ioplastics magazine Vol. 4 ISSN 1862-5258


Fibre Applications | 10

Paper Coating | 18


Land Use - part 2 | 34

Starch Bioplastics | 42

05 | 2009

bioplastics MAGAZINE

is read in

85 countries

Plastics For Your Future

Another New Resin For a Better World

Knife handle made of BIO-FLEX ® P 7550

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH | Siemensring 79 | D - 47877 Willich

Tel.: +49 (0) 21 54 / 92 51-0 | Fax: +49 (0) 21 54 / 92 51-51 |




bioplastics MAGAZINE Vol. 4 ISSN 1862-5258


Paper Coating /

Laminating | XX

Fibres, Textiles,

Nonwovens | XX

Coverphoto courtesy DuPont

05 | 2009

bioplastics MAGAZINE

is read in

85 countries

September is over, and so too is our 2 nd PLA Bottle Conference. The very well

received event in Munich again attracted a good number of delegates and a

great deal of positive comment. For those interested in bottle applications

please see the detailed report on page 8.

Otherwise you might prefer to read more about paper coating or fibre and

textile applications. These are the two topics of our editorial focus in this

issue. Furthermore, we present an extract from the new book’Technische

Biopolymere‘, effectively serving as part two of the ‘land use for bioplastics‘


In the ‘Basics‘ section you‘ll find out about starch and starch based biopolymers,

and last but not least we also cover the ‘oxo-subject‘ once again.

This summer a number of press publications reported on different standpoints

concerning the ‘pros‘ and ‘cons‘ of oxo-degradable plastics. However, instead

of the rather tabloid way of reporting, and calling the debate a “lively spat“, a

“rumbling row“ or even a “battle“, bioplastics MAGAZINE is trying a more factual

approach. Thus we contacted the main stakeholders and offered to let them

put their points of view in our magazine and to provide the scientific support for

their claims. In this issue we publish a slightly shortened version of the position

paper from European Bioplastics. And while we are still waiting for Symphony‘s

scientifically based article on their products and their compliance with ASTM D6594 the

Canadian supplier EPI sent us copies of old scientific papers by Chiellini et. al and Wiles

& Scott.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE and look forward to your

comments, opinions or contributions.


Michael Thielen

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


Editorial 03

News 05

Application News 22

Event Calendar 49

Suppliers Guide 46

September/October 05|2009

Fiber Applications

Meltblown PLA Nonwovens 10

End of Life

A new Cradle-to-Cradle Approach for PLA


PLA Floor Mat 11

New carpet made from PLA fibres 11

Innovative Tea-Bags From PLA Fibres 12

Plant-Based Materials for Automobile Interiors 13

Fibers of PTT Receive New U.S. Generic, ‘Triexta’ 14


Twin-Screw Extruders for Biopolymer Compounding 17


Fraunhofer IAP



Raw Materials and Arable Land for Biopolymers 34

Position Paper ‘Oxo-Biodegradable‘ Plastics 38

Basics of Starch-Based Materials 42

Paper Coating

Improved Paper Coatings 18

Sustainable Cups from Georgia-Pacific 20


Biobased Engineering Plastic 26

Injection Moldable High Temperature Bioplastic 27

Versatile Precursor Made From Cashew Nuts 28


Publisher / Editorial

Dr. Michael Thielen

Samuel Brangenberg


Mark Speckenbach

Head Office

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany

phone: +49 (0)2161 664864

fax: +49 (0)2161 631045

Media Adviser

Elke Schulte

phone: +49(0)2359-2996-0

fax: +49(0)2359-2996-10


Tölkes Druck + Medien GmbH

47807 Krefeld, Germany

Total Print run: 3,500 copies

bioplastics magazine

ISSN 1862-5258

bioplastics magazine is published

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bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on

chlorine-free FSC certified paper.

bioplastics MAGAZINE is read

in 85 countries.

Not to be reproduced in any form

without permission from the publisher.

The fact that product names may not be

identified in our editorial as trade marks is

not an indication that such names are not

registered trade marks.

bioplastics MAGAZINE tries to use British

spelling. However, in articles based on

information from the USA, American

spelling may also be used.

Editorial contributions are always welcome.

