US based Sealed Air will partner with Ecovative Design to jointly produce, sell and distribute the new packaging material from Ecovative called EcoCradle Mushroom Packaging. The material is home compostable and is cost effective since it is made of renewable and non-food agricultural materials.
At present many Fortune 500 companies are using the product. The material has also won many important awards such as the DuPont Packaging Innovation Diamond Award, “Best of What’s New” from Popular Science and Greener Package “Innovator of the Year” award.
According to the President of the Protective Packaging Business division of Sealed Air Ecovative has the ability to alter the characteristics of materials in terms of its density, texture, appearance and strength in order to meet the specifications of its customers. He also added that a combination of Sealed Air’s expertise and Ecovative’s technology will help them to enhance innovations and meet their customer needs in a better manner. Sealed Air owns various other brands such as Bubble Wrap, Cryovac for food packaging and Diversey for cleaning. Ecovative was formed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with major investments from DOEN Foundation and 3M Company. The company was named the Tech Pioneer at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland during 2011.
Source: http://www.sealedair.comVia: http://www.azom.com/
From 2012 onwards, Henkel is purchasing certificates for sustainable palm kernel oil for its entire range of laundry and home care products. This ensures that for the quantity of palm kernel oil used in the production of the surfactants for Henkel’s detergents and cleaning products a corresponding quantity of sustainable palm kernel oil will be produced and enter the supply chain. As early as in 2009, Henkel committed to cover its overall product portfolio by certificates and to complete this step by 2015. To underline the clear commitment to a sustainable palm oil production, Henkel is now accelerating the process for laundry and home care, its largest product category containing surfactants.
“We are committed to sustainable business practices across the entire value chain. This includes the sustainable management of raw materials and the conservation of natural resources,” says Bruno Piacenza, Executive Vice President Laundry & Home Care at Henkel. “To support the concept of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil cultivation and to underline Henkel’s leadership in sustainability we decided to purchase palm kernel oil certificates to cover the full range of laundry and home care products as of 2012 – as the first company within this industry on a global scale.”
While palm oil is predominantly used in the food industry, palm kernel oil serves as one of the major renewable feedstocks for the production of surfactants (cleaning active agents) for laundry detergents and household cleaners.
A strong partner for the sustainable cultivation of palm oil
In order to foster a sustainable palm oil economy, Henkel has been participating in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) ever since its very beginning in 2003 and became an official member in April 2008. Furthermore, Henkel, in close cooperation with the trading platform GreenPalm, initiated the certificate trading system for palm kernel oil and was the first company in the world to purchase palm kernel oil certificates in 2008.
To promote the concept of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil production even more effectively, Henkel engages in dialogue with other partners above and beyond the RSPO. In October 2009, Henkel joined the “Palm Oil Coalition”. Its members include representatives of globally operating companies in the consumer goods and food industries as well as of non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Oxfam, The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and others. Their common goal is to enforce the protection of rainforests by shifting their sourcing of palm oil entirely to sustainably managed sources by an agreed date.
Furthermore, Henkel initiated the “Forum on Sustainable Palm Oil” jointly with industry partners, the WWF and the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ). The goal of this platform is to promote the use of sustainably produced palm oil and palm kernel oil. The standards defined by the RSPO serve as the basis for developing and amending them further by the Forum.
Henkel’s leading role and the company’s contribution to the sustainable cultivation of palm oil is recognized by external stakeholders, as well. The WWF has ranked Henkel in the top category of its global Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard in November 2011, awarding the company the maximum score of nine out of nine.
Henkel provides extensive information on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and its contribution to the sustainable cultivation of palm oil, on its website at www.henkel.com/sustainability.
EPI Environmental Products Inc., of Vancouver British Columbia, launched its new line of OxoGreen oxo-Biodegradable Plastic Products on January 18th, 2012.
Even after more than 20 years of being in the oxo-biodegradable plastic industry, EPI felt there needed to be more 100 per cent degradable and biodegradable products available to consumers globally.
For this reason, the OxoGreen line of products was created.
This year in Canada, not only will OxoGreen produce 100 per cent degradable garbage bags but whenever possible, these bags will also be made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
OxoGreen will be establishing relationships with its current TDPA licensees to become partners in the manufacturing and distribution of the OxoGreen products initially for the North American market and thereafter will proceed to move forward on a global initiative.
EPI is the Pioneer of the Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic Additive, TDPA (Totally Degradable Plastic Additive), which when added to the manufacturing of plastic, makes them degradable.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency of Canada has been pressuring municipalities to recycle plastic bags, less than 7 per cent were being recycled due to low participation and lack of suitable facilities.
