Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

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."


Perstorp supports the growing demand for biodegradable plastics with Capa™ Thermoplastics

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Perstorp is committed to meet the strong growing demand for biodegradable plastics with investments in Capa™ Thermoplastics capacity.

Perstorp’s Capa™ Thermoplastics are ideal products for formulating biodegradable plastics thanks to their possibilities to optimize the level of degradability and the mechanical properties of bioplastics. Capa™ Thermoplastics are widely studied and recognized, for their biodegradability as well as for their easy processing and the added performance given in formulations of other plastics. The biodegradability of Capa™ Thermoplastics comes from the unique chemical structure of the Capa™ polymer that allows it to break down very quickly. Capa™ Thermoplastics blend well with many other polymers.

“Perstorp is committed to supporting the growing demand in biodegradable plastics using Capa™ Thermoplastics and has recently invested in making these competitive products available in large volumes,” says Perstorp Market Development Director Håkan Björnberg.


Fivefold growth of the bioplastics market by 2016

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An above-average positive development in bioplastics production capacity has made past projections obsolete. The market of around 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 will see a fivefold increase in production volumes by 2016 – to an anticipated almost 6 million tonnes. This is the result of the current market forecast, which the industry association European Bioplastics publishes annually in cooperation with the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites from the University of Hannover.

The worldwide production capacity for bioplastics will increase from around 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 to approximately 5.8 million tonnes by 2016. By far the strongest growth will be in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. Especially the so-called ‘drop-in’ solutions, i.e. biobased versions of bulk plastics like PE and PET, that merely differ from their conventi- onal counterparts in terms of their renewable raw material base, are building up large capaci- ties. Leading the field is partially biobased PET, which is already accounting for approximately 40 percent of the global bioplastics production capacity. Partially biobased PET will continue to extend this lead to more than 4.6 million tonnes by 2016. That would correspond to 80 per- cent of the total bioplastics production capacity. Following PET is biobased PE with 250,000 tonnes, constituting more than 4 percent of the total production capacity.


Global Prod Capacity2016_en

“But also biodegradable plastics are demonstrating impressive growth rates. Their production capacity will increase by two-thirds by 2016,”states Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. Leading contributors to this growth will be PLA and PHA, each of them accounting for 298,000 tonnes (+60 percent) and 142,000 tonnes (+700 percent) respectively.

“The enormous growth makes allowance for the constantly increasing demand for sustainable solutions in the plastics market. Eventually, bioplastics have achieved an established position in numerous application areas, from the packaging market to the electronics sector and the automotive industry”, says von Pogrell.

A disturbing trend to be observed is the geographic distribution of production capacities. Europe and North America remain interesting as locations for research and development and also important as sales markets. However, establishment of new production capacities is favoured in South America and Asia. “European Bioplastics invites European policy makers to convert their declared interest into concrete measures. “We are seeing many general sup- portive statements at EU level and in the Member States”, says Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics. “There is, however, a lack of concrete measures. If Europe wants to profit from growth at all levels of the value chain in our industry, it is high time the correspon- ding decisions are made.”

For a more in-depth impression of the world of bioplastics, visit the 7th European Bioplastics Conference on 6 and 7 November in Berlin. With over 400 experts on hand, the European Bioplastics Conference is the leading industry event in Europe.

Market data charts can be downloaded in English and German here at

Moreover, deeper insights and extensive additional data are provided in the complete market study of the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites of Hannover University. These will be available at the institute soon.


Cereplast starts Selling First Hybrid Resins Application in India

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helmet In August, Cereplast opened a corporate office in Hyderabad, capital of the Indian state Andhra Pradesh, to service its partners in South Asia and appointed a Technical Services Engineer to provide on-site services. The presence in India along with a full time support team has enabled Cereplast to evaluate new opportunities including working closely with several corporations specialized in plastic durable applications. The first application to be commercialized in India will be safety helmets made of Sustainable Biopropylene H-101.

The resins will be delivered by A.R.M.Y India, Cereplast's partner in Hyderabad who has begun importing resins from Cereplast following the press conference held in early September.

Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, commented "We are excited by the growth opportunities in South Asia, and are committed to supporting our expansion in the region, particularly in India. We are pleased by this first successful order from our partner A.R.M.Y. and we are optimistic that additional orders will follow."

