Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Cereplast Enters Into Distribution Agreement With ALBIS PLASTIC GMBH

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Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics, today announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Hamburg, Germany-based ALBIS PLASTIC GMBH to supply Cereplast bioplastic resins to the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Cereplast has shipped the first purchase order to ALBIS PLASTIC, who will distribute both Cereplast Compostables® resins, with an emphasis on blown film grades and blow molding grades, as well as Cereplast Sustainables® resins, including the Cereplast Hybrid Resins® product line. This contract signifies the growing demand in Europe for bioplastic resins, and expands Cereplast's foothold on the continent.


"Cereplast offers an excellent range of sustainable plastics which complements Albis' extensive green portfolio perfectly," stated Ian Mills, managing director of Albis UK.


Toray and Gevo Sign Bio-Paraxylene Offtake Agreement for the World's 1st Pilot-scale Fully Renewable, Bio-based Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Production

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Toray Industries, Inc. (headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President, CEO & COO: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereafter referred to as "Toray") in partnership with Gevo, Inc. (head office: Englewood, Colorado, U.S.; CEO: Patrick R. Gruber; hereafter referred to as "Gevo"), a leading company in renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels, signed an offtake agreement for renewable bio-paraxylene(bioPX) produced at Gevo's planned pilot plant. The agreement will enable Toray to carry out pilot-scale production of fully renewable, bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (fully bioPET), of its fibers and films for the first time in the world. Toray also plans to offer samples to its business partners, who are the end-users, in 2013 for market evaluation.


Gevo, the first company in the world to begin commercial production of bio-based isobutanol (bioIsobutanol), operates a plant that produces the product employing its highly effective proprietary production technology. Gevo has also succeeded in the synthesis of bioPX at the laboratory level utilizing conventional chemical processes. Since there is great interest in bioPET from end-users, Gevo has a plan to build a pilot plant for production of bioPX. The production of bioPET for end-users however requires a partner who is able to convert bioPX into bioPET.


Using terephthalic acid synthesized from Gevo's bioPX and commercially available renewable mono ethylene glycol (MEG), Toray succeeded in lab-level PET polymerization to produce fibers and films samples in 2011.


With the signing of the offtake agreement between Gevo and Toray, the companies are able to integrate the supply chain to convert bioPX into bioPET for end users. Since Toray has the priority right to purchase the bioPX produced at the pilot plant, it will be able to gain a head-start in securing scale up technology for bioPET polymerization, fibers and films.


Commercially available PET is currently produced from terephthalic acid and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), both of which are derived from petroleum. Around 50 million tons of PET is produced worldwide annually for producing fibers, films and bottles. Moreover, PET, which has outstripped other polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene in global demand, has become an essential polymer in our daily life. Due to exhaustion of oil resources and hike of oil price, producing PET from fully renewable feedstock has become a crucial challenge. Toray has been engaged in tackling this major issue by integrating polymer chemistry, organic synthesis chemistry and biotechnology.


Under its management policy that all business strategies must place priority on the global environment in an effort to help realize a sustainable low-carbon society, Toray has been promoting the development of bio-based polymers while expanding the businesses related to bio-based materials such as poly-lactic acid (PLA). The expansion of bio-based polymers is an important initiative central to the Group's Green Innovation projects under its new medium-term management program “Project AP-G 2013”.


Under the corporate slogan "Innovation by Chemistry", Toray will enhance its efforts to develop advanced materials to contribute to the progress of a sustainable, recycling society.


SDK to Start Producing Bio-based Biodegradable Plastic

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Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), at its Tatsuno Plant in Hyogo Prefecture, has succeeded in producing biodegradable polyester resin BionolleTM on a commercial scale using bio-derived succinic acid.  SDK has started providing film-grade samples of this product.

