BASF’s new green acrylic and plastic

It looks like chemical companies are in full swing promoting numerous green projects and products. We recently posted news from Dow Chemical, Honeywell, Clariant, Eastman, Teijin, Arkema… and now here’s from BASF.

The company is formally launching on Wednesday its new zero-emission Acrodur® acrylic thermosets for automotive applications. The new acrylics are thermally cross-linkable, said to be free of formaldehyde and other emissions, and offer new routes to innovative composite materials.

With the product, natural-based fibers such as wood, flax, hemp or sisal can be resinated in different ways for used in the production of shaped panels for automobile interiors. Kettering University, which released the news, said that the green acrylic can provide a great variety of other natural and man-made fibers of the nonwoven industry or even granulated materials, which can be bonded with the new binder system.

Last week, BASF also launched its new biodegradable plastic Ecovio® FS for coating paper and for shrink films manufacturing.The company claims that initial production tests for the bioplastic at customers’ facilities have been successful, and that sample material is already available.

BASF plans to commercialize the product at large in the first quarter of 2010. Ecovio FS is made from combined PLA (polylactic acid) and BASF’s Ecoflex, a petroleum-based (aliphatically aromatic copolyester) biodegradable plastic. The company said the use of the new Ecoflex FS raises the proportion of bio-based material in Ecovio FS Shrink Film to 66% and that of Ecovio FS Paper to a full 75%.

Another usefor BASF’s biodegradable packaging is for the company’s newInterceptor® insecticide-treated mosquito nets. The eco-friendly bags(I’m not sure if this bag is made from BASF’s Ecoflex technology) forthe mosquito nets will reportedly solve the disposal issue which ispressing in many African countries.

BASF will distribute thousands of Interceptor nets in the neweco-friendly bags in the next few months to evaluate consumeracceptance in select African countries.

For pharmaceutical applications, BASF said its new Kollicoat IR tablet coating systemmakes colored tablet coating production more efficient; enablespharmaceutical manufacturers to cut their energy bills and reducing CO2emissions in the production process; and the coating does not requireadditional plasticizer use.

Kollicoat IR is a graft copolymer composed of polyethylene glycol and polyvinyl alcohol.

In a “not-so-green” news however, BASF recently announced that it is closing its fuel cell sitein Frankfurt, Germany, and will concentrate its production ofhigh-temperature membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) in Somerset, NewJersey, USA.

Operational activities at the Frankfurt fuel cell plant will stop on December 31, 2009, and the site will close sometime next year. The restructuring will result in the loss of 43 positions in Frankfurt.

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