Mr. Scheer continued, "India is a market with a rapidly growing demand for bioplastic alternatives to conventional plastics, and we are poised to take advantage of this opportunity in the second most populous country in the world. We anticipate that this will become a major market for Cereplast."


€ 1.7 million to renewable barrier material

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The company Xylophane has been granted € 1.7 million from the EU program, LIFE+. Within the framework of the four-year project, RenewPACK, Xylophane shall show industrial production, use of the material for food packaging and demonstrate the environmental benefits of the packaging material.

"The support that we are obtaining through LIFE+ is extremely valuable to us since it makes it possible to scale-up the technology. In turn, this also means that we are one step closer to a commercial product and that our customers can benefit from the advantages of our renewable barrier material,” says Managing Director of Xylophane, Håkan Grubb. “We are already seeing major interest from our customers within the packaging industry and from foodstuff producers in both Europe and North America where we have several ongoing cooperative projects. Naturally, we are open to additional contacts with players and companies that want to participate in the industrial phase and continued development of the company," adds Håkan.
Today's barrier material a threat to the environment The barrier materials that are used in food packaging today, primarily aluminium foil and synthetic plastics, have a major negative impact on the environment. Aluminium foil in multi-layer packaging is difficult to recycle and requires a lot of energy to produce, and oil-based plastics create carbon-dioxide emissions and increase the greenhouse effect.

There are environmentally-friendly alternatives
Xylophane's renewable barrier material is an environmentally-friendly alternative to aluminium foil and oil-based plastics. The material is made from the natural polymer, xylan, which is created from waste products from agriculture such as grain husks. By adding a thin layer of the material to paper or cardboard it is possible to obtain very good barrier properties against oxygen, fat, mineral oils and other volatile organic contaminantes. The material is renewable, biologically degradable and can be easily managed in the recycling system after its life cycle. Examples of suitable usage areas are for the packaging of dry soups and sauces, fat products such as pet food, or cereals and pasta that are packaged in cardboard packaging made from recycled fibres.

Background facts Many foods need to be protected with the help of functional packaging materials where barrier materials are used to stop oxygen from penetrating the packaging and destroying the product. In addition, they can stop fat in the product from causing grease stains on the outside of the packaging and by hindering substances that are hazardous to health in the recycled fibre cartons from contaminating the foods during storage. What is LIFE+?

LIFE+ is the EU's financial instrument for investing in the environment. The purpose of LIFE+ is to contribute to developing, implementing, monitoring and providing information about the EU's environmental policies by co-financing pilot and demonstration projects that can provide added value to Europe.


Roquette commits itself to the development of a new generation of vegetable proteins

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proteov More than 9 billion people by 2050: the challenges of global population growth are difficult to exaggerate. Plant-based raw materials have a critical role to play. In response to this reality, the Roquette group has decided to strengthen its position as a major player in the development of plant-based proteins by creating a dedicated research programme, called PROTEOV®.

Roquette, a biorefiner of international scale, has been processing plant-based raw materials for over 75 years during which it  has played a significant role in the development of their value and effectiveness of all of the constituents. The PROTEOV® research programme was launched in 2011 and is dedicated to the development of high-value nutritional and functional protein solutions. Coordinated by Roquette’s Research and Development Centre in Lestrem, northern France, the programme provides the company with a major new resource. This will rapidly complement and reinforce Roquette’s current plant-derived protein offer in the Nutrition and Health fields (human and animal nutrition in general and sports, weight management/slimming , clinical and infant nutrition in particular).

Anne Cortier, Director of the Nutrition and Health Programmes, explains:  “The PROTEOV® programme aims to provide our customers with a range of plant-derived proteins that both meet  expectations in terms of nutritional and functional benefits but also provide the more environmentally-friendly solutions obtainable with alternatives to animal protein. The research programme has the financial, technical and human resources to match Roquette Group’s ambitions, i e multi-disciplinary teams, laboratories, pilot production areas, application centres and pre-industrial units. In addition, PROTEOV® fits into the process of open innovation. The objective is to pool skills and expertise in order to speed up the marketing of new products.”

