proven track record in offering fast and efficient chemical catalytic development services and systems to market leaders such as BP, Shell and Sasol. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About YXY

Avantium has developed YXY (pronounced as icksy) - a family of green building blocks for making materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives, but which have a superior environmental footprint. YXY is a patented technology that converts biomass into Furanics building blocks, such as FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA is the monomer that can be used for the production of the bio-based polyester PEF (Poly-ethylene-furanoate). YXY has the potential to become the perfect solution for today's challenges, using carbohydrates as feedstock to enable the manufacture of green and sustainable products. This fast and cost-effective production process is based on Avantium's catalytic technology. YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production assets. Avantium is collaborating with leading companies in the industry to develop and produce green materials and fuels based on YXY building blocks. See for more information.


Total and Amyris Partner to Produce Renewable Fuels

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Total (CAC: TOTF.PA) and Amyris, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) signed agreements to expand their current R&D partnership and form a joint venture to develop, produce and commercialize a range of renewable fuels and products.

Total and Amyris have agreed to expand their ongoing research and development collaboration to accelerate the deployment of Biofene® and develop renewable diesel based on this molecule produced from plant sugars. The ambitious R&D program, launched in 2010 and managed jointly by researchers from both companies, aims to develop the necessary stages to bring the next generation renewable fuels to market at commercial scale. Total has committed to contribute $105 million in funding for an existing $180 million program.

In addition, Total and Amyris have agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture company that will have exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel worldwide, as well as non-exclusive rights to other renewable products such as drilling fluids, solvents, polymers and specific biolubricants. The venture aims to begin operations in the first quarter of 2012.

“The creation of the joint venture and the implementation of the new renewable diesel R&D program are two more major steps forward for Total, which is aiming to become a key supplier in renewable fuels,” commented Philippe Boisseau, President of Gas & Power at Total. “Renewable fuels produced with Amyris’s advanced technology will benefit from the know-how and customer access of Total, which operates in more than 130 countries. It will strengthen Total’s position in the global renewable diesel market, which is projected to nearly double in size to 32 million tons in 2020 from 17 million tons in 2010.”

“From fuels to chemicals and beyond, Amyris is working to usher in a new era when customers and consumers no longer have to compromise on traditional measures of value and performance when choosing a renewable alternative to petroleum-based products,” said John Melo, President & CEO of Amyris. “With this expanded relationship and Total’s vast distribution network, as well as Total’s stated commitment to invest in production units, we expect to be able to co-develop products and, ultimately, deliver a global supply of sustainable renewable fuels at commercial scale. This is an ambitious undertaking ideally suited for our two companies.”

About the Technology Amyris has developed advanced microbial engineering and screening technologies that modify the way microorganisms process sugars. Amyris is using this industrial synthetic biology platform to design microbes, primarily yeast, and use them as living factories in established fermentation processes to convert plant-sourced sugars into renewable chemical and transportation fuel products.

Amyris operates laboratories and a pilot plant in California as well as a pilot plant and demonstration facility in Brazil. Amyris has been scaling its Biofene production in Brazil, Europe and the United States through various production arrangements and is currently building additional dedicated facilities in Brazil.

This technology will help make it possible for producers to blend renewable hydrocarbons produced from sustainable biomass and organic waste into fuel in proportions that significantly exceed the current 7% set by European Union regulations or other government mandates. Renewable diesel developed by Total and Amyris will deliver energy density, engine performance, and storage properties comparable to the best petroleum diesel, as well as improved lubricity and superior cold weather performance.




About Total Total is a leading international oil and gas company with operations in more than 130 countries. Total is also a world-class chemical producer. Its 93,000 employees put their expertise to work in every part of the industry - exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing, gas and power, and trading. Total is working to keep the world supplied with energy, both today and tomorrow. Total is striving to diversify its supply to help meet growing energy demand in the long term. Total is a world leader in solar energy and also has an interest of around 22% in biotech company Amyris. Additionally, Total is actively engaged in many R&D projects focusing on renewable energies, in particular solar energy and biomass. For more information, visit


Cereplast Introduces Three New Technologically Advanced Compostable Resin Grades Offering Improved Properties to the Bioplastics Market

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All Received Certification of Compostability From DIN CERTCO


Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, today announced that their three new resin grades, Compostable 3002, Compostable 3010, and Compostable 3020, have received DIN CERTCO certifications of compostability. These new resin grades provide superior properties and are for use on blown film extruder lines for the manufacture of compostable bags.