Unfortunately recycling plastic bags is not the total solution. It is too costly of a proposition as per the following example as quoted by Jared Blumenfeld, the director of the Department of Environment in San Francisco, "After 10 years, the recycling rate for plastic bags in San Francisco – which is pointed to as a model nationwide – is 1 per cent, so 99 per cent failure”.
Recycling Position (San Francisco, Dept of Environment director) for 1 ton of recycled plastic bags
• Recycling and processing cost: US$4,000 / ton
• Resulting value of the recycled material: US$32 / ton
For this reason, using an OxoGreen Oxo-Biodegradable product is making the right choice. Sandy MacLean has joined the EPI team to head up our OxoGreen Division.
DaniMer Scientific Presents Compostable Film Resins at 2012 BioPlastek Forum in March and Attends NPE2012 Convention in April.
For the first time at any public forum, details on the performance of the new degradable film resins will be presented at the BioPlastek 2012 Forum. The event will take place from March 28-30, 2012 at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, USA (minutes from Washington, DC). This forum will build on the great success of the inaugural BioPlastek 2011 Forum held last June in New York, which DaniMer Scientific also attended.
DaniMer will present current 3rd party certification data showing that the new DaniMer film grades meet the ASTM D-6400 standards for compostability in a commercial industrial composting facility. Additionally, the DaniMer film resins have met the more stringent EU standards for backyard composting.
Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, and POET, LLC, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, today announce a joint venture to commercially demonstrate and license cellulosic bio-ethanol, the next step in the development of biofuels, based on their proprietary and complementary technologies. POET–DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is scheduled to start production in the second half of 2013 at one of the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants in the United States.
The two partners will produce cellulosic ethanol from corn crop residue through a biological process using enzymatic hydrolysis followed by fermentation. The first commercial demonstration of the technology will be at Project Liberty, which is currently being constructed adjacent to POET’s existing corn ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The initial capacity is expected to be 20 million gallons in the first year, growing to approximately 25 million gallons per year.
POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, intends to replicate and license the technology to additional plants to be built at the other 26 corn ethanol facilities in POET’s network and license it to other producers in the United States and the rest of the world. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the United States as many as 350-400 new bio-refineries will have to be constructed by 2022 to meet the volume requirement of 16 billion gallons/year of cellulosic bio-ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
DSM and POET will each hold a 50% share in the joint venture, which will be headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The initial capital expenditure by the joint venture in project Liberty will amount to about $250 million. The closing of the joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The joint venture is expected to be profitable in the first full year of production (2014) and to deliver substantial revenues with above-average EBITDA contribution in the medium/longer term.
Both partners in the joint venture bring deep expertise and experience in different areas of cellulosic bio-ethanol. They also share the same vision for a bio-based economy.
Jeff Broin, POET founder and CEO, said: “This joint venture brings together two companies leading the transition from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy. The partnership has set an ambitious goal: to make cellulosic bio-ethanol competitive with corn ethanol, which is the most competitive liquid transportation fuel on the market today. We believe that the joint venture positions us well to meet our ambitious cellulosic ethanol production goals.”
Feike Sijbesma, CEO/Chairman of the DSM Managing Board, commented: “This cooperation is a milestone in realizing DSM’s strategy. By leveraging the unique opportunities in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences we can contribute our heritage of over a century in both biotechnology and chemistry to this joint venture with a biofuels leader. Together we shall deliver the key to unlock the cellulosic bio-ethanol opportunity. As the world is facing unprecedented challenges with a growing population making an ever bigger claim on the planet’s resources, we need to accelerate the transition to a bio-based economy and this joint venture is a significant step in that direction.”
As one of the world’s largest producers of corn ethanol, POET has been actively developing cellulosic bio-ethanol for more than a decade. In November, 2008, the company started operating a cellulosic bio-ethanol pilot plant at its research center in Scotland, South Dakota. For the past five years, POET has been working with farmers to bale, transport and store corn crop residue—the cobs, leaves, husks and some stalk left in the field after the grain harvest.
DSM already has a unique position in the development of cellulosic ethanol as the only company offering both yeast and enzyme solutions to increase conversion rates to make the technology commercially viable. DSM has vast experience in scaling up biotechnological processes and an extensive global footprint and relationships to help accelerate technology adoption in key markets.
Cellulosic bio-ethanol from corn crop residue represents a large opportunity. If the technology is replicated at POET’s network of 27 existing corn ethanol plants, it could produce up to one billion gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol per year.
In an analysis of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. EPA projected 7.8 billion gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol coming from corn crop residue by 2022. Beyond that, the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture have estimated that more than one billion tons of biomass is available in America that could produce enough cellulosic bio-ethanol to replace a third of the country’s gasoline use.
