Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Infinite Enzymes announces first commercial plant-made enzyme product

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Recycling paper is just one of the many applications...Infinite Enzymes, LLC has announced that its premiere commercial product, IE-CBHI, the first single activity, plant-based cellulase enzyme, is now available for research and development projects. This successful milestone paves the way for other products in the research reagent market, as well as for high-volume applications in the future. IE-CBHI is available through Sigma-Aldrich Corporation's extensive product and services portfolio and can be ordered through the company's website at The product number is E6412.).



Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins which catalyze various chemical processes in sustainable manufacturing, such as processing recycled paper. The global industrial enzymes market is projected to reach $3.74 billion by 2015, not including many emerging applications in advanced biofuels and new biobased products. Applications for industrial enzymes include paper recycling, textiles, laundry detergents, and numerous food products.

The Infinite Enzymes’ technology produces enzymes in a lower value part of the corn kernel thereby creating a new sustainable market for corn processing by-products. The technology lowers the cost of sugar production needed for developing low-cost biobased plastics and advanced biofuels.



Recently, Infinite Enzymes received a $450,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to advance its enzyme development technology. The SBIR grant funds further product development and crop improvements, thus positioning Infinite Enzymes to commercialize its first products and pursue investments from strategic partners.



About Infinite Enzymes

Infinite Enzymes is a plant biotechnology company with a novel genetic technology for producing low-cost, plant-based enzymes for converting cellulosic biomass into biofuels and other biobased products. The company is based in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Infinite Enzymes investors include Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA) of Little Rock, Arkansas and BioDimensions, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee.


Pioneering research towards development of greener medical treatments

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clip_image002Cardia & University of Sydney partner and win Australian Research Council funding

Research into a cost-effective biomimetic* that has the potential to treat many bone diseases such as osteoporosis will be pioneered through a joint venture between Cardia Bioplastics and the University of Sydney.



The strategic partnership – made possible by funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) –will allow Cardia to extend the application of its environmentally-friendly PPC-starch blended resin (used widely in plastics and packaging) into biomedical products and regenerative medicine, such as tissue scaffolds and drug delivery agents.



Mr Pat Volpe, Chairman of Cardia Bioplastics, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Sydney and winning a grant that supports funding for the project by the ARC. This opportunity provides a unique facility and platform to develop cutting edge research for the Australian industry.

“This research will allow us to design and develop a world-first clean technology for the synthesis and purification of a biohybrid and biodegradable polymer.

“The development of this breakthrough clean technology will transform Cardia’s bioplastic starch blended products which are used in the plastics and packaging industry, into a multi-purpose and global “green friendly” product that can be used across many other applications and products.”



“The research will create the potential to develop a world-first internationally accredited compostable PPC polymer” said Mr Volpe.

The development of this technology aims to reduce the level of heavy metals, in particular zinc glutarate (ZnGA) used in the production of sustainable resin PPC polymers, to an acceptable level required to meet international compostability accreditation

“Importantly, this aims to manufacture purified polymer products with less petroleum and put CO2 to good use, rather than emitting it into the atmosphere or storing it underground.

“Converting carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from pollution into valuable materials has the potential to transform the plastics and materials landscape on a global scale.”


The Company has commenced discussions with Petrochemical companies that are looking at ways of turning their CO2 emission into a positive business scenario. PPC resins use less virgin oil and have a lower carbon footprint and now Cardia has the potential to develop PPC resins with low impurities.


This PPC resin technology that uses CO2 emissions provides a business opportunity for a new generation of greener plastics for use into commercial products.


Cardia Bioplastics is making significant headway in establishing itself as a global leader in the development and manufacturer of sustainable resins derived from renewable resources. The Company has been at the forefront of development with its world’s first biodegradable carrier bag (2010) made from PPC and starch blended resins, developed in cooperation with CNOOC “China National Offshore Oil Corporation” from the PRC.


More recently, Cardia was granted exclusive contracts to supply the City District of Shanghai Pudong in China with its Biohybrid™ renewable kitchen waste bags in 2012 and supplied biodegradable packaging to the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cereplast Announces Commercialization of Cereplast Algae Bioplastics(TM)

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Cereplast, Inc. (OTCQB:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics, today announced the commercialization of Cereplast Algae Bioplastics™ with the introduction of Biopropylene® 109D.



Cereplast identified a post-industrial algae source that does not rely on the commercialization of biofuel production, allowing the company to commercialize Cereplast Algae Bioplastics sooner than anticipated. Additionally, the Cereplast Research and Development team has discovered a post-industrial process that significantly reduces the odor that is typically inherent to algae biomatter.



Biopropylene 109D is an injection molding grade manufactured with 20% post-industrial algae biomatter. The renewable resource content significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the final product while reducing the petroleum-based plastic content. The algae biomass used by Cereplast are byproducts from algae biofuels and nutritionals, resulting from industrial processing to extract specialty chemicals. Biopropylene 109D can be processed on existing conventional electric and hydraulic reciprocating screw injection molding machines, and is recommended for thin wall injection molding applications.



Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Mr. Frederic Scheer, commented, "Since 2008 our team has developed and extensively tested algae-filled grades of bioplastics, and more recently has perfected this specific grade which is now ready for commercialization. We have several customers evaluating this technology and anticipate generating revenue from it during the first half of 2013. We strongly believe that our technology leads the algae bioplastic market and presents yet another revenue stream opportunity as we head into 2013."



Reverdia starts operations at the world’s first large-scale plant for bio-based succinic acid

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Company delivers on promise to come on-stream before year’s end, using unique and proprietary low-pH yeast technology to make Biosuccinium™ with best-in-class environmental footprint.


Reverdia, the joint venture between life sciences and materials sciences company DSM and Roquette Frères, a global producer of starch and starch-derivatives, has begun operations in Cassano Spinola, Italy, at a commercial-scale plant producing Biosuccinium™ sustainable succinic acid. The plant, which has a capacity of about 10,000 tonnes/yr, is unique in its kind, being the world’s first dedicated large-scale plant for the production of succinic acid from renewable resources. It is also the only commercial facility to benefit from experience gained using low-pH yeast technology on a demonstration plant scale; Reverdia regards this as essential to be able to promise further improvements in product quality.


Key applications for Biosuccinium™ include polybutylene succinate (PBS), polyester polyols for polyurethanes, coating and composite resins, phthalate-free plasticizers, and 1,4 butanediol. End products include footwear, packaging and paints.


“We feel honoured and proud to open this new era in the lives of Reverdia and Biosuccinium™,” says Will van den Tweel, Reverdia’s General Manager. “The new phase will enable direct and indirect customers to start production of commercial scale volumes of materials and end products based on bio-based succinic acid. These will be the first Biosuccinium™-based products to find operational use in industry and to show up on retail shelves.




Reverdia – powered by DSM + Roquette
Reverdia is dedicated to be the global leader in the market for sustainable succinic acid, focusing on market development by establishing partnerships with direct and indirect customers, building on customer needs and Reverdia strengths.

Combining the knowledge and experience of DSM and Roquette, Reverdia produces and sells Biosuccinium™, the Company’s registered brand of bio-based succinic acid. Biosuccinium™, which is produced using a unique and proprietary low pH yeast technology, enables customers to produce bio-based, high-quality performance materials while at the same time substantially improving their environmental footprint.

More information can be found at


Metabolix Enters into Agreement with Kenmare to Expand Business in Compostable Film Markets in Europe

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Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on delivering sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Kenmare Srl., a packaging solutions supplier based in Milan, Italy and Lugano, Switzerland. Under the agreement, Kenmare will promote to its customers Metabolix's Mvera B5008, a certified-compostable film grade, starting in 2013.



"With growing concern about single-use bags and the emergence of plastic bag regulations requiring either reusable or certified compostable alternatives, it has become increasingly important for bag suppliers and retail stores to offer more sustainable product options," said Francesco Tognato, director, at Kenmare. "We have been pleased with Metabolix products and are honored to offer Mvera B5008 to our customer base as an excellent alternative raw material for compostable bag production. We look forward to expanding our business with Metabolix next year as they ramp up their production in Europe."



Mvera B5008 is designed for consumer compost bags, can liners for commercial compostable food waste, as well as shopping and retail bags that can be reused as consumer compost bags. It is certified by Vinçotte to meet the EN 13432 standard for compostable plastics, and exhibits many of the same performance qualities of the current non-compostable plastic bags— such as excellent puncture and tear resistance, good barrier properties, printability and compatibility with other compostable polymers.



"We're delighted to work with Kenmare to help build awareness and generate additional sales for Mvera B5008 among Kenmare's customers that are at the forefront in providing innovative compostable packaging solutions," said Dr. Stan Haftka, director of business development, Europe at Metabolix. "Kenmare has unparalleled expertise and reach in these regions, working with a number of leading organizations on their packaging needs. This expanded relationship reflects Metabolix's continued growth in European markets and will help us leverage existing Kenmare customer relationships and capabilities to broaden our presence in European markets."