BionolleTM, which can be fully decomposed after use into water and carbon dioxide, has been used in compost bags and mulch films.  To reduce CO2 emissions and better protect the environment, SDK has worked to use bio-derived raw materials.  Specifically, SDK has developed the volume production technology for BionolleTM that uses succinic acid made from starches or sugars.  This means that about 50% of main raw materials for BionolleTM are now bio-derived.  As for Bionolle StarclaTM, in which starch is mixed with BionolleTM, the ratio can be increased to about 70%. Both of BionolleTM and Bionolle StarclaTM  have been certified compostable by OK Compost and DIN CERTCO according to EN13432.


The product is being test-marketed to some customers, including Natur-Tec®, a division of Northern Technologies International Corp. (NASDAQ: NTIC), a U.S.-based global bioplastics products manufacturer. The company is already using conventional grades of BionolleTM for certain high-volume consumer goods packaging applications developed by Harita-NTI Ltd, its joint-venture in India. Vineet Dalal, Vice President and Director of Global Market Development for NTIC’s Natur-Tec® Business Unit, said, "Our customers are increasingly demanding higher biobased carbon content in our materials, in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint of their finished products. We are excited at the possibility of incorporating SDK’s bio-derived BionolleTM into our compounds and converted plastic products, to meet this burgeoning market demand.”


In view of the increasing international awareness of the need for environmental protection, SDK aims to expand the sales of BionolleTM biodegradable plastic based on bio-derived raw materials.  By the end of this year, SDK will be able to secure the supply of 10,000-20,000 tons a year of bio-derived succinic acid.  The company will therefore step up its activity to meet new demand.


Gevo and Beta Renewables (Chemtex/TPG) Sign Agreement to Develop Integrated Process for Cellulosic Isobutano

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Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company, signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Chemtex and TPG, to develop an integrated process for the production of bio-based isobutanol from cellulosic, non-food biomass.


The project would integrate Beta’s PROESATM technology and Gevo’s GIFT® and ATJ technologies, with anticipated production plants to be located where cellulosic feedstocks such as switchgrass, miscanthus, agriculture residues and other biomass will be readily available. The agreement also anticipates commercialization of the technology upon project success, which could enable renewably sourced, competitively priced jet fuel as well as other chemicals and fuels made from isobutanol.


“Gevo has always said that we are feedstock agnostic and, when the technology and feedstock supply chain are ready, we would use our isobutanol process with cellulosic feedstocks. This allows us to access a larger carbohydrate pool as feedstock for isobutanol production, which help keep costs down and enables production facilities in regions of the world rich in biomass resources,” said Gevo COO and President Chris Ryan in a presentation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s BIOMASS 2012 conference. “With the success of our Luverne, Minn. plant startup and Beta Renewables’ cellulosic sugar technology, we’re ready to position Gevo to be on the forefront of cellulosic isobutanol and isobutanol derivatives, such as jet fuel, through the integration of the companies’ respective technology platforms. Beta Renewables is a leader in cellulosic conversion technology and we look forward to a range of collaborations, including partnering with Beta to meet the requirements of the U.S. government’s Defense Production Act Title III project.”


“This is the latest example of Beta Renewables’ PROESA technology enabling lower-cost delivery of bio products – whether cellulosic ethanol from our first-in-the-world, commercial-scale plant in Crescentino, or from GraalBio’s multiple plants; from jet fuel produced in partnership with Gevo or from other bio-based chemicals. Gevo is a leader in the fermentation of sugar into isobutanol and a great partner for this effort,” said Dario Giordano, Chief Technology Officer of Beta Renewables and M&G Corporate Director.

The companies are evaluating future opportunities to partner on other U.S. and international projects with a long-term goal of developing a licensable package for future interested third parties.


Beta Renewables is currently building a 60,000 metric ton (approximately 20 million gallon) per year bio-refinery in Crescentino, Italy that will produce cellulosic ethanol using its PROESA™ process as well as ‘green’ electricity. Construction has begun and plant startup is targeted for the end of 2012.