Please contact the editorial office via


A large number of copies of this issue

of bioplastics MAGAZINE is wrapped in

a compostable film manufactured and

sponsored by alesco (

Coverphoto courtesy DuPont

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4



biopolymer database

with new features

Certification of

Bio-Based Content

The content of renewable resources of products, which can

be measured by 14 C determination as the fraction of ‘bio-based

carbon content’, enjoys much attention in the environmental

and resource discussion. It is also the focus of several political

initiatives like for example in the U.S.A. (USDA’s ‘biopreferred’

program) Japan (Biomass Nippon Plan) and the EU Lead Markets

Initiative (LMI). One of the core activities within the LMI focuses

on the development of suitable standards for defining ‘bio-based

products’ and for the determination of the bio-based content

– similar to ASTM D-6866. Industry is involved in a dialogue with

the European Commission about the LMI and participates actively

in the respective working groups, also at the CEN level. Based

on the future standards, it is intended to develop independent

certification and market surveillance of claims concerning the

bio-based content. So far however, the LMI working groups

have not arrived yet at the certification part, so independent

certification is not available yet.

European Bioplastics (EuBP) has now started to coordinate

with partners along the bioplastic value chain for a joint approach

towards the development of a ‘bio-based content’ certification

system. Says Joeran Reske of EuBP, coordinator of the project

within the association: “We are aiming at a system as simple as

possible, on the other hand we think that independent certification

is a must, so that users have a both transparent and reliable

basis for their product-related communication. We consider the

bio-based content only one out of several parameters influencing

the environmental performance of a product.” Consequently,

labelling is seen as a very sensitive topic which needs a careful

and well balanced approach to be trustworthy. “Therefore we

thought we ought to deliver our contribution to the discussion

about the criteria of bio-based content certification”, adds EuBP-

Chairman Andy Sweetman.

European Bioplastics is seeking cooperation along the whole

product value chain, with the European Commission and with

other (national) authorities. It is intended to develop a system

that could be used finally also in policy making. The association

is in a dialogue with test laboratories, certification institutes and

other partners in and beyond Europe to include the best available

knowledge. - MT

The Biopolymer Database includes more than

100 biopolymer manufactures and more than

370 material types. Until now the data from the

material suppliers have been reported against

many different test standards and it has not been

possible to make a fair comparison between

different grades. Therefore the materials are now

tested under uniform and comparable conditions

in the University of Applied Science and Arts

(Hannover, Germany). The results of these tests

are to be made available in October 2009.

Through the biopolymer database customers,

converters and end users will be connected

with the bioplastic manufacturers. With the

biopolymer database it will also be much easier to

find information. At the first stage the users can

indicate whether their interest is pellets or film.

The biopolymer database allows extensive search

options for both variants, e.g. manufacturers,

including contact addresses, polymer types,

trade names, mechanical and thermal

properties, barrier properties, information about

certifications, biobased material content etc.

Furthermore the opportunity of comparing

functions is also given, i.e. a comparison of the

properties of different biopolymers. It is also

possible to search in the published literature.

All data are printable as datasheets. Datasheets

from the manufacturers are also available.

The database is available via the Internet in

German and English. Access is free of charge.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


from left: Patrick Gerritsen, Frank

Eijkman, Jhon Bollen, Oliver Fraaije.

Bio4Pack offers

One-Stop Shopping

Two Dutch thermoforming companies, Nedupak

Thermoforming BV (of Rheden, NL) and Plastics2Pack (of

Uden, NL), recently announced the forming of ‘Bio4Pack‘

as a new packaging supply company. The new company is

headed by Managing Director Patrick Gerritsen, who brings

with him several years of know-how and expertise in the area

of biobased and biodegradable packaging.

Bio4Pack not only offers thermoformed packaging but

also all other kinds of packaging made from biobased and/or

biodegradable materials, including films, bags and netting,

and through to sugar cane trays made from the bagasse, a

by-product from the sugar cane industry.

“We want to offer our customers a total packaging

solution,“ says Oliver Fraajie, Commercial Director of

Nedupack, “not just a thermoformed tray or bulk pack.“

And thus the portfolio of Bio4Pack comprises the traditional

thermoformed packaging made from bioplastics such as

PLA or new thermoformable materials.

The range also includes films and bags for all kinds of

purposes, e.g shopping bags or flow wrap packaging made

from starch based bioplastics such as Biolice ® , Materbi ® or

Bioflex ® from FKUR, and also nets for onions, potatoes or

fruit and, of course, the labelling on the packaging.