Compostable 3002, Compostable 3010, and Compostable 3020 can substitute polyethylene for carry bag and trash bag applications, and provide a range of thickness, tear resistance and stretch. These materials, which consist of Ingeo® PLA and other compostable components, provide excellent processability, good tear resistance and reduced stretch under load when compared to the competition. All three resins are DIN CERTCO certified to be compostable up to 1.0 mil (0.0254 mm) thick. DIN CERTCO is the most prominent institute for standardization in Germany, and is highly regarded world-wide. DIN CERTCO is one of two certifying bodies recognized by EU Bioplastics for the certification of bioplastics, a requirement for selling compostable resin in Europe.

"The market has been demanding improved properties for compostable films, and we are excited to introduce a new range of bioplastic resins that provide superior processability, better tear resistance, and less stretch," said Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Frederic Scheer. "Consumers will particularly be pleased, as bags that stretch too much are a common complaint amongst shoppers, and our new compostable resins provide a solution."

About Cereplast, Inc.

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for traditional plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with traditional plastics. On the cutting edge of bioplastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables® resins are ideally suited for single-use applications where high biobased content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the foodservice industry. Cereplast Sustainables® resins combine high biobased content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging. Learn more at You may also visit the Cereplast social networking pages at,, and


Arkema launches new versions of its Rilsan®, Rilsamid® and Orgalloy® technical polymers dedicated websites

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Arkema has brought on line, and, three comprehensive information platforms on its long-chain polyamide product offering. Reflecting Arkema’s strong brand recognition and application know-how in its end-markets, all three sites present the specific technical features and the various grades available in each of the three product lines. is entirely devoted to Rilsan®, a polyamide 11 of 100% vegetable origin manufactured exclusively by Arkema in the world. The website describes its remarkable physical, mechanical and chemical properties, illustrated with extensive comparative test results. The preferred partner to manufacturers for over 60 years in diverse markets ranging from offshore and automotive to electronics and sports, Rilsan® offers unrivalled value thanks to its unique combination of properties and environmental advantages. This ultra high performance material is suited to applications in extreme pressure, temperature and chemical environment conditions. features all the technical data and characteristics of polyamide 12, recently renamed Rilsamid®. This oil-based high performance polymer is used in some of Rilsan®’s markets for applications requiring excellent physical, mechanical and chemical properties, albeit slightly below the level of Rilsan®’s properties.

Both these sites also set out Arkema’s service offer in support of its sustainable development policy and that of its customers: Rcycle, a program entailing the collection of certain wastes or certain end-of-life applications manufactured from Rilsan® or Rilsamid®, for subsequent recycling and reuse. Hence, Arkema develops new ranges of recycled polymers jointly with its customers.

Finally, presents the Orgalloy® range of polyolefin-based polyamides. The website reviews the properties and applications of Orgalloy®. This alloy takes the best of polyamide’s properties (sturdiness, rigidity, temperature stability and chemical resistance), while affording decisive benefits derived from its polyolefin part (high productivity and easy processing).


Researchers Make Biodegradable Plastic Bottles From Olive Skins

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Soon you may be able to buy olive oil in bioplastic bottles made from a compound found in olive skins, thanks to the work of a Spanish researcher.

Jesús Zorrilla has found a way to extract PHAs (poly-hydroxy-alcanoates) from the residues of olive skins, which in turn can be used to make plastic containers that are non-toxic and 100 percent biodegradable.

According to a press release from Jaen’s Sierra de Segura, an olive oil denomination of origin, Zorrilla used byproducts from one of the D.O.’s olive oil mills to develop the compound.

Not only would the bioplastic containers be suitable for food, they would be ideal for olive oil, “because unlike conventional plastic bottles derived from petroleum, they avoid any risk of carcinogenic polymers migrating into the oil,” the D.O. said. They also have factors that protect oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light.

“Furthermore, this new bioplastic would provide a way to make use of the olive skin residue from olive oil production, which currently has no economic value.”