Today, 23 January 2012, DSM and POET will hold a conference call for the media from 2.00-3.00pm EST / 20.00-21.00 hrs CET which can be accessed by dialing (800) 683-4564 (US only) or +1 (913) 312-2904 with access code 845366#
Tomorrow, 24 January 2012, DSM will hold a conference call for investors and analysts from 09.30-10.30 CET which can be accessed by dialing +31 10 29 44 271 or +44 203 365 3207. A replay can be accessed as of approximately 10.30 CET by dialing +31 10 29 44 210 with access code 1194829#.
About POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC
POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels, LLC, is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal DSM and POET, LLC. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the company is a cooperative effort of two innovators that provides the key to unlocking the opportunity of converting corn crop residue into cellulosic bio-ethanol. Built on the strengths of both companies the joint venture has a critical mission: to make cellulosic bio-ethanol competitive with corn ethanol, the most competitive renewable liquid transportation fuel on the market today. Drawing on the deep expertise and experience of POET and DSM in different areas of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol, POET - DSM Advanced Biofuels will have its first commercial-scale plant co-located with POET's biorefinery in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Based on this plant the JV will globally license an integrated technology package for the conversion of corn crop residue to cellulosic bio-ethanol. More information: www.poetdsm.com.
POET, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 25-year-old company has a production capacity in excess of 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol and 9 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually from its network of 27 production facilities. POET also operates a pilot-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant, which uses corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk as feedstock, and expects to commercialize the process in Emmetsburg, Iowa. More information: www.poet.com.
Paris, France and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Rhodia, member of the Solvay Group, and Avantium announced today that they have entered into a partnership to jointly develop a range of new bio-based polyamides targeting a variety of applications.
This partnership expands and completes the previously announced development agreement in the field of bio-based engineering plastics between Solvay and Avantium. Building on the newly combined forces of Rhodia and Solvay, the extended relationship offers the partners a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of compositions and applications based on Avantium's YXY technology in the larger Polyamide field.In the frame of this joint development, the companies will explore the market potential of polyamide compositions on the basis of YXY building blocks. Produced from renewable and bio-based feedstock, these compositions are expected to exhibit superior environmental profile and at the same time to deliver applicative performances at a competitive cost. Rhodia will test these new polyamides for fibers and engineering applications in various areas such as consumer goods, automotive and electronic materials. Rhodia and Avantium have entered into a multi-year, exclusive collaboration towards commercialization of these new polyamides.
"This collaboration perfectly fits with our strategy to deliver new sustainable products to our markets, and will combine our know-how in polyamides with Avantium's YXY technology to produce building blocks for green materials. This open innovation partnership is inspiring for our teams and we are confident that it will deliver breakthrough in the development of bio-based competitive polyamides", explained Louis Neltner, R&D Vice-President at Rhodia.
Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, about the new collaboration: "Rhodia is a world leading player in the development, manufacturing and supply of polyamides. We are very pleased to work with Rhodia on developing performing, sustainable and competitive solutions for a broad range of customers. Together with our existing partnerships in polyamides, we are now completely covering all application areas for polyamides on basis of our green building blocks."
* YXY (pronounced icksy) is Avantium's brand name of a family of green building blocks for making materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives, and which have a superior environmental footprint. Based on Avantium's patented catalytic technology to convert biomass into furanic building blocks, YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production assets.
Rhodia, member of the Solvay group, is a specialty chemical company resolutely committed to sustainable development. As a leader in its businesses, the Group aims to improve its customers' performance through the pursuit of operational excellence and its ability to innovate. Structured around 11 Global Business Units, Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. Rhodia employs around 14 000 people worldwide and generated sales of €5.23 billion in 2010.
For more information, please contact: Lamia Ahmadaly- Narcisse at + 33 (0)1 53 56 59 62 or visit our institutional website at http://www.rhodia.com
Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced catalysis R&D and process development. The company develops and commercializes YXY - its brand name for chemical building blocks for making green materials and fuels with exceptional product properties at a competitive price. Combined with a significantly reduced carbon footprint, the YXY technology fulfils all key criteria to deliver the next generation bio-based materials. In 2011 Avantium opened the YXY pilot plant, an essential step towards commercial production of the YXY technology. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. It has a proven track record in offering fast and efficient chemical catalytic development services and systems to market leaders such as BP, Shell and Sasol. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
From pre-packed Camembert to shrink-wrapped meat loaf – choosing the right packaging is a key issue in the food industry. Companies need to protect food products from oxygen, moisture and chemical and biological contamination while keeping them fresh for as long as possible. Transparent multilayer films, in which each layer offers specific benefits, are frequently used to protect food from contamination. To minimize the amount of oxygen that penetrates the packaging, companies typically use expensive, petrochemical-based polymers such as ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymers as barrier materials. The German Society for Packaging Market Research (Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung mbH) estimates that more than 640 square kilometers of composite materials employing EVOH as an oxygen barrier layer will be produced and used in Germany in 2014 – enough to completely cover Lake Constance. There is therefore a strong impetus to develop a sustainable packaging material which is both economical to produce and environmentally friendly. Researchers working on the EU's "Wheylayer" project have been using whey protein instead of petrochemical-based polymers. The natural ingredients in the whey extend the shelf life of food products, and the whey protein layer is biodegradable. The results of the research are promising. "We've managed to develop a whey protein formulation that can be used as the raw material for a film barrier layer. And we have also developed an economically viable process which can be used to produce the multifunctional films on an industrial scale," says Markus Schmid from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising.