“We also offer meat packaging consisting of a

thermoformed PLA tray with peelable SiOx coated PLA

film, having the same properties as conventional packing“

adds Frank Eijkman, Managing Director of Plastics2Pack.

“And for bakery goods such as cakes and cookies we have

thermoformed trays and folded boxes from a more rigid PLA

sheet. This kind of box is also available for the packaging of

bio-chocolate for example.“

Blisters for liquor gift packs or batteries round off the

list of examples. “In a nutshell: We are a trading company

that offers all types of packaging made from biobased or

biodegradable materials,“ says Patrick Gerritsen, “Those that

we don‘t produce ourselves at Nedupack or Plastics2pack,

we get from partners who I know from the past“.

Of course all products are certified according to EN 13432

and Patrick goes even one step further: “We are investigating

the possibility of having our products certified and labeled

with ‘Climate Neutral‘ (“.

Bio4Pack started operations in early August and is proud of

the first orders from leading companies in the fresh produce

and supermarket businesses. Even if the company initially

targets the European market, clients from all over the world

can be served via Nedupack‘s partners in many countries.

“Another big advantage is that Nedupack Thermoforming

have their own design and tool-making department, so we

are more flexible and can react much quicker than many

other suppliers,“ says Jhon Bollen, Technical Director of


Although this new company was founded in a generally

difficult economic situation, the entrepreneurs have full

confidence in the development of this market. “We are

looking forward to convincing more and more supermarkets

and other suppliers to switch to bioplastic products - and

not only because the traditional resources are finite,“ says

Patrick Gerritsen. Oliver Fraaije is convinced that “the

customers who buy bio-food are also willing to buy biopackaging.“

- MT


In the last issue (04/2009) bioplastics MAGAZINE published an article on the NIR sorting field test of NatureWorks Ingeo PLA

bottles from a clear PET recycling stream. In table 1 on page 25 the removal efficiency was listed as 3 percent, when it should

have been 93 percent.

To be clear, 93 percent of the PLA bottles were removed from the clear PET stream. The resulting clear PET bail contained

just 453 ppm (parts per million) PLA. The bails were 99.95 percent PET and plastics other than PLA following the storing test.

We apologize for this error.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4



Biodegradable Food

Service for Dallas

Convention Center

Centerplate (Stamford, Connecticut, USA), the hospitality

partner to North America‘s premier convention centers and

sports stadiums, recently announced the introduction of a

completely biodegradable food service solution for the Dallas

Convention Center. All of the facility‘s disposable food

service items from cups to flatware to napkins will be 100 %

biodegradable, dramatically reducing the environmental impact

of the site‘s menu operations.

The initiative taps Centerplate‘s deep expertise in

implementing eco-friendly food service programs for major

convention centers and stadiums across North America

following its recent work helping the University of Colorado

at Boulder transform its 53,750 seat Folsom Field football

stadium into a zero-waste facility. For the Dallas Convention

Center, the biodegradable program augments the site‘s

position as one of the most environmentally sound convention

venues in the nation and one of the few to achieve the elite

ISO 14001:2004 certification, an international environmental

standard which helps organizations limit the negative impact

of their operations on the environment.

“When a two-million square foot plus operation like the

Dallas Convention Center commits to this level of change,

the benefits to the overall environment and to the health

of the immediate community are substantial,“ said Des

Hague, president and CEO of Centerplate. “As part of our

commitment to becoming the number one in hospitality

and a leader in sustainability, we intend to extend this

biodegradable food service solution to all our clients.“

Among the new biodegradable products being introduced

are cutlery made from potato starch; clear colored, cornbased

cups for beer and soda; and plates, bowls and togo

containers made from sugarcane pulp; hot cups that

are lined with plant-based plastic; and compostable lines

for trash receptacles.”It‘s a point of pride for us to be

able to operate a world class venue offering a world class

experience while simultaneously maintaining one of the

most environmentally responsible facilities in the country,“

said Frank Poe, the director of convention and event services

at the Dallas Convention Center. “Centerplate has been a

key partner of ours for several years and their ability to

successfully implement major changes such as this new

biodegradable food service program has played a key role in

our overall success.“ - PRNewswire - MT

PLA Based Masterbatches

At FAKUMA 2009, to be held in Friedrichshafen, Germany in mid October, Austrian

Gabriel-Chemie from Gumpoldskirchen is presenting its new MAXITHEN ® BIOL

range of colour- and additive masterbatches based on Polylactide (PLA).