“An olive oil mill which processes about 10,000 tons of olives a year could obtain 30,000 kilos of bioplastic, which would bring in additional revenue of €200,000 ($268,000).”

Patent development is underway and Zorrilla is keen to hear from any companies involved in packaging or research and development that might be interested in helping finance the remaining phase.



Masterbatch Yields Three- to Five-Fold Increase in Melt Strength of PLA over a Wide Range of Drawdown Ratios

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Terraloy® Modifier from Teknor Apex Broadens the Processing Window of PLA in Clear Cast FilmCAKES and Sheet for Packaging and Other Applications.

A new melt strength enhancer in masterbatch form increases the pull force that can be applied to polylactic acid (PLA) by 300 to 500% over a wide range of drawdown ratios, making possible higher throughputs in extrusion and thermoforming while reducing scrap rates, it was announced by Teknor Apex Company.

Terraloy® MB-90001A1 melt strength enhancer broadens the processing window of PLA in cast film and sheet for clear end products such as clamshell containers used in produce packaging, food service takeout, and other applications. At loading levels of 6 to 10%, the masterbatch dramatically increases the extensional force that can be applied to PLA during processing at drawdown ratios as high as 35:1.

“Poor melt strength has limited productivity in the processing of standard PLA and prevented use of the resin in certain applications,” said Edwin Tam, manager of new strategic initiatives for the Bioplastics Division of Teknor Apex. “Besides overcoming these obstacles, the new Terraloy masterbatch disperses more efficiently and uniformly in PLA than additives that come in powder form and does not affect the clarity of neat PLA.”



Gevo Receives Key Patent from USPTO for Efficient Production of Isobutanol

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Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, today received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on another aspect of its yeast technology that enables the low-cost, high-yield production of biobased isobutanol.

Gevo was awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,071,358, covering additional “Methods of Increasing Dihydroxy Acid Dehydratase (DHAD) Activity to Improve Production of Fuels, Chemicals, and Amino Acids.”

“This invention further details and protects the innovations contained in the Gevo yeast organism to turn an industrial yeast strain into a highly efficient cell factory to produce isobutanol,” said Brett Lund, EVP & General Counsel of Gevo.  “We continue to expect the breadth and strength of our patent estate to grow considerably over the coming months as our patent applications convert into issued patents.”

About Gevo
Gevo is converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. The Company plans to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a “drop in” basis into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.



Synterra® IM high heat resistant and non-GMO PLA polymer wins Blue Tulip award

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By mixing 100% pure PLLA with 100% PDLA, a fast cycle and heat-resistant injection mouldable PLA with very good temperature and impact properties is made that far exceeds the properties of the individual polymers. With a Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) of 123°C Synterra® IM material performs much better than conventional PLA and the impact strength is comparable to that of ABS. After injection molding the IM material is able to withstand boiling water. With this development Synbra Technology sets a step in developing a new generation of high performance biopolymers.



The polymerization of the optical isomers PLLA and PDLA takes place at Synbra Technology in Etten-Leur, in a plant with a capacity of 5000 t / annum, which was commissioned early 2011.

Synbra Technology expects further growth in its PLA business as many brand-owners and retailers in Western Europe prefer to use bio-based and non-GMO PLA that is also heat-resistant.

Shortly after introducing its Synterra ® IM material, an injection mouldable high heat PLA, Synbra Technology was awarded at the Accenture Blue Tulip Awards at the RAI Elicium, in Amsterdam.

`This Blue Tulip Award in the category ‘Making more out of less’ is the ultimate reward for the entire team that participated in the successful development of our Synterra® IM grade, which is made from Cradle to CradleSM certified PLA,` said Peter Matthijssen, Commercial Manager of Synbra Technology.
In recognition of the purity of the raw materials used, the PLA of Synbra was Cradle to CradleSM certified by EPEA in Hamburg and is thus the first PLA in the world with this certification. Application of this PLA also improves various properties such as toughness and temperature resistance of several other bio-based recipes, in which PLA is an important constituent.


More information:     Synbra Technology bv


Cereplast Signs Distribution Agreement With GAMA Plastik to Supply Bioplastic Resin in Turkey

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Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, today announced a three year distribution agreement with GAMA Plastik AS to supply bioplastic resin in Turkey. GAMA Plastik is projecting to purchase 200 metric tons per month in 2012 leading to significant increases in purchased resin in 2013. Cereplast anticipates generating revenue from the agreement approximately within the next 90 days.