But how is it even possible to make a barrier layer from whey? The researchers from the IVV began by purifying sweet whey and sour whey and producing high purity whey protein isolates. They tested a range of different modification methods in order to obtain suitable proteins with outstanding film-forming properties. To enable these proteins to withstand the mechanical loads involved, they were subsequently mixed with differing concentrations of various softeners and other additives, which were also biobased. "All these additives are approved substances," says Schmid. The search for the perfect formula was a tricky process for the Freising-based researchers. For example, use too many softeners and the barrier effect against water vapor and oxygen decreases, which means that the food is no longer adequately protected. In the end, the researchers not only found the optimum formula, but also came up with a suitable, economically viable and industrial-scale method of applying whey protein coatings to plastic films and combining these with other films using different technologies. The overall process produces multilayer structures with barrier functions which can be used to produce flexible, transparent food packaging materials. "Our work at the IVV to manufacture a multilayer film of this kind using a roll-to-roll method is a world's first," Schmid notes. Companies that choose to make the switch to whey proteins in the future will only need to make minor modifications to their plants. The researchers have already applied for a patent on their new technology.
The IVV researchers are so convinced of whey proteins' future potential as an alternative packaging material that they have initiated their own project which goes one step further. According to a survey carried out by the German Society for Packaging Market Research, there is not only an increasing demand for composite films, but also an increasing need for thermoformable composites. Growing demand for prepared products in trays is expected to increase the volume of these composites from 76,497 tons in 2009 to 93,158 tons in 2014. The researchers are working hard to replace EVOH in thermoform composites with a barrier layer based on whey protein. This additional application for whey protein would likewise conserve resources and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Cardia Bioplastics and Polyden Folien announce their cooperation on sustainable film products for the European packaging industry.
Polyden Folien have launched their new range of packaging films made with Cardia BiohybridTM technology that meet highest packaging performance standards. Cardia BiohybridTM proprietary technology combines renewable thermoplastics with polyethylene material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and to reduce carbon footprint.
Polyden Folien Managing Director, Peter Moser, said "The combination of packaging performance, environmental profile and cost effectiveness made Cardia BiohybridTM technology the solution for Polyden Folien's sustainable packaging needs."
Polyden Folien's product launch of flexible films made with Cardia BiohybridTM technology is consistent with the company's business development of sustainable packaging.
Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director, Dr Frank Glatz, said "We are delighted to be collaborating with Polyden Folien. They are one of Germany's leading flexible film specialists with a strong track record of providing innovative products to the packaging industry. In addition to offering high performing packaging films and excellent service, they are clearly committed to sustainable development of their products. Our partnership with Polyden Folien will enable their film customers to purchase innovative packaging products with reduced dependence on finite oil resources and lower carbon footprint."
Peter Moser emphasised Polyden Folien‘s strategy on responsible packaging. "We are excited to work with Cardia Bioplastics. Our packaging products made from their BiohybridTM resins will form an integral part of our responsible packaging offering. We are looking forward to presenting our customers the BiohybridTM packaging films, in particular for shrink film applications," he said.
Cardia Bioplastics is benefiting from the trend towards sustainable packaging with products used in a broad range of packaging applications, including flexible film, injection moulding, blow moulding, foam, extrusion and coating applications. It gives customers the choice of using sustainable Cardia BiohybridTM technology (less oil, lower carbon foot print) or Cardia's internationally certified Compostable technology for their packaging or plastic products.