The initial work enabled the PROTEOV® teams to deepen skills in protein characterization from analytical, sensory, nutritional and functional standpoints. Concrete results are about to emerge with the launch in the coming weeks of new nutritional solutions.

“With an average annual growth of 5% in volume terms over the last 3 years1, the plant-based protein market has to satisfy ever-increasing consumer demand. The ability to meet this demand depends on new plant-derived sources delivering reliable, sustainable and affordable alternatives to animal proteins or soybeans. Consumers want products that are healthy and sustainable and that at the same time offer an attractive taste and texture. The PROTEOV® programme will strengthen the pea-based biorefinery industry, in which Roquette is a global leader.”, points out Bruno Gehin, Head of the PROTEOV® Programme.

Featuring a production capacity potential of over 600,000 tons of protein, the Group has developed over 50 years, a real expertise in the field of plant-based proteins. A processes and applications pioneer, the Group owns many patents. Its exceptional range of products and protein solutions make it one of the major players in the plant-derived proteins market.


BASF and CSM establish 50-50 joint venture company for biobased succinic acid

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BASF and Purac, a subsidiary of CSM, are establishing a joint venture for the production and sale of biobased succinic acid. The company will be called Succinity GmbH and will be operational in 2013. The establishment of Succinity GmbH is subject to filing with the relevant competition authorities. The company headquarters will be in Düsseldorf, Germany.

BASF and CSM have been conducting research under a joint development agreement on succinic acid since 2009. The complementary strengths in fermentation and downstream processing led to the development of a sustainable and highly efficient manufacturing process based on a proprietary microorganism. The bacterium used is Basfia succiniciproducens which produces succinic acid through natural processes and is capable of metabolizing a variety of renewable feedstocks into succinic acid. The new process combines high efficiency with the use of renewable raw materials and the fixation of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in the production of succinic acid. This makes biobased succinic acid an economically and ecologically attractive alternative to petrochemical raw materials.

The demand for succinic acid is anticipated to grow strongly in the years ahead, driven mainly by bioplastics, chemical intermediates, solvents, polyurethanes and plasticizers. The two companies are currently modifying an existing fermentation facility, at Purac's Montmélo site near Barcelona, Spain, for the production of succinic acid. This plant, which will commence operations in late 2013 with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons of succinic acid, will put the new joint venture company in a leading position in the global marketplace. This is complemented by plans for a second large-scale facility with a capacity of 50,000 tons of succinic acid to enable the company to respond to the expected increase in demand. The final investment decision for this facility will be made following a successful market introduction.

"Our strategy clearly focuses on innovations for a sustainable future. Chemistry driven innovations get their clues from megatrends, such as the shift to renewable raw materials. The development of a succinic acid production process based on fermentation in cooperation with Purac is a good example of this strategy being put into practice" said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF.

"CSM is developing into a leading provider of biobased ingredients and solutions. Our joint venture with BASF for the production and sale of succinic acid is a milestone in
this journey. The succinic acid project is fully in line with our strategy to develop commercially attractive biobased alternatives using renewable and sustainable resources"
explained Gerard Hoetmer, Chief Executive Officer of CSM.

"Our cooperation with Purac to produce biobased succinic acid is a perfect example of how we enable our customers in many industries to develop sustainable solutions" said Sanjeev Gandhi, President, BASF Intermediates division.

"We know from many discussions with customers and samples we sent them that the demand for biobased succinic acid for a.o. biodegradable plastics is set to grow faster and more strongly than expected earlier" said Fabrizio Rampinelli, President of Purac, and added: "We look forward to providing a high-quality product globally to customers in this industry at our usual high service levels."


Evonik launches next-generation biofuel component

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Evonik launches next-generation biofuel component
  • Bio-MTBE produced at Marl site since March 2012 
  • Bio-MTBE makes it easier for fuel producers to comply with EU biofuel directives ("biofuel quotas") 
  • CO2 emissions from combustion of gasoline reduced 
  • Does not compete with food production 
  • Implementation of EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EU (RED) in all EU member states is expected to provide opportunities for growth

With a biological version of a premium antiknock agent in its portfolio (methyl tert-butyl ether, or MTBE), Evonik now offers oil companies a new option for significantly increasing the biocontent of their fuels and reducing their carbon footprint. "Bio-MTBE is the only commercially available, next-generation biofuel component for gasoline in Germany," explains Dr. Rainer Fretzen, who heads the Performance Intermediates Business Line at Evonik. "And it doesn't compete with food production, either." Bio-MTBE is produced in Marl (Germany) along with conventional MTBE.