At a dosage rate up to 5% MAXITHEN BIOL colour masterbatches comply with

the composting regulations and the normative standard EN13432. The colour

masterbatches are characterised by transparency and high colour strength and

can be well processed on existing machines. All PLA based colour- and additive

masterbatches are compatible with a lot of other biogenic as well as petrochemical

(conventional) polymers and offer a wide range of applications.

MAXITHEN BIOL masterbatches can be used for the production of films, form

parts, boxes, cups, bottles and other commodities. This new product range is

mainly recommended for the colouring of short-dated packaging or thermoformed

products (e.g. beverage- or yoghurt cups, trays for meat, fruits and vegetables);

but also for the colouring and dressing of agricultural films (mulch and protective

films) and auxiliary gardening articles (seedling trays, plant holders, single-use

plant pots).

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Event Review

2 nd PLA Bottle Conference

The 2 nd PLA Bottle Conference hosted by bioplastics

MAGAZINE (September 14-15, Munich, Germany) attracted

almost 80 experts from 18 different countries.

Delegates from the beverage industry as well as bioplastics

experts came from all over Europe, North America and from

countries as far away from the event venue as South Africa,

Kuwait and Syria. Organizers, speakers and delegates were

all well satisfied with the conference, as all presentations

as well as the discussions were considered to be “very substantial“,

“very much state-of-the-art“ and offered “many

opportunities for making valuable contacts“.

In an extremely well received keynote speech on ‘Land use

for Bioplastics‘ Michael Carus from the nova Institut gave a

comprehensive overview of the situation regarding the need

to use available arable land to feed humans and animals,

and its use for the production of biofuels and bioplastics.

The conference itself followed a central theme from

renewable feedstock to end-of-life. Starting with the

basics on how starch or sugar is converted into lactic acid

and then into PLA, the speakers addressed topics such as

preform making and bottle blowing. Special focuses were

on certain challenges such as barrier improvement (e.g. by

SiOx coating) or enhanced thermal stability. Here special

processing techniques were discussed as well as blending or

stereocomplexing L and D lactides. Colorants and additives

were introduced in order to achieve effects such as antiyellowing

or anti-slip.

Once a bottle has been produced and filled the next

steps are capping (with ongoing efforts being made in the

field of bioplastic caps and closures) and labelling. Shrink

sleeves made of PLA represent a viable solution that

neither compromises automated sorting nor compostability

(where desired). A world premier was the introduction of a

bioplastics shrink film (see page 24 for more details).

Reports on their experiences by PLA bottle pioneers

as well as brand new entrepreneurs gave an inspiring

impression of the possibilities and challenges. As a surprise

for all participants a Greek dairy company, together with their

consultant, gave an almost spontaneous presentation about

a very recently launched milk bottle in Greece, accompanied

by a goat‘s milk tasting experience for everybody.

The conference ended with a session on end-of-life or

better end-of-use options for PLA. The delegates learned

that NIR (= Near Infrared) is a technology that works well for

automated sorting but that, on the other hand, still has some

limitations. As at the previous two PLA conferences organised

by bioplastics MAGAZINE, almost all of the attendees agreed

that composting is not necessarily the best option. However,

in closed loop systems such as stadiums, big events or

similar, collection and composting may be a viable solution,

provided that composting facilities are available. Elsewhere,

where perhaps the volumes of collected PLA do not reach

a critical mass for sorting and recycling, incineration with

energy recovery seems to be a good solution. As one fairly

new option the chemical recycling of PLA back into lactic

acid was presented and can be reviewed in more detail on

page 30.

After the second day of the conference the delegates

were invited to visit drinktec, the world‘s number one trade

fair for beverage and liquid food technology in Munich.

And on Wednesday an encouraging number of lime-green

backpacks could be observed at the fairgrounds …

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

4 th

Next Generation: Green


10 / 11 November, 2009

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Conference Contact:

Phone: +49 30 284 82 358

Fiber Applications

Melt Blown Line (Photo

Courtesy Biax-Fiberfilm)




Two grades of NatureWorks‘ Ingeo PLA resin are now commercially available for the

production of meltblown nonwovens, fabrics widely used in such products as wipes and


“As interest grows in polymers made from renewable resources, equipment manufacturers,

process developers, and researchers have been exploring solutions that offer meltblown

nonwoven fabrics that both perform well and achieve a lower carbon footprint than the

existing petroleum-based incumbents,” said Robert Green, director of fibers and nonwovens,

NatureWorks, at the recent 2009 International Nonwovens Technical Conference (INTC) in

Denver, Colorado, USA.