SABIC’s Plants in Brazil and Argentina Earn Certification to Produce FDA-Compliant, Biocompatible Resins for Burgeoning S.A. Healthcare Market
SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business today announced that its manufacturing facilities in Campinas, Brazil and Tortuguitas, Argentina, are now certified to produce U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-compliant and biocompatible resins for the fast-growing South American healthcare market to help slash lead times, reduce inventory costs and increase flexibility in material purchasing. Medical markets in eight Latin and South American countries – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Cuba – are expected to demonstrate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6 percent between 2008 and 2013, reaching U.S. $9.2 billion, according to Espicom Health Intelligence. To meet this increasing demand, SABIC is committed to providing local customers fast and easy access to high-performance materials – such as biocompatible Lexan* HP polycarbonate (PC) resins – and technical resources that they need to bring the next generation of medical applications to market.
“With biocompatible and FDA-certified resin production now in place in our Brazil and Argentina plants, in addition to the United States, Europe and Singapore, we are well positioned to meet the local supply needs of healthcare device manufacturers worldwide who have production facilities here in South America,” said Ricardo Knecht, general manager, South America, Innovative Plastics. “SABIC continues to proactively invest in local capabilities that benefit our customers. Our broad and deep portfolio of healthcare materials, together with value-added services such as custom color matching and technical support, offers a critical competitive advantage in the rapidly changing and highly competitive medical products sector.”
Local Resin Supplies Accelerate Time to Market
With the certification of the two SABIC facilities, medical device manufacturers and other healthcare customers can rely on local sources of supply instead of having to wait for imports to arrive. The lead time for SABIC FDA and biocompatible resins in the region is expected to drop dramatically, helping customers accelerate time to market for their products. With local production of healthcare grades, manufacturers can avoid delays, cut inventory costs because they no longer need to stockpile resin, and enjoy greater flexibility in ordering materials. In addition, customers can now be confident about expanding their use of SABIC healthcare materials in new applications, knowing that they have a reliable local source of supply backed with local expertise, technical support and SABIC’s healthcare product policy.
Local Supply and Support Backed By Healthcare Product Policy
SABIC proactively developed an industry-leading healthcare product policy to simplify regulatory compliance during marketing approval and throughout the device lifecycle. Materials included under the policy have been assessed for biocompatibility, are covered by an FDA Drug or Device Master File, and are subject to formula lock and a stringent change management process. The policy gives customers the comfort of knowing that SABIC is able to lock the formula and have a supply plan in place in the event of change. Pre-assessing biocompatibility helps speed up marketing approval in the regulatory process, while internal controls and change management help assure consistent quality and reliability of supply.
For additional information on SABIC’s healthcare product portfolio and healthcare product policy, please go to www.sabic-ip.com. For technical product inquiries, please contact us at www.sabic-ip.com/prtechinquiry.
Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, has introduced the next generation of Cereplast Hybrid Resins®, an expansion of the Biopropylene® PP-based resin product offering through two new bioplastic resin grades, Hybrid 102D and 105D. Cereplast anticipates going to market with the new resin grades during the first half of 2012 in the United States and Europe.
Cereplast Hybrid Resins replace up to 50% of the petroleum content in traditional plastic products with biobased materials such as starches from annually renewable plants. Cereplast Hybrid Resins are suitable for durable goods, including consumer products, interior automotive parts, and furniture, and have a lower carbon footprint than traditional plastics. The new grades Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D are both injection molding grades, a heating and cooling manufacturing process in which the material is molded in different shapes.
Cereplast's Biopropylene PP-based resin consists of polypropylene encapsulating starch particles, and includes Hybrid 101, Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D. In addition to providing a lower carbon footprint than traditional PP, many of the desirable PP properties are maintained including chemical resistance, mold shrinkage, mold flow, surface appearance, heat deflection temperature, and hinge performance. Hybrid 102D is a formulation that offers a higher starch content than Hybrid 101, while maintaining similar performance. The primary application is injection molding requiring some ductility. Hybrid 105D is a high flow injection molding grade for thinner wall applications than Hybrid 101 and replaces Hybrid 103, providing more consistent properties and processing. All Hybrid grades are FDA compliant for direct food contact.
"As demand for bioplastic resins grows, so does the demand for high-performance durable grades that are cost effective," said Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Frederic Scheer. "As the price of oil continues to rise, Cereplast Hybrid Resins get closer to parity with traditional plastics, providing an affordable, eco-friendly solution for companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact. Our research and development team have answered the demands of our clients for better-performing hybrid resins with higher levels of starch content. We are proud to introduce the next generation of bioplastic hybrid resins."
Virent announced the issuance of five new U.S. patents covering aspects of its catalytic BioForming® platform. Three of the patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,053,615, 8,017,818 and 7,977,517, cover the production of various liquid fuels and chemicals related to its recent announced partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and its ongoing partnership with Royal Dutch Shell. The additional two patents, Patent Nos. 7,767,867 and 7,898,664, are directed to the production of a range of other industrial chemicals and chemical intermediates using Virent’s BioForming® process. These patents join the over 175 domestic and foreign issued and pending applications in Virent’s portfolio representing more than 25 different technology families.