VTT wins European innovation prize for a new bio-oil production technique

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VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland along with the energy company Fortum, engineering company Metso and forestry company UPM has developed a technique that enables the cogeneration of heating energy and bio-oil in the same power plant cost-effectively and sustainably. VTT’s technique is based on combining pyrolysis and fluidised bed technology. Thanks to the new technique, bio-oil production volumes can be expected to increase considerably in the next few decades. VTT received an innovation award for the new technology. The award was distributed in December by the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations EARTO.



”The innovation prize brings up the long-term work that VTT has done in developing renewable energy sources. EARTO wants to reward innovations that have significant societal and economic impact. The prize indicates that we have been successful in this work,” says Anne-Christine Ritschkoff, Executive Vice President, Strategic Research, VTT.



Bio-oil has for a long time been pegged as the successor of fossil fuels as our future source of energy. However, large-scale commercial use of bio-oil in heat generation requires a cost-effective production technique. The new technique patented by VTT enables a considerable cut in the production cost of bio-oil.



Fast pyrolysis involves heating biomass such as forest industry waste to a high temperature to form gas. When the gas is cooled, it condenses into liquid known as bio-oil. Combining the pyrolysis process with traditional fluidised bed boilers used in power plants brings a range of efficiency gains. Producing bio-oil with the new technique is cheaper than in a separate pyrolysis process. Bio-oil plants that are integrated into power plants are extremely energy-efficient, because the energy contained in the by-products of the pyrolysis process can be recovered in fluidised bed boilers. This is a significant improvement, because the by-products can contain as much as 40 per cent of the original biomass’s energy. In turn, lost heat from the power plant can be used in the bio-oil production process. Cogeneration offers higher efficiency than separate production, and the investment and operating costs of the plant are lower than in separate production.



The use of bio-oil has significant positive effects on the environment. By replacing fossil fuels with bio-oil in heat generation, carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by 70–90 per cent. Sulphur emissions are also considerably lower.



The technique is due to enter commercial production towards the end of 2013 when the energy company Fortum opens its new integrated bio-oil and heating plant in the city of Joensuu in Finland. The plant is designed to produce 50,000 tonnes of bio-oil per year. The volume is enough to cover the annual heating needs of 24,000 average-sized homes.

VTT is involved in European standardisation work to promote the commercialisation of the innovation. There are currently around 200 power plants in Europe and North America that could be converted to include a bio-oil plant. This would mean more than 10,000 new jobs in the forestry and logistics sectors, for example.



EARTO (European Association for Research and Technology Organisations) is a non-profit association that represents the interests of European research and technology organisations towards European institutions such as the European Commission. EARTO promotes the R&D business of its approximately 300 member organisations.



Altuglas International and NatureWorks launch worldwide marketing collaboration for New High Performance Alloys Incorporating Ingeo biopolymers

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Altuglas International, a subsidiary of Arkema group, with its Plexiglas® and Altuglas® acrylic resins (Americas and Rest of World, respectively) and NatureWorks, a leader in the bio-plastics market with its Ingeo™ biopolymers derived from plants, have signed a global co-marketing agreement. The agreement is designed to deliver a range of newly formulated bio-based, high performance alloys based on polymethylmethacrylate and Ingeo.



The new materials will be marketed by Altuglas International as Plexiglas®/Altuglas® Rnew biopolymer alloys. Primary co-marketing efforts for these materials will be for durable goods applications, where the Plexiglas®/Altuglas® brand is synonymous with high performance, durability and clarity.



The agreement grew out of the overwhelming response the two companies experienced during the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) last April, during which they jointly displayed examples of molded and thermoformed products made with their collaborative technologies for the durable goods market.



This unique range of resins affords customizable formulating latitude providing exceptional impact- and chemical-resistance properties. In addition, the resins offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint due to the Ingeo biopolymer content. These biopolymer alloys also feature lower processing temperatures and greater melt flow properties without compromising the optics, scratch resistance, color acceptance or surface aesthetics for which the Plexiglas® and Altuglas® brands are known.



The collaboration offers a compelling combination of properties designed to open new doors in the market, including significant opportunities for durable applications such as signage, lighting, consumer products, transportation, cosmetic packaging and large and small appliances.



"What makes this agreement so exciting is that two renowned, pioneering organizations are joining forces to combine some of the best in technology and market knowledge to foster new, high performing, yet sustainable, bio-based products," said Christophe Villain, Altuglas International president. "The agreement between these two leading companies will provide transparent, sustainable materials that meet durable application performance requirements. Altuglas International will compound and sell the Rnew portfolio, incorporating Ingeo, directly into the market."



Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks president and chief executive officer said, “By combining our respective reputations and strengths in biopolymers and acrylics, NatureWorks and Altuglas International will co-market clear materials that offer a complete package of innovative product performance. This is exactly what Ingeo was designed to offer.”

Through the collaboration, Altuglas International and NatureWorks will pool resources to accelerate the introduction of these new high performance biopolymer alloys into the market.



Cardia Bioplastics secures an exclusive annual supply contract into Shanghai, China

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$1.2 million per annum contract to supply Cardia’s Biohybrid™ renewable kitchen waste bags to Shanghai Pudong City District • Contract represents 20% of Pudong’s households with potential to expand rollout • Opens up significant opportunity to secure additional City Councils in China • Continues momentum of growth and expansion of Cardia’s product base .


Cardia Bioplastics Limited has announced an exclusive annual supply contract with the Shanghai Pudong City District in China. The agreement is to supply an estimated $1.2 million per annum of Cardia’s Biohybrid™ renewable kitchen waste bags to approximately 20% of householders in this region. Cardia's renewable Biohybrid™ kitchen bags are made with Cardia's proprietary Biohybrid™ technology that uses less oil and a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional plastics. This contract win follows the successful six-month trial of Cardia’s products in this region earlier this year. Pudong is one of four City Councils in China that has conducted waste management trials using Cardia products. The other three Councils in trial phase are Nanjing, Hangzhou and Yuhang and Cardia is looking to expand into other provinces of China.



Penetrating into this crucial market opens up significant opportunities for Cardia to grow and expand its global distribution of organic waste management products. Shanghai Pudong is one of China’s highest profile development areas and represents a key financial and commercial hub for the entire country.



There has been a strong focus towards environmental initiatives in the city of Shanghai in recent years. Following the World Expo in 2010, Shanghai implemented an organic waste separation process which targets waste separation at source. In particular, separating plant material and food scraps at the household level, which form a large part of the domestic waste stream in China. Earlier this year, as part of the six-month trial period, Cardia successfully supplied its Biohybrid™ kitchen bags to approximately 5% of Pudong’s households. This supply will now be expanded to 20% of Pudong’s households.

This is a critical step towards efficient management of domestic waste. More importantly, Shanghai Pudong City District has selected Cardia Bioplastics to supply Biohybrid™ renewable kitchen waste bags to households, which are tailored specifically for collection of food waste.



Dr Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia Bioplastics said:

“This marks another important milestone for Cardia. The success of winning this contract is a result of our superior product technology and effective supply capability through our manufacturing plant in Nanjing, China. Through our successful pilot programs, which are already in place in other key districts in China (Nanjing, Hangzhou and Yuhang) we are confident in our corporate strategy of securing additional long term contracts in China.

Importantly, this contract follows the recent announcements of $500,000 per annum sales contracts to both an American hygiene products company and a global consumer products company.  These three contracts combined equate to over $2.2 million of secured revenues contributing to the current financial year. This is significant for the Company and equates to over one half of last financial year’s total reported revenues.



Mr. Jackie Chen, Cardia Director and Head of China Operations said:

“We are delighted with this outcome and we will continue to develop and maintain strong Government relationships to work with China City Councils towards managing household waste sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint.”

In addition, Cardia has a certified compostable offering for its organic waste management business, where trials are underway in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, USA, Brazil and the UK.



About Shanghai Pudong

The city district of Shanghai Pudong is one of China’s high profile development areas and has a population of five million people (2010). Pudong has been developed as a New Open Economic Development Zone since 1990 and has emerged as China's financial and commercial hub. Pudong is home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and a skyline that includes the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao Building, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower (under construction), reflective of Shanghai and China's rapid economic development.


Netherlands aims for bioplastics domination

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The Dutch government is investing in creating a bio-based economy and hopes to be known as 'the land of green chemistry' by 2050. A variety of industry leaders met in the Dutch town of Wageningen earlier this year to discuss innovations in bioplastics.



Bioplastics leaders from across Europe gathered in Wageningen for a symposium organised by the Biobased Performance Materials (BPM) programme, where government and industry outlined plans to make the Netherlands one of the largest bio-based economies in the world.

