Here’s a short post as I give myself a break from studying for Wednesday’s exam. France-based Roquette announced last week that it started its 25,000 tonnes/year starch-based thermoplastics production facility at its Lestrem site.
The resins, which is being marketed under the trade name Gaialene, are produced by grafting polyolefins onto modified starches. According to Roquette’s website, the resins has over 50% bio-based content; are designed for durable and semi-durable uses; but are not biodegradable – with mechanical properties similar to polyethylene and polypropylene.
Some of their beneficial properties include low density, low melting temperature, silken/leather-like texture, and natural antistatic properties. Gailene is said to be compatible with in-house recycling processes – alone or with polyolefins; reusable as new after recycling; and can be easily separated from conventional plastics in the production stream.
The resin is processable by extrusion blowing, injection or extrusion blow-molding.