“These issued patents serve to protect some of our more sophisticated technologies,” explains Virent’s VP of Legal Affairs, David Kettner. “Virent is the world leader in catalytic conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals, and this recent intellectual property protection will ensure our strong position for years to come.”
Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Its patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based materials into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The products are drop-in replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations. The development of Virent’s BioForming® technology platform is supported through strategic partners including Cargill, Coca-Cola, Shell and Honda, as well as 120 employees based in Madison, Wisconsin.
The company has received several grants from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Agriculture and has been recognized with many honors, including the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award and the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.
DaniMer Scientific Receives OK Compost Certification for Environmentally Friendly Packaging and Film Resins
DaniMer Scientific’s ReNew packaging and film resins have been officially certified as compostable by Vinçotte International, a renowned inspection facility headquartered in Vilvoorde, Belgium. Vinçotte grants OK Compost certification to a product after verifying that it meets EN 13432, a standard for compostability recognized in Europe, Asia and North America.
The OK Compost certification is enabled through Vinçotte’s rigorous examination and verification of testing conducted on samples from a company’s stocks. According to OK Compost, packaging or products featuring the OK compost label are guaranteed as biodegradable in an industrial composting plant and applies to all components, inks and additives. DaniMer’s OK Compost certified resins are both compostable and biodegradable, which enables its end-users to avoid the cost of removal and land filling.
“The OK Compost certification is an opportunity for DaniMer Scientific to further verify the compostable nature of our resins through a distinguished and international corporation.’ says Scott Tuten, Senior Vice President of DaniMer Scientific. “We are excited about the OK Compost certification broadening our international reach and providing us with the opportunity to work more extensively with European manufacturers. DaniMer fully supports third party certifications to validate manufacturer’s claims. We are pleased to offer our customers a fully certified material designed for use in a wide variety of film applications’
DaniMer’s Renew Film Resins are specifically designed for the efficient conversion and production of: disposable shopping bags, compostable bags, odor barrier packaging products and agricultural mulch film, among others. To view DaniMer’s OK Compost certificates, please visit: www.danimer.com/news.
Vinçotte is an independent organisation that specializes in inspection, certification and testing activities focused on safety, quality and the environment. IT employs over 1800 people worldwide. Tapping into the experience it has built up throughout its 100-year-old history, Vincotte developed the OK Compost conformity mark, its specification and its logo.
About DaniMer Scientific:
DaniMer Scientific, an international corporation, believes people’s lives can be improved and the environment can be better protected by utilizing renewable resources to manufacture articles that are intended for short-term use.One of the company’s goals is to reduce dependence on petroleum, enabling people and communities to benefit from environmentally-friendly products. For more information about DaniMer Scientific, please visit: www.danimer.com.
Micromidas Funds MMI & CMPM’s Research Project on Biopolymers and Renewable Propylene Glycol Derivatives
MMI has announced that it has secured approximately $130,000 in funding from a collaboration with Micromidas, Inc. to research biopolymers and renewable polymer building blocks. In addition, thanks to a $25,000 grant, MMI is providing proof-of-concept expertise to the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan’s renewable propylene glycol derivatives research. Dr. Patrick B. Smith, a Research Scientist, is leading MMI’s charge in the area of biobased materials. He provided details for each project.
“Micromidas is a really interesting startup company based in West Sacramento”, Smith said. “They take low-value organic waste and convert it into higher value bioplastics and chemical building blocks. Currently, they’re focused on municipal waste, where they ferment that sludge and convert it into plastics that feed into significant commercial plastics streams”.
“Obviously, having a renewable source like municipal waste is very valuable to the end users,” he added. “They’re working with us because their chemical engineers and biologists are really good at what they do, but they don’t have our polymer background. They really brought us on board to help them understand the polymer science and the rheology, to figure out what kinds of properties they need in these polymers to make them work well in commercial applications”.
Smith said Micromidas is in the process of building a pilot facility to demonstrate the commercial viability of their plan, adding that MMI’s work on the project, which began Sept. 1, is already showing positive early returns. He expects that MMI’s research will prove valuable enough to Micromidas to continue well beyond this initial phase.
Another project occupying the MMI biobased chemistry team is the work for the CMPM.
“The research for the CMPM also involves chemical engineers at Michigan State University, with whom we’re collaborating on this project,” Smith said. “We’re doing a feasibility study to validate the chemistry and separation process for producing a better renewable form of propylene glycol derivatives”.