In the opening speech, chairman Jan Noordegraaf from Synbra outlined the Dutch government's plans for sustainable development, which involve biomass production, the implementation of biomass import chains, and production of green chemicals and materials.

By 2050, the Netherlands wants to be one of the top three producers of smart materials in the world, he said.



"The Netherlands are on the threshold of a new golden age," said Noordegraaf, adding that the country has the ideal conditions to build a bio-based economy. The Netherlands has excellent knowledge bases in its universities and chemical companies, as well as various R&D programmes, including BPM itself and BE-Basic, he said. BE-Basic is an international public-private partnership, funded by the Dutch Government.



The Netherlands has ample farming land and is a major grower of sugar beat which, according to Noordegraaf, is "almost unbeatable" in terms of bioplastic feedstock.

The industry will also benefit from a variety of funding he added.



By 2015, €445m will be available for joint research. Industry has already pledged to contribute more than €100m, with 30% coming from SMEs.

The BPM itself, which kicked off in March 2010, will also contribute a large amount of funding to help the Netherlands become a top producer of bio materials. BPM has €4m from industry in its investment fund, as well as another €4m from the ministry of economic affairs.



Karin Weustink from the ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, said during her speech at the conference that the Dutch government also wants to push this initiative forward by reducing bureaucracy.

"We will make finance easier, for example by replacing subsidies with credit agreements and getting direct foreign investments," she said. "It is also important to support SMEs so there will be loan guarantees, for example."



At the symposium several industry leaders highlighted different bio material projects  that are taking place in the country.

For example, Royal Cosun, a consortium of Dutch sugar beet growers, announced plans to commercialise a composite based on carrot waste.



Curran, a cellulose material extracted from carrot waste and developed by Scottish science company Cellucomp, can be combined with a variety of resins to create biocomposite materials.



"Although we are still doing research into the material's properties, advantages we have seen so far include stiffness, strength, toughness and light weight," said Royal Cosun spokesperson Bart van Ingen. At the conference Van Ingen showed two successful applications; a fishing rod and a longboard.



Another speaker, Ed de Jong, spoke about Avantium's work in PEF materials, which it makes using YXY technology, a catalytic chemical process that converts carbohydrates into bio-based polymers, including an alternative to terephthalic acid.



According to de Jong, the YXY technology creates a material that delievers superior functional properties to conventional PET in terms of lightweighting potential and barrier and thermal properties. Avantium quotes a study done by the Copernicus Institute at Utrecht University, which shows that PEF has a 50-60% lower carbon footprint than oil-based PET.



Just prior to the conference Avantium signed an agreement to use its technology to produce its PEF bottles for Danone.



Other innovations discussed at the event included Forbo Flooring, which is looking at expanding the use of biobased materials in its linoleum product range, and Audi, which talked about the Scirocco Bioconcept. The car uses as many sustainable processes and materials as possible, including flax-fibre composites in the doors.


NatureFlex™ Compostable Packaging Film Used for Wrapping Chocolate

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The compostable packaging film from Innovia Films, known as NatureFlexTM, has been chosen by the Alce Nero Italian consortium of organic farmers and producers in order to wrap a range of Fair Trade chocolate.



The Alce Nero consortium is a section of Alce Nero Mielizia SpA and has a collective membership of individuals which share an interest in produce innovation, regionally and environmentalism. Founded in 1978, the organisation has organically farmed right from its beginnings.



Currently, Alce Nero is responsible for representing members which specialise in farming, beekeeping and Fair Trade production. Organic food from around the globe is represented by the company, not just Italian produce.



Compostable Chocolate Packaging

Nicoletta Maffini, the companies Marketing Manager, has stated that "we decided to move from standard plastic to a biodegradable and compostable alternative to wrap our chocolate bars". She explained that the metallised NatureFlexTM was ideal for their purposes as it had environmentally friendly attributes as well as reliable barrier properties which are important to ensure the chocolate remains in excellent condition.

The chocolate bars themselves are manufactured using cocoa plants which have been grown within the heart of Central America and are owned by a network of small Fair Trade producers known as COOP Sin Fronteras. Once ready, the cocoa pods are expertly harvested for the beans to be roasted and are then passed to Chocolate Stella of Chocolate Bernrain Group, a Swiss maison chocolatier, which creates the final, delicious product.

By choosing NatureFlexTM compostable packaging, the chocolate will be packaged in a film which is certified to American ASTM D6400, European EN13432 as well as Australian AS4736 standards.



The NatureFlexTM compostable packaging film has also provided Alce Nero with certain benefits which include inherent deadfold and anti-static properties along with a resistance to grease and oil, a high gloss finish and barrier capabilities against gas, aromas and mineral oils.



Beginning life as a natural product, namely wood, NatureFlexTM was an obvious solution for the the organic producers, especially knowing that the pack will compost within weeks at the end of its life-cycle.



Giorgio Berton, Innovia Films TS&D Specialist, expressed that "our metallised NatureFlexTM film is used to good effect here by Alce Nero as it fits in with their brand image, protects the product and is compostable."



Plastic Packaging Industry Is Moving Towards Completely Bio-Based Products

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VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a technique to significantly improve the quality of bio-based plastic packaging. The new generation of bio-based plastic packaging is not only eco-friendly but also has several superior qualities compared to traditional plastic packaging. The plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products. The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.


The use of renewable natural resources in industrial applications reduces dependence on oil and the carbon footprint attributable to consumption. A transition to bio-based economy nevertheless requires products that are not only ecologically sustainable but also competitive in terms of quality.



VTT has developed a technique that enables the production of the PGA monomer glycolic acid from bio-based materials more efficiently than before.

"Bio-based plastics are a tangible step closer to a bio-based economy. This new generation of plastic packaging not only reduces our dependence on oil but also offers superior quality compared to traditional plastic packaging," explains Research Professor Ali Harlin from VTT.



Bio-based PGA plastic has excellent barrier properties. Adding PGA into the structure of traditional plastic packaging significantly improves its quality. In addition to strength and heat resistance, plastic packaging also needs to be airtight, vapour-proof and grease-resistant. Bio-based PGA plastic is between 20 and 30 per cent stronger than PLA -- the most popular biodegradable plastic on the market -- and able to withstand temperatures 20 degrees Celsius higher. It also breaks down more quickly than PLA, but its biodegradability can be regulated if necessary.



Growing market

Bio-based plastic opens up new business opportunities for the forest industry: The estimated total volume of the global packaging market is approximately EUR 500 billion. The Chinese and Indian markets, for example, are growing rapidly. Ethical consumption principles and legislative changes are steering the packaging industry towards sustainable development. At the moment, bio-based plastic accounts for approximately one per cent of global plastic production.



The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil. According to lifecycle analyses, carbon dioxide emissions from bio-based plastics can be as much as 70 per cent lower than from oil-based plastics.



Piedmont Chemical Launches 100 Percent Renewable Polyester Polyols

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Piedmont Chemical (Piedmont) announced today a new offering of renewable, sustainable polyester polyols – building-block chemical intermediates used in the production of urethane foams, coatings, adhesives and sealants. Piedmont combines Susterra® propanediol from DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products (DTL) with Bio-Succinic Acid from Myriant Corporation (Myriant) to produce high-purity, 100 percent bio-based polyols that are functionally equal and cost-competitive with petroleum-derived polyols without requiring green-price premiums. The novel polyol formulations, which are made from renewable resources, ultimately enable the production of eco-friendly, sustainable products. The technical specification and polyol samples will be available by year-end for urethane producers looking to utilize "green polyols" for their end-market applications.



The novel polyol formulations combining DTL's Susterra® and Myriant's Bio-Succinic will specifically address the growing global demand for renewable urethanes in industrial applications. According to a 2012 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc, entitled, "Polyols: A Global Strategic Business Report," the world market for polyols is forecast to reach 4.33 billion pounds by 2017. Renewable polyols, made from various sustainable resources, are witnessing increasing demand as product manufacturers respond to consumers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve natural resources and live more sustainably. Industrial applications, including paints and coatings, adhesives and sealants, and microcellular elastomers, represent the single largest end-use sector for polyols.



DTL commercially produces Susterra® in Loudon, Tenn., with a capacity of 140 million lbs. per year. The plant has been operational since November 2006. Myriant will begin commercial production of Bio-Succinic Acid in first quarter 2013 in Lake Providence, La., with a capacity of 30 million lbs. per year.

Under a strategic collaboration between Piedmont, DTL and Myriant, the three companies have agreed to an "open innovation" concept by which the polyol formulations will be made available to polyol producers and the urethane industry at large. This means that polyol customers will be able to purchase polyols produced from DTL's Susterra® propanediol and Myriant's Bio-Succinic Acid from Piedmont as well as from other polyol producers. Piedmont will manufacture the initial polyol product samples and will offer commercial supply of the polyol products to the market.