Green was referring to meltblown fiber equipment manufacturer Biax-FiberFilm, Greenville,

Wisconsin, USA, which earlier this year conducted meltblown tests of Ingeo PLA. Researchers

at the University of Tennessee Nonwovens Research Lab (UTNRL) also evaluated Ingeo for its

suitability for meltblown fabric substrates using conventional meltblowing equipment.

“Our development of an Ingeo meltblown substrate significantly broadens the variety of

applications in which this material can be used,” said Doug Brown, president, Biax-FiberFilm. “An

Ingeo meltblown nonwoven offers an estimated 30 to 50 percent cost savings over conventional

fiber-based nonwoven roll goods and a significant advantage in price stability compared to

petroleum-based products.” Brown also noted that mixing the meltblown fiber with wood pulp

or viscose greatly enhanced the material’s absorption, making it suitable for a broad range of

performance wipes products.

In its development work, Biax-FiberFilm demonstrated excellent performance of two

Ingeo grades in their meltblown process. The grades 6252D and 6201D each provided broad

processing windows and quality fabrics that meet requirements for a range of applications. The

high pressure die design unique to Biax FiberFilm meltblown lines allow processing of higher

viscosity grades, such as 6201D, offering even higher fabric strength than seen on conventional

meltblowing equipment.

These recent advances provide the nonwoven market with a full range of Ingeo fabrics that

can now be produced with all major fabric forming technologies from spunmelt to conventional

carded nonwovens, offering the ability to meet consumers’ convenience needs with an annually

renewable low environmental impact material. The attached graphic shows the significant

environmental advantage Ingeo offers over conventional petroleum based products.

NatureWorks and Biax FiberFilm presented the results of this work in separate sessions at

the INTC. Also at the conference, Fiber Innovation Technologies presented a paper on thermal

bonding with Ingeo, and the University of Tennessee as well as Oklahoma University reviewed

research into Ingeo mulch fabrics and fiber production. MT

10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Fiber Applications

New carpet

made from

PLA fibres


Floor Mat


special floor mat available for the fully

remodeled third-generation Toyota Prius uses

an advanced Ingeo based PLA fiber. Known

as the world’s most eco-conscious car, Toyota Prius

features world-leading mileage (2.6 L/100 km or 89 Miles

per Gallon), a solar powered ventilation system, and

environmentally friendly plant-derived plastics for seat

cushion foam, cowl side trim, inner and outer scuff

plates, and deck trim cover. Now, the new Prius adds to

these biobased materials by offering optional floor mats

(deluxe type) using an advanced Ingeo fiber system.

As a result of reducing the use of fossil resource as much

as possible in its manufacturing process from feedstock

to factory shipment, Ingeo reduces the fossil fuel use by

65% and cuts by 90% the CO 2

emission when compared to

the petroleum-derived nylon resin used in traditional floor

mats. By adopting the PLA mat products, Toyota benefits

from the unique environmental advantages of a fiber

made from plants, not oil. This adoption of new floor mats

exemplifies Toyota’s belief that the use of environmentally

friendly materials is as equally important as design and

product performance.

“We have long looked at Japan as an ‘innovation

engine’ for our Ingeo business,” noted Marc Verbruggen,

NatureWorks CEO. “With Toyota’s latest development, we

recognize their achievement in leading the automotive

industry’s efforts with excellence in biobased product

performance and innovation”.

NatureWorks in Japan supplied Ingeo to Toyota Tsusho

Corporation, who developed the new environmentally

friendly floor mats.

Sommer Needlepunch, Baisieux, France, is specialised

in floor covering solutions: carpet for events,

domestic and contract use and more recently artificial

grass. Its more than 50 years of know-how and experience

is recognised throughout the world.

The care for the environment has always been an

important consideration for the company, especially for

the issues related to the consumption of raw materials

and energy and the development of new products. During

the last five years they proved to be a trendsetter in

the development of sustainable eco-friendly solutions,

believing strongly that economy and ecology can go


An important investment program made it possible for

Sommer Needlepunch to switch almost completely to the

use of biobased and recycled raw materials and the plan

to supply energy from wind turbines is scheduled to be in

place by 2010.