Historically, propylene glycol, or PG, was derived from petroleum-based sources. The work Smith is conducting with MSU aims to produce derivatives from the same beneficial PG material from corn starch; that’s where the funding from the CMPM comes in.
“In the area of renewables chemistry, researchers are starting to make that transition from theories and ideas to actual implementation of practical, cost-effective applications,” he said. “There are many, many areas where MMI’s polymer expertise can aid – and enhance – that transition. We’re really just getting started”.
About Micromidas Inc.
At Micromidas Inc., green technology and clean technology represent the future. It is committed to prove that green technology and sustainable business practices will succeed in today’s marketplace and will be the driving force for scientific technology and corporate platforms into the future. It creates and expandes technologies that are profitable and environmentally friendly.
CMP Medica, the health care communications division of UBM, specializes in healthcare education and information for both healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical & allied industries. CMPMedica create and distribute a wide range of healthcare information including medical & drug information systems.
About Michigan Molecular Institute
Michigan Molecular Institute, founded in Midland, Mich. in 1971, is a non-profit organization dedicated to polymer research and education. MMI offers world-class research and development across many areas, including photonics, membranes, specialty coatings, delivery systems and sensors. Its core capabilities include polymer synthesis and design; polymer characterization; polymer science; materials science; polymer formulation and processing; heterogeneous catalysis; silicone chemistry; and biobased materials.
Novamont, Europe’s leading manufacturer of naturally-sourced bioplastics, has renewed its partnership with the AIAB (Italian Organic Farming Association) in order to promote the use of certified biodegradable, compostable products made from Mater-Bi®. They can be used in a vast range of commodities and sectors: disposable tableware used in canteens, self-service restaurants and cafés, in shops, in biodegradable compost-friendly bags used for shopping or the collection of food waste, and even in biodegradable mulching sheets.
Mater-Bi® is a bio-polymer containing vegetable starches and oils, patented by Novamont and used to make biodegradable products. Under the agreement, these products will bear the "AIAB Recommended" logo, guaranteeing that they have been made from Mater-Bi®, with the aim of minimising the amount of waste generated, reducing the impact on the environment and contributing to the creation of innovative best practices.
Among the early results of the agreement is the AIAB-recommended Mater-Bi® mulch film, which will be launched at the AIAB Federal Congress to be held in Milan from 1-4 December. This innovative new product has been designed to introduce radical changes in the agricultural industry – and organic farming in particular – by completely eradicating the problem of removing and disposing of used mulch film, which creates plastic waste. Conventional mulch film needs to be removed and disposed of properly at the end of their useful life, a process which is both costly and labour-intensive.
The advantages of this solution have been illustrated by an LCA environmental impact analysis.
The study examined two disposal scenarios: the legal method and the illegal process of burning the sheets on the field. It was found that the use of Mater-Bi® mulch film could reduce the CO2 equivalents by 49% for each hectare of soil covered. That figure could rise as high as 73% in the second scenario, in which the law on disposal of mulch films is not complied with.
Considering the whole of the agricultural industry – which consumes about 43,000 tonnes of mulch film every year - replacing 50% of the traditional plastic film with Mater-Bi® film would slash the annual output of greenhouse gases by 32,500 tonnes (the amount of emissions produced by a town of 37,500 inhabitants), if the traditional plastic film is disposed of correctly.
“We are delighted to renew our mutually beneficial partnership with the AIAB in order to raise awareness among farmers and the general public about responsible, sustainable consumption and the production methods. We both share the belief that it is possible to achieve economies of scale which do not generate waste and can promote best practices, especially at local level, starting with the agricultural sector. Biodegradable and compostable products are a real example of this approach, which is based on cutting-edge sustainable technologies” commented Andrea Di Stefano, Novamont Director of Corporate Relations.
The Mater-Bi® mulch film contains renewable resources including non-GMO starches obtained from corn, other cereals and vegetable oils. Once buried, it degrades naturally into the soil. For farmers, the new film relieves them from the burden of having to remove the old film, saving them a considerable amount of time and also helping to protect and enrich the soil: a truly green method of farming that also protects the health of consumers.
In 1925, Henry Ford observed that fuel is present in all vegetative matter that can be fermented and predicted that Americans would some day grow their own fuel. Last year, global biofuel production reached 28 billion US gallons, and biofuel accounted for 2.7% of the world's transportation fuel. Bioethanol, a popular type of biofuel, is largely derived from sugary food crops such as corn and sugarcane. However, technologies are being developed to generate bioethanol from non-food sources, such as the lignocellulosics present in switchgrass and trees. The sugars locked in the polymers of cell walls, i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, can be extracted and fermented by yeast into bioethanol.