"We have worked with Myriant's and DTL's products for some time now. In deciding on suppliers and collaboration partners it was critical for us to be certain that these renewable chemical building blocks would be available at commercial quantities with the right specification. In the last year, we have become confident that both Myriant and DTL meet these requirements," said Emil Delgado, chief operating officer for Piedmont.

"DTL and Myriant enjoy shared objectives of bringing renewable chemicals to market that offer high performance and cost competitiveness compared to their petroleum-based chemical counterparts," said Steve Hurff, vice president of Marketing and Sales from DTL. "We're looking forward to Piedmont's success in meeting the needs of urethanes producers who are seeking renewable chemical building blocks."



"This is Myriant's second collaboration with DTL and we're proud to team with them again on this opportunity to expand the tool box of renewable building blocks available to polyol producers," said Alif Saleh, vice president, Sales and Marketing for Myriant Corporation. "Myriant is committed to becoming a reliable supplier of Bio Succinic Acid to the polyol producers. By providing open access to the formulations and technical specifications, polyol producers are encouraged to integrate our renewable chemicals for the production of green, cost-competitive polyols."



Myriant utilizes its proprietary technology platform to develop innovative, performance-based, renewable chemicals utilizing low-cost sugars. In December 2010, Myriant broke ground on its flagship 30 million pound commercial bio-succinic acid facility in Lake Providence, La., and anticipates beginning commercial production in early 2013. The company's D(-) lactic acid started production at commercial scale in June 2008 for use in polylactic acid. Myriant has agreements with ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH for engineering, Davy Process Technology for the integration of Myriant's bio-succinic acid process with the Davy butanediol process for the production of bio-based butanediol, and PTT Chemical for the commercialization of Myriant's technology in Southeast Asia. Myriant is headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Details are available at



Piedmont Chemical Industries I, LLC is a subsidiary of Piedmont Chemical Industries Inc., a privately owned chemical manufacturer headquartered in High Point, N.C. Founded in 1938 to support the local textile industry, the corporation has since evolved into 5 different production sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee with additional satellite facilities in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia. For more information, visit



DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products is a joint venture between DuPont, a global science company, and Tate & Lyle, a world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company. DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products provides natural and renewably sourced ingredients that do not compromise product performance. For more information on the company's products, visit



Susterra® and the circle logo are registered trademarks of DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners



Novozymes acquires Natural Industries Inc. to strengthen position in bioagriculture

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Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Natural Industries Inc. based in Houston, U.S. Natural Industries Inc. has annual revenues of $5 million and is a bioagricultural company.



“I am excited to have the people and technologies of Natural Industries Inc. join our growing BioAg business. Natural Industries Inc. expands Novozymes’ position in the important biocontrol segment and improves our capabilities to grow our business in key U.S. markets on high-value crops like fruits and vegetables,” said Thomas Videbæk, Executive Vice President of Novozymes and head of BioBusiness.



Natural Industries Inc. and Novozymes have agreed not to disclose the financial terms of the agreement. The acquisition does not impact Novozymes’ financial guidance for 2012.

Stronger position in fast-growing $1 billion market


Biological technologies are natural solutions with multiple modes of action. They are used to improve plant health and growth or combat diseases across various broad-acre crops such as corn and soy and high-value crops such as salads, strawberries and nuts.

The biological solutions complement the use of traditional chemicals and pesticides, which have a world market worth $150 billion. By contrast, the emerging bioagriculture market is estimated to be worth about $1 billion with an annual growth rate of 10-15%.



The bioagriculture market is driven by farmers wanting to utilize potent biological solutions to improve agricultural productivity and reduce the environmental impact of their operations, explained Videbæk:

“By applying the right cocktail of biological technologies you can add 4-5% to crop yields. This makes it a cost-effective solution for farmers to safeguard high investments in seeds and agricultural chemicals. Also, due to increasing consumer awareness, regulations and environmental impact from traditional chemicals, there is growing interest in utilizing biological solutions as an integral part of agricultural practices.”



New innovation for high-value crop market
“Founded in 1992 and with 24 talented employees, Natural Industries Inc. brings a wealth of knowledge in the biocontrol area. The company has a proven portfolio of products, new pipeline opportunities and good market coverage for high-value crops in key regions of the U.S. The acquisition is a good example of how we can grow and utilize our platform and leading position in this area as well as accelerate innovation,” said Videbæk.

“Novozymes has long-term ambitions to be a key player in this market. With our platform today, our expertise within bioinnovation and R&D, we expect to continue to play a leading role in growing the bioagriculture market,” he added.



More on Natural Industries Inc. can be found here.

Purac promotes recyclability of biobased PLA

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Purac - a leading company in lactic acid based bioplastics - has sponsored the Perpetual Plastic Project to highlight how easily Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) bioplastic can be recycled. PLA drinking cups were provided by Purac; intended for use at events where people can immediately recycle them into new products after use. The project is designed to educate people on the recyclability of bioplastic, in order to close the loop and promote a circular, biobased economy for future generations.


The Perpetual Plastic Project has successfully created a 'do-it-yourself', interactive 'Machine', which provides users with a small-scale demonstration of how easily PLA can be recycled: following the steps of cleaning, drying, shredding, melting and extrusion, before finally being remade into a new article. In this case, a 3D printer was used to create jewelry and small toys from the used PLA cups. The Machine is currently touring the Netherlands at numerous events, including the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the Science Center NEMO in Amsterdam and the National Sustainability Congress in Nieuwegein.


The Perpetual Plastic Project is an initiative created by former TU Delft students.  Purac, together with GroenBeker, provided the PLA bioplastic drinking cups which accompanied the Machine. François de Bie, Marketing Director Purac Bioplastics, is pleased with the project: "This initiative demonstrates in a tangible, understandable way just how easily PLA can be recycled. Although PLA is still a relatively new material to the plastics industry, it promises to become widely implemented throughout a broad range of applications. It is therefore vital that we already start to think about how best to recycle these valuable materials. Thanks to the Perpetual Plastics Project, we can show people at events and festivals what can ultimately be achieved on a much larger scale'.


Purac has created a short video to highlight the project and the recyclability of PLA.  See to view the film.



12th U.S. patent issued to Dyadic International

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The inventions embodied by this patent relate to methods and compositions for using enzyme mixtures to convert plant biomass into fermentable sugars for the production of useful products. The inventions also relate to novel combinations of enzymes including those that provide a synergistic release of sugars from plant biomass.

Dyadic’s President and CEO, Mark Emalfarb, stated, “In developing and selling industrial enzymes, our customers and partners not only benefit from Dyadic’s patented C1 platform technology but also from Dyadic’s fungal strains and technologies based on the Trichoderma fungal organism. Dyadic uses these strains to produce specialty enzymes that can be used for a variety of applications in such fields as animal health and nutrition, biofuels and bio-based chemicals. As with our growing portfolio of patents covering the C1 technology, this patent will provide Dyadic, its customers and licensees with additional protection for our Trichoderma-based enzyme mixtures.”

The patent also specifically describes methods of increasing the yield of fermentable sugars from fermentation of Distillers Dried Grains (DDGs) using enzyme mixtures comprising glucoamylase, beta-glucosidase and alpha-arabinofuranosidase. DDGs are obtained after the fermentation of the starch derived from a number of grains including corn, wheat, barley, oats, rice and rye and have a long history of being fed to livestock. DDGs are also a byproduct of ethanol production which creates synergies in using enzymes for both biofuels and animal feed applications. The issued claims specifically cover Trichoderma-based enzyme mixtures which significantly and unexpectedly increase the yield of fermentable sugars from DDGs.
This patent is the twelfth U.S. patent issued to Dyadic adding to its portfolio of 58 international patents, 38 pending international and 13 pending U.S. patent applications which cover various features of Dyadic’s proprietary technologies.


7th European Bioplastics Conference demonstrates the future potential of the industry

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The significance of bioplastics as a central component of the European bioeconomy strategy is undisputed. This was the core message of the plenary talks by Alfredo Aguilar Romanillos, European Commission, Clemens Neumann, Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Germany, and John Williams, NNFCC, during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference on 6 and 7 November in Berlin.

More than 400 participants caught up on the latest developments and progress in the bioplastics industry.
Numerous questions connected to the growth of the bioplastics industry were discussed during the 7th European Bioplastics Conference – such as: How is the growing supply of bioplastics affecting public awareness? Which market segments will grow in particular and what impacts will this growth have? What are the potential side-effects of adding bioplastics to existing recycling streams? In particular the latter was a hot topic at the conference. “Give us a sufficient amount of any plastic – be it PLA or any other bioplastic – and we can sort it and recycle it”. This was the main message of the recycling industry to the bioplastics industry during a podium discussion moderated by Thomas Probst of the Federal Association of Secondary
Raw Materials and Disposal.