About Gevo

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


About Beta Renewables

Beta Renewables is the leader in making non-food cellulosic biomass practical and cost-competitive for the production of advanced biofuels and biochemicals. Beta Renewables is a unique $350 million (€250M) joint venture formed from the Chemtex division of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi and TPG. The company benefits from over 60 years of success in process development and commercializing hundreds of plants worldwide. Beta Renewables has invested over $200 million (€140M) in the development of the PROESA™ process. The company is currently building the world’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Crescentino, Italy, expected to start operations by the end of 2012.


Aemetis Announces Acquisition of Cilion, Inc., and California Ethanol Plant

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Aemetis, Inc. (OTCPK: AMTX), an advanced fuels and renewable chemicals company, announced today that the company has acquired Cilion, Inc., including a 55 million gallon per year (mgy) ethanol production plant located in Keyes, CA.

In 2010, Aemetis entered into a multi-year project and lease agreement with Cilion to upgrade, restart, and operate the Cilion biofuels plant. Aemetis successfully retrofitted and then restarted the plant in April 2011, and has achieved continuous operations for more than one year.


The acquisition of Cilion advances Aemetis’ plans to utilize the existing ethanol plant’s infrastructure to create a next-generation biorefinery producing advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals in addition to ethanol and animal feed products.

In addition to the Keyes, California ethanol plant, Cilion’s other assets include spare parts and equipment that will be used at the plant.


In 2011, Aemetis acquired Zymetis, Inc., a biotechnology company with a patented organism that enables the production of renewable advanced biofuels and biochemicals.

“The acquisition of the Keyes plant accelerates our plan to expand this world-class ethanol production facility into a next-generation biorefinery capable of producing advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals,” said Eric McAfee, Chairman and CEO of Aemetis.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Third Eye Capital, Aemetis’ existing senior lender, provided a $15 million term loan and an $18 million working capital financing facility to assist Aemetis in the acquisition and to provide ongoing working capital.


“Our substantial ongoing commitment to Aemetis is demonstrative of our belief in the high quality assets and first-class team built under Eric McAfee’s leadership,” said Arif Bhalwani, President and CEO of Third Eye Capital. “The acquisition of the Keyes plant will allow Aemetis to accelerate the next phase of its renewable fuels and chemicals strategy.”

Specific details of the Cilion acquisition can be found in the Form 8-K filed by Aemetis with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 10, 2012.


About Aemetis

Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Aemetis produces advanced fuels. Aemetis operates a 55 million gallon biofuels plant in California, and built and operates a nameplate 50 million gallon per year renewable chemicals and advanced fuels production facility on the east coast of India. In 2011, Aemetis received a California Energy Commission grant to commercialize technology that enables the production of advanced biofuels from both non-food and traditional feedstocks. For additional information about Aemetis, please visit



Alliance formed to produce environmentally-friendly packaging

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International sustainable resins supplier, Cardia Bioplastics Limited, and leading rigid plastic packaging company, Alto Packaging, have announced a strategic partnership to produce high performance packaging solutions with environmental benefits.


Alto Food Packaging is renowned for delivering exceptional innovation in rigid packaging solutions for fresh food. A key part of the Company’s innovation is based on principles of sustainability. As a result, Alto is proud to be in collaboration with Cardia Bioplastics to produce high performance packaging solutions, manufactured with Cardia’s novel thermoplastic starch resins.


“Packaging is an integral part of modern day living and we use it in nearly every thinkable industry,” said Dr Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia. “For this reason, the development of packaging solutions with improved environmental properties, through the use of renewable components, is important for the packaging industry to consider.

“By incorporating our thermoplastic starch resins into their packaging systems, Alto Packaging is taking significant steps to reduce the environmental footprint of their packaging products,” said Dr Glatz.

Initially focusing on fresh food packaging, the new packaging will be manufactured with Cardia’s bioplastic resins, which have a higher renewable content and lower carbon footprint than conventional resins. Furthermore, they are compatible with current plastic recycle processes and will be food safe compliant.