Evonik produces Bio-MTBE from isobutene and biomethanol. Because it is made from raw glycerine, which is itself a co-product of the biodiesel manufacturing process, biomethanol is classified as a waste product according to the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED)—doubling its value for determining bioenergy content. That makes Bio-MTBE a promising option for fuel manufacturers looking to meet EU specifications for biofuel use and CO2 reduction.

MTBE has been a trusted antiknock agent for decades, and Bio-MTBE possesses the same technical advantages as its conventional counterpart: high energy density (86 percent of gasoline), low vapor pressure, low oxygen content, and very low solubility in water. That translates to excellent compatibility with other gasoline components and to its well-known positive effect on gasoline quality. It also means that Bio-MTBE can be handled safely in refineries and storage tanks and be conveyed by pipeline.
While Evonik has primarily sold Bio-MTBE in Germany and the Netherlands, implementation of EU directives in other member states promises additional growth potential for this next-generation biofuel component. If needed, Evonik could shift the full capacity of its plant (550,000 metric tons per year) over to production of Bio-MTBE.


Plastic Articles that Safely Biodegrade in Water

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DaniMer Scientific recently introduced a new film resin which has received certification as “Biodegradable in Marine Environments” from SSCCP, an internationally recognized research institute located in Milan, Italy. This unique characteristic offers diverse end of life options to the consumer while providing confirmation of environmental safety for converted film articles if it finds itself in a stream or our oceans.

This recent certification follows previous recognition for DaniMer's film resins, including Vincotte OK Compost, OK Home, OK Water and OK Soil certifications along with SSCCP certification for Anaerobic Digestion. These certifications confirm degradation attributes of the DaniMer 112291 while providing the film converting industry with a biodegradable resin unlike any other in the world. In addition to the environmental aspects of the film grade resin, the DaniMer product enables a soft, highly flexible, puncture resistant film that offers an excellent surface for printing.

“The Biodegradability in Marine Environment certification is an important breakthrough for the bioplastics industry,” says Scott Tuten, Senior Vice President of DaniMer Scientific. “Most importantly, this certification confirms that certain biodegradable plastics can offer multiple end of life options which is a unique value and broadens the markets we serve.”

For more information about DaniMer Scientific’s products or to view DaniMer’s OK Compost certificates, please visit

MGP Unveils New Line of Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Resins

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MGP, a long-established innovator of grain- and other plant-based ingredient solutions, has announced the development of Terratek® BD, a new line of biodegradable composite resins. This newest entry in the company’s portfolio of eco-friendly bioplastic products will be introduced at the Sustainable Packaging Forum slated for Sept. 11-13 in Pittsburg, Penn.

“The launching of Terratek® BD represents another major step in MGP’s ongoing commitment to deliver commercially-viable product offerings that help reduce reliance on conventional petroleum-based plastics,” said Mike Parker, bioplastics product development and sales manager. “It provides an ideal alternative for multiple applications wherein the manufacture of fully compostable products is highly desirable.”

Parker emphasized that “among the most unique aspects and advantages” of Terratek® BD is the product’s “unique ability to serve as a cost effective solution for creating heat-tolerant, bio-based compostable products” compared to similar type resins. “We view this as a significant breakthrough in that it can open new doors for the development of end-user products that maintain their physical integrity under moderate to high heat conditions.”

Applications for Terratek® BD include a variety of injection-molded industrial and consumer products such as disposable packaging materials and containers. “This material can be used in many other injection-molded applications including durable products that can benefit from being compostable at the end of their lifespan,” Parker said.

Terratek® BD is produced at MGP’s facility in Onaga, Kan., from a proprietary blend of wheat- and corn-based products, as well as other compostable materials. Natural components derived from renewable grain sources make up the majority of the resins’ content by weight. The smooth, white, pellet-size resins can be easily processed, shaped and colored by finished goods manufacturers to meet their specific product designs and needs.