A major obstacle to this strategy is that most wall polysaccharides are O-acetylated (i.e., chemically bonded to acetate groups), and the acetate released from these molecules during processing inhibits the activity of the microbes that ferment sugars into alcohol. Based on techno-economical models, a 20% reduction in biomass acetylation is predicted to translate into a 10% reduction in bioethanol price. Thus, a major goal in the field of plant biofuel research is to diminish the O-acetate content in the cell walls of plants, possibly by blocking the enzymes that acetylate the cell wall polymers. However, little is known about the acetylation enzymes in plants.
A team of researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California, Berkeley, set out to identify the enzymes that acetylate the polysaccharides that are present in lignocellulosic feedstocks. Their initial work focused on xyloglucan, a type of hemicellose that is abundant in plant cell walls. Using a mass spectrometric technique, the scientists isolated a mutant from amongst a mutagenized population of the model plant Arabidopsis (a member of the mustard and cabbage family) that exhibited a 20-45% reduction in xyloglucan O-acetylation. The researchers mapped the mutation to a physical location in the Arabidopsis genome, and named the gene locus ALTERED HEMICELLULOSE XYLOGLUCAN 4 (AXY4). Blocking the expression of AXY4 in Arabidopsis eliminates xyloglucan O-acetylation.
A natural variety of Arabidopsis growing in northern Scotland also has low levels of xyloglucan O-acetylation. Intriguingly, this variety was found to have a natural mutation in the same gene - AXY4. This finding demonstrates that lack of xyloglucan O-acetylation does not represent a selective disadvantage for the plant, and supports the feasibility of genetically blocking the expression of the protein that controls O-acetylation in plants destined for biofuel production.
"The identification of the first gene to encode a polysaccharide O-acetyltransferase opens the door for identifying similar genes in bioenergy crop feedstocks, such as miscanthus or other energy-grasses. These genes can be used as genetic markers to facilitate breeding programs that aim to generate biofuel feedstocks with reduced lignocellulosic acetate content," says Markus Pauly, a plant biologist at Berkeley's Energy Biosciences Institute.
LANXESS, a global leader in phthalate‐free plasticizers and BioAmber, a leader in sustainable chemistry, have partnered to develop succinic acid based plasticizers that are both renewable and phthalate‐free. Under the terms of their joint development agreement, LANXESS and BioAmber are developing a portfolio of renewable succinic‐based plasticizers that can exceed the performance of phthalates at competitive prices.
The partnership leverages both companies’ strengths: LANXESS has a global commercial network that sells innovative, phthalate‐free plasticizers including MESAMOLL®, ADIMOLL®, ULTRAMOLL® and UNIMOLL®. LANXESS also has plasticizer manufacturing expertise and capacity. BioAmber produces and sells biobased succinic acid in a 3,000 MT capacity plant in France and expects to bring on an additional 17,000 MT of succinic acid capacity in 2013 at a new facility in Sarnia, Canada, located on a site within LANXESS’ Bio‐industrial Park.
BioAmber and LANXESS have been working together for over 2 years assessing the performance and opportunities of succinate based esters in the plasticizer market. Based on the results seen to date, LANXESS and BioAmber believe that succinic acid based plasticizers can deliver the sustainability, performance and safety that the global plasticizer market is seeking. Samples are now available and the companies expect to begin commercialization in 2012.
“LANXESS systematically seeks advanced technologies to enhance the value of its offering. BioAmber’s biobased succinic acid is a unique opportunity to develop a new generation of plasticizers combining full regulatory compliance with superior environmental background,” said Jorge Nogueira, Senior Vice President Business Unit Functional Chemicals.
“Our partnership with LANXESS will accelerate penetration of the global plasticizer market and secure a first mover advantage for both companies. BioAmber’s succinic acid offers a safe, sustainable alternative to phthalates and our additional plants in Sarnia and Thailand will ensure our customers have reliable, competitive supply,” said Jean‐Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 15,800 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 46 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.
About BioAmber, Inc.
BioAmber, a renewable chemistry company, is a market leader in the development and commercialization of biobased succinic acid and derivatives including 1,4 butanediol and modified PBS, a biodegradable plastic offering better heat resistance and processability than other biopolymers. BioAmber operates the world’s first dedicated biobased succinic acid plant and has partnerships with Cargill, DuPont Applied Biosciences, LANXESS, Mitsubishi Chemical, Mitsui & Co. and PTTMCC Biochem. BioAmber is also leveraging its succinic acid experience and know‐how to develop a biobased adipic acid platform. The company has offices and research labs in Minneapolis, MN, an office in Montreal, a sales office in Shanghai, China and a production plant in Pomacle, France. For more information, see www.bio‐amber.com.