Bioplastics information overload

I’m throwing every information that I’ve got over the past weeks (and even months) about bioplastic here as they are already clogging my already overloaded drafts box.

The first one is from Melbourne-based Cardia Bioplastics who announced late last month that it is now seeking international commercial partner for its carbon dioxide-based biodegradable plastic carrier bags “CO2S”. The bioplastic is made from a blend of CO2 emissions and starch.

How it works is that the pollutant CO2 is transformed into a polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polymer and then blended with starch using the company’s technology. Cardia Bioplastics said it is now working to increase the PPC content and renewable resource component “so up to 60% less virgin oil will be used compared to currently marketed biodegradable oil-based products.”

Aside from Novomer, who I mentioned before is also developing CO2-based polymers, did you know that BayerMaterial Science is also looking to produce polymers from CO2??…now you know  =)

Bayer researchers are working together with RWE Power AG and academic partner RWTH Aachen University in Germany to produce CO2-based polyether polycarbonate polyols (PPPs). A kilogram-scale pilot plant is already being constructed at Chempark Leverkusen. The CO2 used for the project will come from RWE Power’s lignite-fired power plant at Niederaußem.

In another waste-based plastic related news, an article from Plastics & Rubber Weekly talked about Dow Chemical looking at the possibility of using plastic waste to fuel its plastic operations. Too bad I forgot to asked about that during their Investor Day when I was in Michigan last week.

The article noted that Dow’s process will use the waste itself directly as a fuel, as opposed to pyrolysis methods, in which plastic waste is heated and converted in to a chemical liquid or fuel which is then re-used.

Back to bioplastic, a more recent news is from Germany-based Wacker Chemie this week, which announced its development of biodegradable plastic products made from combination of its Vinnex vinyl-acetate-based polymeric binding agents with starch or flour. The blended polymer blends can be processed by injection molding, extrusion, vacuum forming or thermoforming.

Wacker said the binder system can also be combined with polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) aside from starch. The bioplastic products produced can composed within 180 days under industrial composting conditions.

Other news that came to my attention:

  • Sigma-Aldrich entered into a distribution agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma to offer its portfolio of RESOMER biodegradable polylactide (PLA) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymers to the research community.

  • NatureWorks in talks with potential partners including PTT Plc to jointly invest in a large-scale bioplastic plant in Thailand worth about $400 million.
  • Demand in Europe for Cereplast bioplastic resin continues to soar as a result of Italian legislation banning the sale of plastic bags.

  • The manufacture of NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ plastic emits fewer greenhouse gasses than the comparable manufacture of every other common petrochemical-based plastic, according to a peer-reviewed article published in the August 2010 edition of Industrial Biotechnology.

  • Petron Scientech has been selected by Greencol Taiwan Corp. (GTC), a 50/50 joint venture between China Man-Made Fiber Co. and Toyota Tsusho to provide process technology, catalyst, design and services for a 100,000 tons/year ethylene from ethanol facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

  • Bioplastics to Grow 41.4% Annually Through 2015 – BCC Research

  • Henkel Releases World’s First Tech-Forward Correction Roller Made with Ingeo Bioplastic.

[Photo from MediaHooker blogspot]

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