“All of the materials used in the production of Terratek® BD meet industry standards for fully compostable products,” said Mark Kocour, bioplastics general manager at MGP. “In addition to the excellent heat tolerance displayed by these new resins, they possess outstanding mechanical qualities, including strength and a rare combination of rigidity and pliability. This bolsters our confidence in their ability to be effectively applied toward the manufacture of a growing range of biodegradable consumer packaged goods that are both highly practical and environmentally-friendly.”

In addition to MGP’s new Terratek® BD line, the company produces and markets Terratek® SC, a starch-based bioplastic, and Terratek® WC, made from a combination of fine wood particles and recycled plastic materials.

Made from up to 65 percent renewable material, Terratek® SC is similar to thermoplastics, and can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes for the production of both pliable and hard plastic products. This line of resins is also capable of withstanding temperatures beyond boiling point and can be processed into finished products using conventional and existing technologies.

Wood particles used in the production of Terratek® WC are obtained from waste materials generated by the woodworking industry. Processed to produce a consistent filler/reinforcing product, the use of these particles promotes the reclamation of wood waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills, and ensures that no new trees are cut down to make the product. Available in an injection molding grade, as well as an extrusion grade, Terratek® WC can be used in such applications as decking, furniture parts, structural components, toys and indoor and outdoor decorative items.

“All of the products under our Terratek® brand respond to growing interest in renewable sources to address environmental concerns and curtail dependence on non-renewable synthetic materials,” Parker said. “In this way, MGP is helping the industry and consumers make strides toward lowering their carbon footprint.”


Toppan Printing develops a laminated packaging material using biomass polyethylene film


Toppan Printing develops a laminated packaging material using biomass polyethylene film with a thickness of less than 40µm- New product in the biomass plastic "BIOAXX" series can be used for applications such as food and medicines -

As a new product in its series of BIOAXX products that use biomass plastics, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed a laminated packaging material that uses biomass polyethylene film (biomass PE) with a thickness of less than 40µm. As a flexible packaging material for items such as food and medicines, the launch of mass production is targeted for the spring of 2013.

This product is the first laminated packaging material in Japan to use biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm, which has been achieved through the use of laminating technology that differs from conventional techniques. The product uses plant-derived raw materials but maintains performance equivalent to conventional petroleum-based products in terms of properties such as seal strength and laminating strength.


bioxx candy Samples of the laminated packaging material that uses biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm
Copyright 2012 TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.

Background to development
Biomass plastic is a renewable resource that uses plant-derived raw materials and can be used sustainably. It contributes to the establishment of a sustainable society because it enables a reduction in the volume of oil and other fossil resources used. It is receiving attention as an environmentally friendly material because CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed when the plants are growing, and because the CO2 absorbed during plant growth is considered to offset any CO2 released if the product is incinerated, meaning that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions when compared with petroleum-based products.

In 1991, Toppan Printing began efforts to develop and commercialize packaging materials using biomass plastics as part of its initiatives to mitigate global warming and reduce the use of oil. In 2011, the company was the first in Japan to develop a laminated packaging material using biomass PE with a thickness of more than 100µm. This has been commercialized as a flexible packaging material for liquids and is used in applications such as refill standing pouches for toiletries. Using a laminating technology that differs from conventional ones, Toppan Printing has developed a laminated packaging material that uses biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm. It will be possible to expand the use of this material as flexible packaging in wide ranging fields including food and medicine.

Features of the product
- A thickness of less than 40µm has been achieved with biomass PE
Previous laminated packaging materials using biomass PE have been manufactured using dry lamination where the films are laminated using an adhesive.
With this product, it has been possible to produce biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm by establishing a biomass PE processing technology where extrusion laminating technology is used to produce a thin coat of PE that has been melted to one side of a substrate film.
- Biomass ratio of more than 10% achieved
With the establishment of the biomass PE extrusion processing technology, Toppan Printing has been successful in developing flexible packaging material that has a biomass ratio of at least around 10%.
- Seal qualities and laminate strength equivalent to conventional products
This product maintains quality equivalent to conventional products in terms of properties such as seal and laminate strength.

Future targets
Toppan Printing will continue research and development on this product and aim to begin mass production in the spring of 2013. The company is aiming for sales of billion in fiscal 2015 for this product and related orders.
Toppan Printing will also promote the expansion of the BIOAXX series to other applications such as plastic molded products and plastic cards.