Cardia’s Biohybrid™ resins combine renewable thermoplastics with oil-based polymer material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and to reduce carbon footprint. The renewable material is derived from corn crop grown for industrial use.

Ron Starnes, Technical Manager of Alto Food Packaging, said: “Alto Packaging is proud to be working in partnership with Cardia Bioplastics to produce high performance packaging solutions with improved environmental attributes.”


“We are serious about creating a more sustainable future through the use of more renewable materials, and we are looking forward to working with Cardia Bioplastics to bring more environmentally-friendly packaging solutions to the market, in Australia and in New Zealand through Alto and associated group companies,” Mr Starnes said.


About Alto Food Packaging
Alto Food Packaging has been operating for over 62 years and today has eight plants in New Zealand and four plants in Australia. The Company has over 300 employees and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Pact Group which has 55 factories and employs more than 3,000 people throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Alto Packaging is now one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading rigid plastic packaging companies, specialising in extrusion and thermoforming; blow moulding and injection moulding for use in a wide range of market areas, including fresh food; beverage; personal care and health; industrial and technical. Further information available at


About Cardia Bioplastics
Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX: CNN), through its 100%-owned subsidiary Cardia Bioplastics Australia Pty Ltd, is a developer and manufacturer of sustainable resins and finished products derived from renewable resources for the global packaging and plastic products industries. Cardia Bioplastics holds a strong patent portfolio of sustainable resin technologies. The Company was established in 2002 and its main headquarters are in Melbourne, Australia. The Product Development Centre and manufacturing plant is in Nanjing, China and there are also offices in America, Europe, Malaysia and China.


Cargill delivers the first-ever sustainable verified rapeseed oil to Unilever

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Cargill has supplied the first-ever sustainable verified rapeseed oil to Unilever with an initial consignment covering five percent of Unilever’s rapeseed oil needs. In the next three years Cargill’s European refined oils and grain & oilseed businesses will be able to meet all of Unilever’s sustainable rapeseed oil needs, which is used in products including margarines and mayonnaises. As a strategic supplier, Cargill is playing a key role in supporting Unilever’s ambitious target to source 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials as part of its Sustainable Living Plan by 2020.


Cargill and Unilever worked in partnership to verify German oilseed rape production against the Unilever sustainable agriculture code, building on an initial pilot project started in 2008. A positive outcome of the work is that Cargill and Unilever now have established a repeatable model that can be applied to drive sustainability within other oilseed crops in the future.


Through this commitment on rapeseed, Unilever, Cargill and farmers will agree annual improvement plans beyond those required by mandated European good agricultural practice. This will include optimizing agricultural inputs and agreeing biodiversity action plans to support environmental and habitat enhancement. Such actions will involve increasing available habitat for insects, including wild bees.


"Unilever has a bold ambition: to double the size of its business whilst halving the environmental impact of its products. In 2011 we increased the volume of sustainable sourced agricultural raw materials to 24 percent from 10 percent in 2010. This shows we are making good progress. However, to achieve our ambition, it is vital that we work in closer partnership with our strategic suppliers like Cargill,” says David Pendlington, Unilever Procurement Operations Manager - Sustainable Sourcing. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the strength and commitment of our partnership. Cargill is a strategic partner for our oils and foods ingredients. We recognize their leadership role in converting to sustainable oils,” Pendlington added.


“Our partnership with Unilever is an example of both our companies’ strong commitment to supporting responsible supply chains,” said Juergen Keil. Supply chain director, Cargill Refined Oils Europe. “We are combining our supply chain expertise and industry knowledge to provide customers with choices to meet their particular requirements. We are very pleased to partner with Unilever and see this as a big step forward towards sustainability in rapeseed oil and other oilseed crops.”