GAMA Plastik is a leading plastic trader located in Istanbul, Turkey. They are one of the fastest growing plastics markets in the world and third in terms of market share in Europe behind Germany and Italy. GAMA Plastik has been in the plastic industry for 15 years and recently began producing compounds and specialty plastics for appliances and the automotive industry. Today, GAMA Plastik has capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons per year. For more information please visit

"Over the last 15 years we have developed industry expertise and a knowledgeable customer base regarding sustainable plastic raw materials.  We are very excited to start this partnership with Cereplast and all our customers are ready to use our products containing Cereplast's raw material. Turkey has a young and dynamic population and market strength in Europe. Cereplast's name and quality in compostable and sustainable bioplastics will help both companies increase their market share," stated Aydemir Esencan, CEO of Gama Plastics Group.

"We are pleased to reach another agreement in Turkey with an established and well respected corporation such as GAMA Plastik," stated Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc. "Turkey represents a large and growing market opportunity for our biobased, sustainable plastics with 9% GDP growth and one of the fastest growing plastics markets in the world. Our agreement with GAMA Plastik is for three years with an initial target of 200 metric tons per month in 2012, with significant plans for tonnage growth in 2013 and beyond. We foresee this growth trend to continue over the next five years as demand for the product continues to increase and we look forward to working alongside with our new business partner GAMA Plastik over that period."

About Cereplast, Inc.

Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for traditional plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with traditional plastics. On the cutting-edge of bioplastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostable®resins are ideally suited for single-use applications where high biobased content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainable®resins combine high biobased content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging. Learn more at You may also visit the Cereplast social networking pages at,, and

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From coconut husks to car parts

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t might be the most novel use of a coconut since Gilligan and the Professor transformed one into a radio.

In an effort to reduce the use of petroleum and make the parts lighter and more natural-looking, the Ford Motor Co. has teamed up with branded consumer product manufacturer Scotts Miracle-Gro Company to incorporate coconut fibers as a renewable feedstock in molded plastic parts for Ford's vehicles.  

The project draws on discarded coconut husks, also called coirs, a waste stream from Scotts' soil and grass seed products. Scotts mixes coconut coir into one of its grass seed mixes, Turf Builder EZ Seed, and a planting soil, Miracle-Gro Expand 'n' Grow; the natural fibers hold 50 per cent more water than plain potting soil. (FYI, the company goes through more than 70 million pounds of coir a year in its consumer products.)

Once the coconut coir comes to Ford, researchers combine it with plastic to deliver additional reinforcement to the part while eliminating the need for some petroleum. Along with making use of a renewable resource and saving someone the job of having to bury or otherwise get rid of the husks, the new part is anticipated to be lighter in weight, thereby offering that all-important fuel saving opportunity. "This is a win-win situation," said Dr. Ellen Lee, a Ford technical expert on plastics. "We're taking a material that is a waste stream from another industry and using it to increase the sustainability in our vehicles."

But here's a twist: while just about every other bioplastic application you can name has a primary goal of looking exactly like a traditional petroleum-based plastic part, the natural long fibers of the coirs will remain visible in the plastic. If that strikes you as a manufacturing flaw...well, Ford disagrees, claiming the parts "will offer a more natural look than typical materials." 

According to Ford, target applications of the coconut coir-plastic parts include door trim, seat trim, storage bins, centre console substrates (an unseen part under the finish trim), and possibly underbody panels or exterior trim. Ford is currently testing the coirs for durability, and also to see if the natural flame-resistant properties of coconut coir carry over to the manufactured composite.

While there's no word yet on when the first commercial application will be ready, the project is the latest in a long line of Ford product initiatives that derive from recycled or growing - and sometimes edible - materials. Since 2008, Ford has offered soy foam seat cushions and head restraints; the soy content is now up to 20 per cent and the remainder is traditional petroleum-based foam. Ford is also working with wheat straw mixed into plastic, castor oil foam used in instrument panels, and recycled yarns on seat covers.

Gilligan and Co. might well be proud.