US Reluceo develops bioplastic alternative to PC, PMMA

16 February 2011 05:25 Source:ICIS News

SAN DIEGO, California (ICIS)--US start-up company Reluceo has developed a biomass-based polymer called xylitol-levulinic polyester ketal (PXLK) that can be an alternative to polycarbonate (PC) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), a company official said late on Tuesday.

PXLK is thermochemically produced from the combination of industrial grade xylitol and levulinic acid esters, said Olga Selifonova, founder and CEO of Reluceo during a presentation at the Infocast Biobased Chemicals summit in San Diego, California.

PXLK’s heat deflection and thermostability characteristics are better than current bioplastics such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), she added.

“Compared to petroleum-based plastics such as PC and PMMA, the tensile strength of PXLK is stronger. This is remarkable and we didn’t expect this development,” said Selifonova.

PXLK’s potential could play in engineering thermoplastics in terms of strength.

Selifonova also pointed out the current need for alternatives to PC because of the issue of bisphenol-A (BPA).

BPA is used for the production of PC.

Reluceo is looking to form a consortium focusing on feedstock, industrial scale-up of the chemical either in monomer or polymer synthesis, and development of applications and markets.

Reluceo, which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was formed in January 2010 as a spin-out from renewable chemical company Segetis.

The Biobased Chemicals summit ends on Thursday.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By Doris de Guzman