Eco-lingerie: a RadiciGroup and Ritex SpA proposal for sustainable intimatewear

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In Paris, at the summer Interfilière (7/8/9 July), the world’s leading fabric trade fair for intimatewear, beachwear and loungewear, RadiciGroup and Ritex SpA are launching a product that is both high-quality and eco-friendly: a lace fabric from Ritex SpA – an Italian company and European leader in lingerie embroidery, which has among its customers prestigious names such as Chantelle and La Perla, just to cite a few – manufactured using CornLeaf, a yarn made by RadiciGroup from Ingeo™ polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer, a 100% natural material made from renewable vegetable resources.

During the last few years, the fashion industry has made progress in its commitment to developing environmentally friendly products. There has been an increase in the number of big fashion brands that have become aware of not only the environmental impact of the fashion business but also the importance to get final consumers involved and increase their environmental awareness, so as to steer the fashion business towards sustainability. The new lace fabric manufactured with CornLeaf is an example of how RadiciGroup and Ritex SpA, with the collaboration of yarn twister Alcafil Srl, translate their commitment into concrete action on the front of sustainable innovation. The new product will allow the two Italian partners to meet the growing market demand for low environmental impact fabrics that do not compromise on high performance. 

CornLeaf yarn properties …
CornLeaf is a bacteriostatic solution-dyed yarn made of Ingeo™ polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer, a 100% natural material made from renewable vegetable resources. Because of its properties and the production process used, CornLeaf fully meets eco-sustainability standards, such as lower CO2 emissions and reduced water and energy consumption. Solution dyeing during the spinning stage means that the CornLeaf production process requires less water and energy compared to traditional dyeing and finishing. The yarn is available in a wide range of lightfast, wash-resistant colours. Antimicrobial functionality is achieved through the use of HEIQ materials, by incorporating a special silver micro-compound into the fibre. Furthermore, its effectiveness has been certified according to ISO 20743:2007 standards. The compound will not interfere with the compostability of the yarn. In brief CornLeaf combines the advantages of natural fibres with those of synthetics: light weight, tenacity, comfort, UV resistance and safety.

Fabric properties …
Thanks to the use of CornLeaf yarn, the Ritex fabric ensures the highest degree of sustainability together with excellent performance: light weight, softness, durability, excellent colourfastness and a bacteriostatic effect. Since the yarn is derived from a natural raw material, the fabric is anallergic and safe to the skin.



Product sustainability – What is it all about?

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Cefic has released a new publication looking at the sustainability of chemicals and how chemicals can contribute to more sustainable products. Aimed particularly at smaller companies, the guide is written in a way that will help demystify many of the concepts and technical terms used by sustainability experts.


The publication, entitled “Sustainability of products – What it’s all about”, is part of Cefic’s programme to deliver the sustainability vision spelled out in the European chemical industry’s first sustainability report published in May.


Peter Smith, Cefic’s executive director Product Stewardship, said: “If the chemical industry is to help nine billion people live well, within the resources of the planet, we need to find ways to provide the likes of housing, health and hygiene in the most resource-efficient way. This applies not just to products themselves, but to the whole product life cycle – from raw material sourcing to use and final disposal.”


The publication presents approaches that companies can use to make science-based choices when evaluating and developing their product portfolios. Topics covered range from general product stewardship considerations to specific tools and methods, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and environmental footprint methodologies. A “to do” list gives suggestions for first actions to be taken.


Smith added: “Sustainable products provide environmental, social and economic benefits and respect public health, welfare and the environment over their full life cycle. Integrating the different dimensions of sustainability in companies’ decision-making and management processes is crucial to make this happen.”


Download the publication



Cardia Bioplastics receives Halal certification

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Sustainable resins supplier to the global plastics and packaging industries, Cardia Bioplastics Limited, has today announced that it has received Halal certification for its range of Biohybrid™ resins. Derived from renewable sources, these resins now have formal acknowledgement of compliance with Islamic laws regarding safety and quality, allowing them to be used in and by Muslim cultures worldwide.