The „7th Annual Global Bioplastics Award“ ceremony by bioplastics MAGAZINE was another highlight of this year’s conference. 2012, saw two winners take the award. Both companies come from the automotive industry and achieved the same score. TAKATA AG received the „Bioplastics Award 2012“ for its demonstrator of a steering wheel/airbag system that shows both, the potential and the limits of bioplastic applications. The IfBB (University of Hannover) was awarded with its rear spoiler of the „Bioconcept Car“ racing car. The flax fibre enriched component with biobased epoxy resin is only one of many components to come that shall be produced successively from bioplastics.

European Bioplastics addressed the significant topic of „environmental communication for bioplastics“ in a half-day workshop the day prior to the conference (5 November). Representatives of the bioplastics industry, the communications industry, and experts of environmental initiatives as well as public institutions discussed various cases concerning the essential issue, “Where does greenwashing start?”. “The workshop discussion reflected a very open atmosphere and we are pleased that we were able to welcome a diverse range of participants – amongst them representatives of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environment Aid) and Greenpeace,“ said Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics. „Regular exchanges on important topics such as environmental communication are essential, particularly in the case of a vibrant growth area such as the bioplastics industry“. European Bioplastics intends to continue its promotion of best practice communication in the area of bioplastics with a series of workshops during the next year.

Now in its seventh year, the European Bioplastics Conference, with around 400 participants and 240 companies from around the world, has once again shown itself to be the leading information platform globally. Participants this year came from the following regions: approx. 85 percent of participants came from Europe, 10 percent visited from Asia, and the majority of the remaining 5 percent came from North and South America.

Images from the conference and the workshop are available at the following link:

The conference proceedings (CD) will shortly be available for purchase here:


Mitsubishi Chemical and Faurecia signed an agreement on joint research and development of bioplastics for automotive interior parts

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Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Hiroaki Ishizuka) has signed an agreement with Faurecia (Head office: Paris, France; CEO:Yann Delabrière) regarding joint research and development of bioplastics used in automotive interior parts. Under this agreement, we will pursue development of a tailor-made biomass poly-butylene succinate (PBS) that is suitable for automotive interior parts by 2014.

Faurecia is the world’s sixth-largest automotive equipment supplier in consolidated net sales and has the world’s leading technologies in automotive interior systems. The company led the way with initiatives on the European automotive industry’s environmental-friendly policies, with its strategic initiative “Bio Attitude” to improve Life Cycle Assessment. Especially, Faurecia aims to use alternative biomass bioplastics in most interior parts.

MCC produces and markets PBS “GS Pla™”, a type of bioplastic, with advanced process technologies developed in the production of petrochemical products and a broad range of applied technologies based on diversified lineup of high-performance polymers. We also develop a biomass PBS using biomass succinic acid as the raw material, and strive to build a powerful position in the PBS field with our portfolio of important patents. Therefore, MCC has formed a joint venture company with PTT Public Company Limited (PTT; Head office: Chatuchak, Thailand; CEO: Pailin Chuchottaworn) with each company holding 50%. The joint venture, PTT MCC Biochem Company Limited (PTTMCC; Head office: Bangkok Thailand; Managing Director: Worawat Pitayasiri), will build a PBS production facility with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons in Thailand, targeting commencement of production by 2015.

Where succinic acid is concerned, MCC and PTTMCC have tied up with BioAmber Inc. (Head office: Montreal, Canada; CEO: Jean Francois Huc), which pioneered the production of biomass succinic acid, with the aim of developing an even more efficient production process. The PBS production facility, which is scheduled to go on line in 2015 with an annual production of 20,000 tons, will use biomass succinic acid as raw material.
The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group, in which MCC is one of four operating companies, set a target to switch about 20% of current petrochemical consumption to biomass alternatives by 2025. Now, the agreement with Faurecia to jointly research and develop bioplastics is a major step towards full-scale practical applications of bioplastics in the automotive industry, further driving us forward in the sustainable resource business.


Corn ethanol with less corn

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Novozymes, the world leader in industrial enzymes, today announced the launch of a new game-changing enzyme product, Novozymes Avantec®, which improves the efficiency and profitability of biofuel production. Avantec enables producers of corn ethanol to squeeze an extra 2.5% ethanol out of the corn, thereby improving their profit margins significantly.

“Corn is the single biggest input cost for an ethanol producer, and as prices have gone up, profits have disappeared,” says Novozymes Executive Vice President Peder Holk Nielsen. “Avantec is a vitamin shot for the industry. It allows you to save a lot of corn and still produce the same amount of ethanol. If you’re an ethanol producer in today’s market, that’s a real boost to your bottom-line.”

For a typical U.S. ethanol plant the savings are substantial. A plant uses around 900,000 tons of feed-grade corn per year to produce 100 million gallons of fuel ethanol, 300,000 tons of animal feed (DDGS) and 8,500 tons of corn oil. With Avantec, such a plant can save 22,500 tons of corn while maintaining the same ethanol output.

The US could save 3 million tons of corn
Corn is the key raw material in biofuel production in the U.S. and by far the biggest cost component for an ethanol plant. After the corn is harvested, the kernels are ground into corn meal, and water is added to make a mash. Enzymes convert the starch in the mash to sugar, which can then be fermented to ethanol. Avantec does this more efficiently than any other enzyme product on the market.

“Most U.S. ethanol plants convert 90-95% of the available starch, so there is significant potential for plant owners to increase output and maximize profits,” says Peder Holk Nielsen. “In fact, if all ethanol plants in the U.S. started using Avantec, they would save 3 million tons of corn.”
Avantec is the latest addition to Novozymes’ range of yield-enhancing enzyme products for the biofuel industry. Over the past five years, continuous improvements in enzyme technology from Novozymes have helped the industry increase starch conversion by 5%.

The U.S. is the biggest biofuel producer in the world, with corn ethanol production expected to reach 13.3 billion gallons in 2012.


Neste Oil adds NExBTL renewable naphtha suitable for producing bioplastics to its corporate customer product range

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Neste Oil - the world's largest producer of renewable diesel - has launched the commercial production and sales of renewable naphtha for corporate customers. NExBTL renewable naphtha can be used as a feedstock for producing bioplastics, for example, and as a biocomponent for gasoline. Neste Oil is one of the world's first companies to supply bionaphtha on a commercial scale. NExBTL naphtha is produced as part of the NExBTL renewable diesel refining process at Neste Oil's sites in Finland, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

Bioplastics produced from NExBTL naphtha can be used in numerous industries that prioritize the use of renewable and sustainable raw materials, such as companies producing plastic parts for the automotive industry and packaging for consumer products. The mechanical and physical properties of bioplastics produced from NExBTL renewable naphtha are fully comparable with those of plastics produced from fossil naphtha; and the carbon footprint of these plastics is smaller than that of conventional fossil-based plastics.

Bioplastic products produced from NExBTL renewable naphtha can be recycled with conventional fossil-based plastic products, and can be used as a fuel in energy generation following recycling.

In addition to renewable naphtha, the NExBTL renewable diesel refining process also produces renewable propane, which can be used as a traffic fuel, for cooking and heating in the home, and in food packaging. Neste Oil recently started a study on the feasibility of commercializing NExBTL propane.

Neste Oil also produces commercial volumes of NExBTL renewable aviation fuel.

All the products produced as part of NExBTL renewable diesel refining comply with the strict sustainability criteria established by the EU's Renewable Energy Directive across the entire supply chain. They have been verified as being sustainably produced, the inputs used can be fully traced back to their origin, and they contribute a significant reduction in life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to comparable fossil-based products.

About Neste Oil

Neste Oil Corporation is a refining and marketing company concentrating on low-emission, high-quality traffic fuels, and is the world's leading supplier of renewable diesel. Neste Oil had net sales of EUR 15.4 billion in 2011 and employs around 5,000 people. Neste Oil's share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.

Neste Oil has been selected for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Ethibel Excellence Investment Register. Neste Oil has been included in The Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable corporations for a number of years in succession; and Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) has ranked Neste Oil as the best performer in the oil & gas sector. Further information:


Beta Renewables and Novozymes to form strategic partnership in the cellulosic biofuel market

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Novozymes, the world's largest producer of industrial enzymes, and Beta Renewables, a global leader in cellulosic biofuels and part of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi, today announce an agreement to jointly market, demonstrate and guarantee cellulosic biofuel solutions. As part of the agreement, Novozymes will acquire a 10% share in Beta Renewables, paying approximately $115 million cash for the equity, marketing fees, other intellectual property rights and milestone payments.

The partners will offer customers looking to produce biofuels from agricultural residues, energy crops and other cellulosic feedstocks a combination of Novozymes' Cellic® enzymes and Beta Renewables' PROESA™ engineering and production technology. Beta Renewables will embed Novozymes' enzymes in the PROESA technology and guarantee biofuel production costs upon start-up of customers' cellulosic facilities. The deal is unique in offering a combined solution that reduces the risk in customers' projects while providing competitive commercial terms.