The launch of Ecopunch ® , the first carpet collection made

from 100% PLA fibres derived from NatureWorks‘Ingeo

is a result of the important R&D efforts made in the area

of the development of biodegradable products. “Ecopunch

is a real natural alternative to the conventional oilbased

products that offers the same performance and

quality,“ says a press release of Sommer Needlepunch.

“This new product is an environmentally friendly carpet

as its process reduces the CO 2

emissions by up to 60 %

compared to the traditional PP and PA products and

extends the economical life time of the raw materials.“- MT

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 11

Fiber Applications

Innovative Tea-Bag

Material Made From

PLA Fibres

Ahlstrom Corporation, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland is a global

leader in the development and manufacture of high performance fiber-based

materials. Last June the company presented its innovative,

biodegradable nonwoven for infusion applications at the Tea & Coffee World

Cup exhibition in Seville, Spain.

Thanks to an innovative, ahead of the curve investment at the Chirnside,

Scotland operations, Ahlstrom introduced a world premier to the infusion

market: a lightweight, fine filament web based on NatureWorks‘ Ingeo

PLA. It is designed to deliver functional benefits to converters and consumers

of tea-bags, while featuring unique environmental characteristics. Now

commercially available, it was presented for the first time at a European


“The raw material and the fine filament webs are fully biodegradable and

compostable. An independent LCA (life cycle assessment) carried out to

ISO 14040 standards demonstrated that these webs have a lower carbon

footprint compared to similar products made of oil-based polymers“ says

Mike Black, Ahlstrom‘s General Manager, Food Nonwovens. The principal

ingredient is PLA. This also means that the raw material for this product is

based on 100% annually renewable resources.

While responding to the growing demand for sustainable food packaging

solutions, the new product also delivers remarkable functional benefits.

The extra fine webs highlight the contents while maintaining shape and

easily accommodating tea-bag strings and tags. The resulting tea-bags

look different and feel different to the touch: they represent the ideal choice

for brand owners wanting to highlight quality infusions and to differentiate

their premium blends, the fastest growing segment in the market.

Suitable for conversion on tea-packing machines that use ultrasonic

sealing technology, the new materials complement Ahlstrom‘s wide

range of traditional heatsealable and non-heatsealable filter webs for tea

and coffee. Ahlstrom now offers the broadest range of beverage filtration

materials available on the market, with manufacturing both in Europe and

North America.

Ahlstrom infusion materials are part of the company‘s Advanced

Nonwovens business area and can be found worldwide in numerous

everyday applications. These include tea-bag materials manufactured

primarily in the UK and USA and used by leading tea packers such as Tetley,

Typhoo or Unilever. The products are sold globally through the Ahlstrom

sales network. - MT

12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Fiber Applications

Plant-Based Materials

for Automobile Interiors

Toray Industries, Inc. with headquarters in Chuo-ku, Tokyo,

Japan has started full-fledged mass production of

its environment-friendly fiber materials based on PLA

and plant-derived polyesters for automobile applications.

Toray has already been supplying the materials for the trunk

and floor carpeting to Toyota Motor Corp. in its latest hybrid

model of Lexus, the HS 250h, launched in July this year. At

the same time, Toray is promoting the products to other automakers.

Toray aims to have annual sales of 200 tons for the

first year for products including ceiling upholstery and door

trim materials, and expects them to grow to 5,000 tons per

year by 2015.

Materials to be used in different automobile interior parts

have to clear tough and varied physical property requirements.

Generally, environment-friendly materials such as PLA used

to be believed to lack in heat and wear resistance properties

in comparison to regular polyester. Though various efforts

were being made to address those weaknesses, the adoption

of such materials in automobile applications had so far been

limited to a few models due to a number of shortcomings.

This time Toray developed various technologies for

compounding environment-friendly materials with

petroleum-based products, including a proprietary hydrolysis

control technology to modify polymer and techniques for

compounding using polymer alloys and in the process of

fiber spinning as well as mixed fiber compounding during

higher processing. By making full use of these technologies,

Toray succeeded in achieving the significantly high levels of

durability sought by automobile interior applications, enabling

actual adoption by mass-produced vehicles.