Dr Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia Bioplastics, explains that the Halal certification is a significant commercial milestone for the Company.

“The Halal symbol has gained significant commercial value across the globe because the underlying principles of the criteria are universal and transcend boundaries of race and religion.


“Quite simply, it provides assurance of absolute quality in the product and manufacturing process,” said Dr Glatz.


“Meeting the strict Halal criteria imposed by Islamic Law is universal recognition that our Biohybrid™ resins are safe to use in food packaging applications; are manufactured hygienically using high quality techniques and resources; and that consumers can place trust in our products.


The Halal certification was recently issued to Cardia by the Chinese Islamic Association which is an appointed Halal Certification Body by Halal Malaysia, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). JAKIM is highly recognised throughout the Islamic world and therefore make Cardia’s Halal certification credible in all Muslim countries.


“Malaysian Halal certification opens up a wealth of opportunities for Cardia to market its renewable Biohybrid™ resin technology to the global and rapidly growing Muslim community,” said Dr Glatz.


“It is estimated that 1.6 billion people worldwide follow Muslim teachings, therefore having Halal certification opens up the opportunity for Cardia to significantly increase our market share of the global plastics and packaging industries.


“The potential of Halal certification should not be underestimated; many people assume that the term Halal refers only to food. In fact, the Halal certification can apply to a number of categories, including food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and cosmetic products and in our case, consumables,” Dr Glatz said.


“It is a significant achievement for Cardia, giving us a competitive edge applicable on a global scale.”


LANXESS biodiesel stabilizer successfully tested

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Specialty chemicals company LANXESS has been awarded "no-harm certification" from Arbeitsgemeinschaft Qualitätsmanagement Biodiesel e.V. (AGQM) for its new biodiesel stabilizer Baynox Solution 50%. Working closely with oil corporations in Germany, AGQM (a German consortium for biodiesel quality management) investigated the undesirable side-effects of mixing antioxidants for biodiesel with brand-name diesel and their behavior in combustion engines. The LANXESS antioxidant concentrate passed the numerous tests without any restrictions and has been included by AGQM in the no-harm list.

Baynox Solution 50% is a highly concentrated solution of Baynox, the tried-and-tested biodiesel stabilizer from LANXESS. It combines the benefits of easy handling with the outstanding properties of Baynox. "Baynox Solution 50% meets the demand from countless biodiesel producers for a liquid stabilizer with a high active ingredient content that can also be metered easily," said Ralf Bogan, the product manager in charge at LANXESS Distribution GmbH. "And as we use biodiesel as a solvent for our stabilizers, customers don't need to worry about additional safety requirements in the biodiesel plant."

Baynox antioxidants are ultrapure. Apart from active ingredients and biodiesel, they don't contain alcoholic or mineral solubilizers, sulfur, nitrogen or other additives. The active ingredients combust in the engine without leaving any residues. These additives are dissolved in biodiesel and are supplied accordingly by LANXESS in liquid form. Customers receive a ready-to-use formulation that can be added during biodiesel production, thus eliminating the need for further addition of solvent that is both highly volatile and strong-smelling. Baynox was the first biodiesel stabilizer to be approved by German mineral oil suppliers.

The effective antioxidant Baynox ensures the biofuel obtained from natural raw material remains stable and can therefore be used for longer. The disadvantage of biofuel is that the unsaturated fatty acid structures easily oxidize in contact with atmospheric oxygen. The oxidation of oils and fats through atmospheric oxygen is known as rancidity. Heat, light and other stress factors accelerate this process, making the oil rancid within a short time. The consequences of this oxidation are, on the one hand, a decomposition of the biodiesel into short-chained fatty acids and, on the other, the formation of insoluble polymers (gums). This can cause damage to the engine and the injection system.

"It has been proven that Baynox biodiesel stabilizers do not impair the fuel's chemical or technical properties in any way and that there is no need to worry about impermissible interactions with other fuel components," said Bogan.

Detailed information is available online at