"This type of complete offering will significantly de-risk cellulosic biofuel projects financially as well as technologically for our customers," says Beta Renewables' Chairman and CEO, Guido Ghisolfi. "It will make cellulosic biofuel projects bankable and accelerate large-scale commercialization of the industry."
"Large-scale commercialization of cellulosic biofuels is taking off, and this is a fantastic opportunity for Novozymes," says Peder Holk Nielsen, Executive Vice President at Novozymes. "Beta Renewables is an extremely committed industry front-runner. They are building advanced biofuel facilities all over the world and, by being their preferred enzyme supplier, Novozymes will gain access to significant new business opportunities. We expect Beta Renewables to be able to contract 15-25 new facilities within the next three to five years. The sales potential for Novozymes from these plants could be up to $175 million."

World's largest advanced biofuel plant
In the last five years, Beta Renewables has invested over $200 million (€140 million) in development of the cost-competitive PROESA process. PROESA is the same technology that will be used at the world's largest cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, where operations are expected to start by the end of 2012. The plant will initially produce 13 million gallons (50 million liters) of ethanol per year from wheat straw, energy crops and other locally available feedstocks. It has a design capacity of 20 million gallons (76 million liters) per year.

"Just one year after it was established, Beta Renewables has become a global leader in the production of non-food biofuels and biochemicals," says Guido Ghisolfi. "This agreement has double value: It demonstrates the full integration of the PROESA process with the enzyme technology and allows Beta Renewables to guarantee a full lignocellulosic cost."

Beta Renewables has also secured a deal to build at least one manufacturing plant in Brazil with GraalBio, and, recently, Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi received a $99 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to construct Project Alpha, a cellulosic biofuel plant in North Carolina.
Novozymes is the world's leading supplier of enzymes to the biofuel industry. The Denmark-based biotech company's Cellic enzymes enable cost-efficient conversion of biomass to ethanol and are broadly regarded as the industry benchmark.


ZeaChem Completes Construction of Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery

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ZeaChem Inc., developer of highly-efficient biorefineries, today announced that it has completed construction of its 250,000 gallons per year (GPY) cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon. The project was completed on budget and is expected to begin production of cellulosic ethanol by the end of 2012.

ZeaChem’s core process, completed earlier this year, enables the production of acetic acid and ethyl acetate which are intermediate chemicals for applications including paints, lacquers and consumer goods representing a $10 billion market worldwide. The core process has been commissioned and fermentation of sugar feedstocks has been replicated in 40,000 gallon tanks. These results met and exceeded the company’s design targets.

The next step in ZeaChem’s phased development and start-up approach is to begin operations of the integrated facility for cellulosic ethanol production. With the support of a $25 million investment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Integrated Biorefinery program, ZeaChem has added process components to the core facility enabling the utilization of locally-sourced biomass, including wood and wheat straw, to be fermented and converted into intermediate chemicals and ethanol.

“With construction completed, ZeaChem looks forward to starting integrated operations and the production of cellulosic ethanol this year,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem. “We are executing a phased start-up approach to limit risk, stabilize and optimize operations, and ensure safety. ZeaChem is focused on successfully demonstrating integrated operations and commercializing its highly efficient, economical and sustainable biorefining process.”

ZeaChem also announced it has closed its Series C financing totaling $25 million in new equity to advance its business strategy and commercial deployment. New investors include Tokyo, Japan-based ITOCHU Corporation, a multi-national trading company, and Macquarie, a global investment banking and financial services group based in Sydney, Australia. Additional Series C investors include: Birchmere Ventures, Firelake Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, PrairieGold Venture Partners, and Spring Ventures. ZeaChem will utilize Series C funds to support operations at the integrated biorefinery and develop its first commercial biorefinery.

“We are pleased to expand our investor support to new partners in Asia and Australia, which demonstrates ZeaChem’s global potential for biofuels and bio-based chemicals,” added Imbler. “ITOCHU and Macquarie have established track records in co-developing energy projects worldwide and the ZeaChem platform is uniquely qualified for this due to our feedstock flexibility and diverse product portfolios. These new international partners provide us with a foundation to expand the company’s operations globally.”



ROQUETTE’s GAÏALENE® plant-based plastics receives an award at the eco-design competition

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The ROQUETTE Group, a global player in the processing of plant-based raw materials, was distinguished with an «Eco-design» award for its GAÏALENE® plant-based plastic range at the Annual Sustainable Development and Enterprise Days (JADDE) held at the Lille Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 4 to 5 last October.

roquette award This competition organised by the platform [avniR], in association with the CCI Grand Lille, the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council and Ademe, rewards the best local initiatives in the field of eco-design. It takes up for the first time in France the original concept developed in 2011 by Novae in Quebec.

An independent jury made up of 8 international eco-design experts and representatives of the economic world distinguished GAÏALENE® in the Large Company category.

This award rewards ROQUETTE for having adopted an innovative approach for the design of its plant-based plastics. The range that it offers today for plastics technology has reduced impacts on the environment thanks to the judicious choices made for the growing of plants, the method of synthesis, the location of the production facilities and the propensity of the material to be recycled at the end of its life cycle.
« We are particularly proud of this eco-design award which crowns our 5 years of research and development in perfecting an innovative and efficient range of plant-based plastics. During these years we have taken care to put the focus on respecting the environment and satisfying the needs of our industrial customers in order to meet the demand from the consumers for innovative and cleaner products.» said Léon Mentink, Product Manager at Roquette


Aemetis Granted Fifth U.S. Patent for Cellulosic Biochemical and Biofuel Technology

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Aemetis, Inc. (OTCPK: AMTX), an advanced fuels and renewable chemicals company, announced today that the company was awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) titled “Hydrolytic Enzyme Mixtures For Saccharification of Lignocellulosic Polysaccharides”, and issued U.S. Patent No. 8,273,557. This patent relates to advanced plant cell wall degradative systems, specifically enzymes that bind to and/or depolymerize cellulose.

These cell wall degrading systems have a number of applications, including a method of producing cellulosic ethanol.  With this new patent award, Aemetis holds 5 awarded patents, 6 filed patents, and 4 licensed patents.  In addition, Aemetis recently announced signing the first global license for the Chevron Lummus Global catalytic hydrolysis refining process, which produces 100% replacement jet and diesel fuel from plant and algal oils.

“The saccharophagus degradans microbe contains more than 90 enzymes that break down plant material,” stated Dr. Steven Hutcheson, a board member of Aemetis.  “Cell wall degradation is a foundational attribute of the Z-microbe enzymes, enabling the release of a new source of less expensive cellulosic sugar for use in fuels and chemicals production.”

“The patented Z-microbe technology is being developed to reduce feedstock costs, carbon intensity and energy use while enabling the synergistic, integrated production of advanced fuels and industrial biochemicals from renewable feedstocks,” explained Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.  “We use these Aemetis technologies to convert and expand existing biofuels and oil refining facilities to produce high value renewable fuels and biochemicals at a lower cost than petroleum products.”



Cereplast Hybrid 651D Wins MATERIALICA Design + Technology 2012 Silver Award in the Material Category

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Cereplast, Inc. (, today announced that Cereplast Hybrid 651D has won the MATERIALICA Design + Technology 2012 silver award for outstanding innovation in the "Material" category. The awards ceremony took place in Munich, Germany at the 15th annual trade fair, MATERIALICA—Lightweight Design for New Mobility, on the evening of October 23, 2012.

A distinguished panel of judges scrutinized approximately 100 submissions in consideration for the 10th MATERIALICA Design + Technology Award. The jury included the following material and design experts: Christian Labonte (Audi), Nina Saller (designaffairs), Prof. Peter Naumann (University Munich), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Reiling (University Landshut), and Dr. Ing. Christoph Konetschny (Materialsgate—Office for Material and Technology Consulting). Cereplast Hybrid 651D was the sole bioplastic material to be nominated for and to win the prestigious MATERIALICA award.

The first EA and starch hybrid resin, Cereplast Hybrid 651D is an innovative solution for applications that require durability, flexibility and toughness. Hybrid 651D is a tough, soft touch, pliable material that is ideal for extrusions and soft injection moldable applications, providing the desirable properties of conventional EA while offering a lower carbon footprint and expanding the range of properties available for durable bioplastic materials. It can be used for the manufacture of consumer goods and packaging, footwear, handbags and other fashion accessories, as well as wire and cable insulation, soft plastic goods such as tubes and hoses and adhesion layers for multi-layer films. Hybrid 651D can be processed on existing, conventional processing equipment.

MATERIALICA is Europe's top event for material-driven and supplier-oriented product innovations. The future-oriented innovative field of "lightweight design" continues to set the course for a new age in electric mobility, aerospace, new energy and automotive industries as well as groundbreaking product developments in the sports and leisure arena. As such, the focus of this year's MATERIALICA Awards was "Lightweight Design Competency for the Next Product Generation."