Susterra® Biobased Propanediol Used in Ureamax® Plus and Enprotex® Plus

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susterra_logo DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products today announced that it granted Nam Liong Enterprise Co., Ltd., a license to use its corporate brand with Nam Liong’s Ureamax® Plus TPU films. Ureamax® Plus is used as a membrane in the manufacturing of waterproof and/or breathable textiles and contains a minimum 20 percent by weight of Susterra® biobased propanediol. The brand license can also be used in its Enprotex® Plus waterproof and/or breathable woven fabrics containing at least 20 percent by weight Susterra® content in the TPU or PU-based resin.

Susterra® propanediol is certified 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it attractive for companies seeking to add renewable content to their products. A peer reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA) demonstrates that the production of biobased propanediol offers significant environmental benefits including up to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent less non-renewable energy used in its production vs. petroleum-based glycols.

"We are proud to be working with Nam Liong on this exciting new Susterra® application that brings renewably sourced, environmentally friendly, high-performance products to market. Our goals are perfectly aligned; it's a great partnership," said Todd Sutton, president of DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products.

"Innovation from using the Susterra® biobased material for Nam Liong’s Ureamax® Plus TPU membranes and Enprotex® Plus fabrics creates new business development opportunities in more applications such as outdoor jackets and gloves, sport leisure shoes and bags, medical protective wear, life jackets, etc. Nam Liong not only attracts recognition from the leading brands and manufacturers for its innovation but the company also is recognized for its commitment to environmental caring, including energy savings and carbon footprint reduction," commented Ting Kuo, vice general manager of Nam Liong

Nam Liong Enterprise Co., Ltd., based in Taiwan, was established in June 1972. The company manufactures polyurethane and textile materials for sports shoes and apparel. In addition to its Ureamax® Plus brand of waterproof TPU membranes and its Enprotex® Plus waterproof/breathable fabrics, other product lines include Seamate® - neoprene foams and laminations and Armortex® - abrasion resistant, flame retardant and protective products. Nam Liong brings an integrated business offering of material manufacturing and marketing with products sold globally.

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

Coca Cola: New Partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. to Deliver World's Largest plant-based material Facility

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plantbottle-pkg The Coca-Cola Company today announced a partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. to further expand production of the plant-based material used in the Company's PlantBottle™ packaging. The supply partnership will help Coca-Cola continue its leadership in bringing renewable, lower-carbon plastics to the marketplace and move the Company closer to its target of using PlantBottle™ packaging technology in all of its plastic bottles by 2020.  

Ronald J. Lewis, Vice President, Procurement & Chief Procurement Officer at The Coca-Cola Company said, "The benefits of sustainable innovation are only fully realized when commercialized and put in the hands of consumers. In 2009, we introduced the world to our PlantBottle ™ package -- the first recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants. Today, Coca-Cola has sold more than 10 billion PlantBottle™ packages around the world that are less dependent on petroleum and have a lower carbon impact. We are pleased that our partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. will help us further expand global production."

To support this partnership, JBF Industries Ltd. will build the world's largest facility to produce bio-glycol -- the key ingredient used to make PlantBottle™ packaging. The facility, which will be located in Araraquara, Sao Paulo, Brazil, will produce the ingredient using locally sourced sugarcane and sugarcane processing waste. Both materials meet The Coca-Cola Company's established sustainability criteria used to identify plant-based ingredients for PlantBottle™ packaging. These guiding principles include demonstrating improved environmental and social performance as well as avoiding negative impacts on food security.

Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and last for 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of non-renewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year. 

Today, Lewis joined Geraldo Alckmin the Governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Marcelo Barbieri, Araraquara Mayor; Cheerag Arya, Chief Executive Officer of JBF Industries Ltd. and Xiemar Zarazúa, President of The Coca-Cola Company's Brazil Business Unit, at Bandeirantes Palace in Sao Paulo to announce the partnership.

PlantBottle™ packaging is available in more than 24 countries worldwide and across a wide variety of Coca-Cola products. Since the package launched in 2009, its use has eliminated the equivalent of almost 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- the equivalent of 200,000 barrels of oil from The Coca-Cola Company's PET plastic packaging.