Reaching the top level of sustainability for food packages: CKB® with a bio-based PE coating

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CKB® packaging board from Stora Enso Skoghall Mill in Sweden is now available with a polyethylene coating made from renewable raw materials. The development and launch of the bio-coated packaging board is made possible through cooperation with the Swedish company Trioplast / Ekmans. The first consumer products that will be available in packages coated with the new laminate are fish gratin products of the Norwegian fish and seafood company Domstein ASA, manufactured in Kungshamn, Sweden.

Domstein ASA gives high priority to sustainability issues. Their environment policy states: "Our operations are to be environmentally benign, and uphold a high environmental standard." The company wants to ensure that their own and associated activities take place in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. The launch of the renewable fish gratin packages is scheduled for early 2013.

"It is important for us at Domstein to find opportunities where we can help the consumer to make a choice which is good for the environment. We want to see the product and the package as one unit and try to find new things for both", says Ulrica Wahlund, Sales Manager at Domstein in Sweden.

Polyethylene (PE) is the most widely used type of plastic in the world, used extensively as a humidity or grease barrier of packaging boards. The bio-based PE used for coating the CKB® board is manufactured with sugar cane as raw material in Brazil.  It has exactly the same performance characteristics as traditional, fossil-based PE, making it usable in a variety of applications.

In line with Stora Enso's mission

"Adding a barrier coating based on renewable materials to our product portfolio is totally in line with our mission to offer our customers sustainable and innovative packaging materials. We see an increasing interest in the market for sustainable barrier coatings, and the advantage with this particular bio-based PE is that it has the very same properties as fossil-based PE. The customer will not notice any difference in performance and the laminate can be recycled as usual", says Fredrik Werner, Market Support & Product Manager at Skoghall Mill.

Trioplast is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of polyethylene film with almost 1450 employees in nine countries. "For our supplier Braskem[1], Trioplast is a reliable partner with a profound knowledge and the ability to market their bio-based polyethylene products to demanding end uses. In a longer perspective, it is not unreasonable to imagine manufacturing polyethylene by using raw material growing in the Nordic forests. Meanwhile, Trioplast proceeds with the launching of products manufactured elsewhere and use the brand name TriogreenTM. Our cooperation with Stora Enso enables the launch of Triogreen in combination with tree-based packaging boards and thus broadens the availability of bio-based PE", says Pär Wik, Marketing Manager at Trioplast  / Ekmans, Sweden.


Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. Announces Agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corp. for Bio-PET Supply

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Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. has signed an agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corp., a global supplier of Bio-PET resin (bio-based polyethylene terephthalate), to become the lead company in North America to launch the renewable bioplastic in its rollstock product line. Made partially from bio-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) derived from sugarcane-based bioethanol, the Bio-PET is up to 30 percent plant-based. It's also as recyclable as petroleum-based PET.

Toyota Tsusho is a major supplier of Bio-PET resin suitable for use in the automotive, beverage and apparel industries. The material can be used for sheet extrusion, thermoforming, blow molding and injection molding.

“We’ve entered a new era of sustainability with the growth in plastics made from renewable feedstocks,” said James Sanfilippo, president and CEO, Clear Lam Packaging. “We’re pleased to announce our new relationship with Toyota Tsusho, a proven global leader in the Bio-PET supply chain. This development expands Clear Lam’s leadership role in sustainable packaging and its offerings of renewable alternatives to traditional plastics.”

The new Clear Lam Bio-PET rollstock will be available in December and will run on existing equipment, including form fill and seal machinery used by food processors as well as on traditional industrial thermoformers. Clear Lam will incorporate the plant-based Bio-PET in sheet extrusions that will be sold to consumer packaged goods companies and manufacturers of industrial goods.

"We look forward to working with Clear Lam and expanding the use of our Bio-Pet resin sold under the Globio™ brand name. There are many applications for our products and rollstock is an important part. Clear Lam has a history of innovation as does Toyota Tsusho. We see a bright future for Clear Lam’s products made from Globio Bio-PET resin," said Shu Hisanaga, product manager for Toyota Tsusho.
Because of its performance characteristics, Bio-PET is well suited for packaging used for foods, electronics and personal health care products. The material’s strength, heat resistance, durability and formability makes it a suitable replacement for styrene-based packaging, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and traditional polyester packaging.

While 30 percent of the materials used to produce Bio-PET are plant-based, the remaining 70 percent are made from traditional terephthalic acid (PTA). Toyota Tsusho manufactures its Bio-PET in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

“The advancements being made in bioplastics by companies like Toyota Tsusho are making the choice between traditional plastics and their plant-based alternatives easier,” adds Sanfilippo. “As a company that always strives to bring our customers the next breakthrough in sustainable design, we’re excited to see how many of the brand leaders we currently work with will utilize this new material in meeting their sustainability and performance goals.”

For more than a decade, Clear Lam has invested extensively in research and development to commercialize new packaging technologies that minimize the impact on the environment. These efforts include three product lines developed for Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear™ program: Flexible and Rigid Packaging made from renewable raw materials, bioplastics, cellophane and paper (not petroleum-based feedstocks); Flexible and Rigid Packaging made with recycled plastic or paper; and Lightweighting Materials to eliminate heavy cans, bottles and jars.


Asia will have the largest capacity for bio-based PLA resins by 2020

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Asia will have the largest capacity for bio-based PLA resins by 2020. Worldwide PLA capacity is estimated to rise from 182,000 metric tons a year in 2011 to 721,000 metric tons in 2020, with Asian capacity projected to be just under half, with more than 350,000 metric tons, according to research from Thailand’s National Innovation Agency and the Hürth, Germany-based Nova Institute GmbH, presented at a recent conference in Thailand.

North America currently dominates PLA production, accounting for two-thirds of global capacity with over 120,000 metric tons, and that’s projected to grow to about 200,000 metric tons by 2020.

“The incentives, the packages form the governments that have been set in place, is one part of [why Asian capacity will grow rapidly] ,” said Wolfgang Baltus, the senior project advisor for the Bangkok-based NIA, noting that Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in the region have government support for bio-based materials of all sorts.

“It is also of course the raw materials they have here,” said Baltus, in a speech and interview at the Flexpo Bangkok conference, held Sept. 17-19, in Thailand. Flexpo is sponsored by Houston-based Chemical Market Resources Inc.

Baltus, who is part of a Nova Institute expert committee on bioplastics trends and helps the think tank estimate Asian production, said the figures will be part of an upcoming Nova report.

In his Flexpo presentation, he said the Asian domestic market demand for PLA remains weak, and that could mean that much of the added PLA production capacity in Asia will be exported.

Thailand is hoping to become a bioplastics hub. The country’s largest plastics maker PTT Chemical Public Co. Ltd., for example, last year bought a 50 percent of major American PLA maker Natureworks LLC, and the Thai government in 2008 began committing substantial research funding to bioplastics.

Natureworks currently makes 85 percent of the world’s PLA, and even with global expansions by others, will still likely have more than 50 percent of global capacity by 2020, Baltus said.

The research also showed that Chinese PLA resin production volumes “collapsed” between 2007 and 2011, as companies there had problems with the quality of their lactic acid, a key building block of PLA, Baltus said.

Chinese exports of PLA dropped from 4,400 metric tons in 2007 to 237 metric tons in 2009, and remained at those low levels in 2010 and 2011. That has boosted Chinese imports of PLA from about 1,200 metric tons in 2007 to 4,000 metric tons last year, he said.

Baltus said the report was developed with extensive interviews with more than 20 companies in the PLA production chain.


European consortium tackles food waste with a €3.9 million project

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Biopac announces a leading role in ISA-Pack an international consortium which has secured a €3 million grant from the European Commission to develop innovative packaging to reduce food spoilage. ISA-Pack aims to develop fully sustainable packaging for fresh foods to extend shelf life, improve quality and reduce waste. Perishable fresh food wastage in the supply chain is estimated to be approximately 10%. ISA-PACK seeks to reduce this wastage by more than 50%.

Stretch wrap packaging produced from microbes that feed on sustainable natural materials may have the answer to high performance protection stretch film packaging.  Intelligent indicator systems that can be directly printed onto packaging materials will also be investigated to combine time / temperature indicators (to monitor bacterial growth) with freshness indicators.

The ISA-Pack project is funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme bringing together research and development effort from five countries.  European companies and research organisations will collaborate over a three year period to create innovative sustainable materials, accurate and reliable indicator systems and cost benefits to both supply chain and consumer.

Mark Brigden of Biopac says “For retailers ISA-Pack has the potential to extend shelf life and reduce wastage of fresh foods. The opportunity to combine the use of sustainable materials and create significant supply chain benefits in extending shelf life is a major leap forward in fresh food packaging.”

This advanced research keeps Europe at the forefront of packaging innovation. The project will invite food processors, retailers and consumers to participate in shaping this breakthrough programme.

The ISA-Pack project comprises the following partners:




Metabolix to Present Data Showing that New Biobased PHA Polymeric Modifiers Significantly Improve Performance Characteristics of PVC

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Metabolix, Inc.  an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on delivering sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, today announced that new biobased PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) copolymers significantly improve the mechanical and environmental performance characteristics of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is a polymer with a diverse use pattern ranging from construction materials to medical applications and an estimated global demand of approximately 35 million metric tons per year. Dr. Yelena Kann, Ph.D., senior polymer scientist at Metabolix, will present the findings in a presentation titled "New Biobased PHA Rubber Copolymers for PVC Modification" at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Vinyltec 2012 conference on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

Metabolix developed a series of PHA copolymers and demonstrated that they were miscible with PVC resins. Based on miscibility and performance requirements, Metabolix researchers created specific compositions of PHA copolymers to improve plasticization, impact and processing modification of rigid and flexible PVC.

  • In plasticization, PHA copolymers performed as high molecular weight, readily dispersible plasticizers and enabled formulation of compounds with low additive migration, low extractables, volatile loss and staining.
  • In impact modification, PHA rubber copolymers outperformed the best available MBS core/shell impact modifiers and did not compromise PVC transparency or UV stability.
  • As a processing aid, the metal-adhering properties of PHA copolymers promoted homogeneous shear melting of PVC particles and prevented overheating and degradation.

Together, the results demonstrate that these newly developed biobased PHA copolymers can produce significant improvements in the modification and processing of PVC.

"The significant performance benefits PVC gained from blending with PHA copolymers underscores the versatility and value of Metabolix's PHA technology," said Oliver Peoples, chief scientific officer and vice president of research at Metabolix. "These developments will allow us to broaden the addressable market opportunity for our materials, beyond our traditional focus on those markets requiring biodegradation."

Metabolix worked closely with AlphaGary, a Massachusetts-based custom compounder of PVC and TPE/TPO materials, to validate PHA polymeric modifiers in PVC.

"We are pleased with what we have seen in these new polymeric PVC modifiers and are beginning to test them in current high-value applications. They combine effective impact modification with good transparency and are made from renewable feedstocks," said Mark Jozokos, global R&D manager at AlphaGary.

"The introduction of new PHA products for use as modifiers in PVC is a significant step in Metabolix's strategy for biopolymers that focuses on high-value applications," noted Bob Engle, vice president business and commercial development, biopolymers at Metabolix. "We plan to manufacture these new PHA products in the 10KTPA facility that Metabolix is establishing at Antibioticos in Leon, Spain. We expect samples of the polymeric modifiers will be available to ship to customers from this facility in early 2013."

You can find more information about Dr. Kann's presentation at Vinyltec here.


Thinfish Project: In Search Of Smarter Fish Packaging

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In a recent press release, the Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Fish and Seafood (Anfaco) reported the approval of three different projects which were funded by the European Union.

One of the three schemes is the THINFISH project:

Coordinated by the company CRIIMPLA and with the participation of Bulgarian company Sivel Ltd., ANFACO-CECOPESCA and Plastic Technology Centre AIMPLAS.

This project is funded through the European convene Eco-Innovation, which seeks to support projects related to eco-innovative products, techniques, services or processes that aim to prevent or reduce the environmental impacts or contribute to the optimal use of resources.

The main objective of this project is the development and marketing of a new recyclable packaging for fishery products that do not need heat treatment. The results of a previous project COBAPACK will be applied to this project to produce a more environment friendly packaging by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and plastic wastes.

This new package will provide companies a recyclable product obtained partly from renewable sources, versatile in design and with competitive prices.

Therefore, ANFACO-CECOPESCA commits to the innovation and the international collaboration at the highest level of European excellence for the development of new solutions for fishing and aquaculture products, and the food sector in general.


Bioplastics part of the next industrial revolution in Europe

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The European Commission’s recent communication on industrial policy highlights biobased products as a lead market triggering sustainable growth and job creation. „The bioplastics industry represents an important sector of the biobased products market, and our industry is playing its part in shaping this century with industrial processes sourced from renewable raw materials and innovative plastic products with a low carbon profile“, says Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics.

The European Commission’s communication states that „the biobased markets with high demand and favourable legislative framework could make a substantial contribution to the EU’s transformation into a more sustainable economy.

The right legislation and framework conditions will, however, be needed to encourage uptake of renewable raw materials for industrial use [...]“. European Bioplastics warmly welcomes the statement from DG Enterprise.

The bioplastics industry has commercialised new biobased polymers like PLA, PTT or starchbased materials. In a second wave commodity plastics like PE or PET are changing their raw material bases from fossil to renewable. The bioplastic portfolio covers almost everything from short-life compostable to durable engineering applications. „The develoment is driven by leading- edge industry and demand from brands which want to innovate and address sustainability issues like climate change“, explains Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. „

The most relevant question for EU policy makers right now is: ‚Where shall these investments take place?’. Market data from European Bioplastics reveal that the bioplastics production capacity shows its highest growth in South America and Asia. In order to enable a dynamic and well-balanced development and competitiveness of the European industry on the global stage, a supportive framework is needed at EU and Member State level. „We call on the European Commission to implement the proposed Lead Market Inititiative recommendations via specific policy and market measures. They will fuel those innovative industries that Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, sees creating the ‚next industrial revolution’ for Europe“, says von Pogrell.


New Biochemical Product Catalog from Alfa Aesar Includes Over 4,000 Products

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Alfa Aesar, A Johnson Matthey Company, is pleased to introduce the latest addition to its complete range of over 33,000 products. The new biochemical product catalog adds over 4,000 products to the existing offering, providing a more complete selection for a broad spectrum of research applications.

The new range includes a continuously growing variety of materials for biological research including click chemistry reagents, antibodies, growth factors, electrophoresis reagents, enzymes, signal transduction reagents and much more. The bio product line is now available from all of Alfa Aesar’s global offices excluding China.

Alfa Aesar extensively augments the technical content of the bio catalog with application notes, synonym listings and other specification details. The product listings for all hazardous substances are also enhanced with hazard pictograms and newly implemented precautionary and hazard phrases in accordance with Globally Harmonized System (GHS) standards. The bio catalog also includes a convenient product category index in addition to the alphabetical product listing.

All of Alfa Aesar’s products, including labware and equipment, can be accessed at along with up-to-date pricing and availability. Alfa Aesar now truly offers one stop chemical shopping combined with unparalleled customer service.

The Alfa Aesar bio catalog is available by request online at or by contacting your local sales office.



Sphere group as new sole shareholder of Biotec

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the Sphere group purchased all shares in the Biotec Holding GmbH, Emmerich/Germany, that were previously owned by Biome Technologies plc.

Biotec, founded in 1992, specialized in the research, development and production of materials derived from renewable, recyclable and fully biodegradable materials, holds a certain number of patents in the fast-growing sector of bioplastics.

With an annual capacity of more than 20.000 tons Biotec has achieved in 2011 a turnover of 30.1 million Euro (+ 40.6 % compared to previous year) only in Europe. The bioplastic market worldwide shows high growth. As a consequence it is planned that Biotec will review its bioplastic market opportunities worldwide.
As a European leader for household wraps, the Sphere group holds a leading positions in the major food retailing, municipality and trade markets. Sphere designs, manufactures and markets finished products such as refuse bags, frozen-food bags, catering grade cling-film and papers, aluminium trays and aluminium foil.


Purac launches special grade Lactides for coatings

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Purac launches its new range of PURALACT®, special grade Lactides, that offer several benefits for enhancement of coating resins. The main advantage of incorporating PURALACT is a significantly reduced resin viscosity. This provides the opportunity to formulate coatings with higher solid content, lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) and improved 'ease-of-use'. Purac's new PURALACT is 100% biobased, resulting in coating resins with a lower carbon footprint.

PURALACT is thoroughly tested in several coating formulations. Depending on the type of coating and its specific use, the new products enhance coating performance by improving properties, such as; stiffness, adhesion, impact resistance, balance between hardness and flexibility, chemical resistance, gloss and gloss retention, and tuning of drying time. Produced on a large industrial scale by Purac, the new range is commercially available worldwide.

Produced from biobased Lactic Acid, PURALACT has a significantly lower CO2 footprint than the fossil-based building blocks most frequently used to produce coating resins. Replacing these traditional products with PURALACT reduces the carbon footprint of both coating resin and final coating.

Purac's Vice President Chemical & Pharma, Marco Bootz comments: "The use of PURALACT offers significant opportunities to improve coating performance and increases the sustainability of the entire value chain for coatings. PURALACT is the next generation biobased building block for the coating industry."