Having cleared the tough physical property benchmarks

for automobile interiors, Toray will focus on further

development of materials with higher plant-derived biomass

percentage and expand the materials’ applications into wideranging

applications such as general apparel and industrial


In this age of growing importance for environmentconsciousness,

automobile manufacturers are striving to

develop advanced technologies and aiming for a motorized

society that can co-exist with the environment. The companies

are actively considering a shift from the existing petroleumbased

materials to products made from plant-derived

materials for interior components which make up about 5

to 10% of a vehicle’s body weight. The use of plant-derived

materials is expected to explode in the future, given the fact

that it has low CO 2 emissions in its lifecycle from production

to disposal and it helps in curbing the use of the limited fossil

fuel resources.

Under its Innovation by Chemistry slogan, Toray is actively

pursuing the development of environment-friendly products

and aims to contribute to the development of a sustainable,

recycling-oriented society through its sales of environmentfriendly

automobile parts.

Photos: Lexus / Toyota

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 13

Fiber Applications

Fibers of PTT Receive

New U.S. Generic, ‘Triexta’

Article contributed by

Dawson E. Winch

Global Brand Manager

DuPont Applied BioSciences

Wilmington, Delaware, USA

This year is a significant year in fiber history for several reasons.

Seventy years ago, at the 1939 World’s Fair, nylon was introduced

and women began wearing stockings made with nylon

from DuPont. In 1959, 50 years ago this year, the Textile Identification

Act was passed to create standards for fiber identification in apparel,

carpet and other fiber markets. And most recently, in March of 2009,

the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a new subgeneric

– ‘triexta’ – for fibers made from PTT (polytrimethylene terephthalate)

polymer. Sorona ® is the brand name for renewably sourced PTT polymer

from DuPont.

In addition to its legacy of fiber innovation, DuPont has also led in

the establishment of environmental goals. DuPont established its first

environmental goals more than 19 years ago and as recently as 2006,

set aggressive sustainability goals to meet or exceed by 2015. In addition

to the operational goals of reducing its environmental footprint, for the

first time DuPont established market facing goals. Sorona addresses

one of these goals in particular, to reduce dependency on depletable

(petrochemical) resources. DuPont Sorona ® renewably sourced

polymer was created at the intersection where sustainability and fiber

innovation meet.

Sorona is just one product that utilizes Bio-PDO, the key and

‘green’ ingredient made using a fermentation process. And it is only

one of many products in the DuPont Renewable Materials Program

(DRSM). DRSM was developed to help DuPont customers identify

those products that perform as well as or better than traditional

petrochemical-based products AND contain a minimum of 20%

renewably sourced ingredients by weight.

By creating base monomers or building block molecules like Bio-

PDO, using renewable resources instead of petrochemicals, DuPont

has introduced a variety of materials for diverse markets and end

uses from personal care products to industrial antifreeze to fibers for

textiles and carpet. It is in these last two categories – textiles and

carpet – where Sorona can be found.

Apparel as well as residential and commercial interior markets can

enjoy and benefit from the unique combination of attributes provided

by Sorona, that led to the new generic, ‘triexta.’


The versatility and adaptability of fibers made with Sorona

compliment the needs by a wide variety of apparel applications. Since

it can easily be blended with other fibers, both synthetic and natural,

14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

fibers from Sorona, with its features and benefits, allows

designers to take designs to new heights.

The benefits of Sorona compliment the demands of

swimwear manufacturers and consumers. Swimwear

remains looking newer longer due to the chlorine and

UV resistance, meaning prints and colors won’t fade or

wash out due to repeated exposure to bright sun and

harsh chlorine. And one swimsuit will last the whole

season (at least) since it resists pilling. Speedo has

adopted Sorona for swimwear in the United Kingdom.

Intimate apparel designers and consumers appreciate

the exceptional and luxurious softness and flattering

drape provided by Sorona. Unlike other synthetics, these

-fibers reach a bright white and a deep, rich black –

both very popular colors in the intimate apparel market.

And, due to its colorfastness and fade resistance blacks

and whites won’t fade or yellow over time. Best of all

for consumers is the easy care attribute of Sorona - no

special washing instructions to follow.

Activewear also benefits from the unique attributes

and benefits of Sorona. As a polymer, it can be extruded

in an odd cross section to increase the wicking ability of

the fiber. Moisture management is enhanced with these

fibers since the moisture transporting channels remain

more clearly defined. And, fleece takes on a new level of

softness since a microdenier feel can be obtained with

fibers of greater than one denier. And, fiber and fabric

is fade resistant from repeated washings, activewear

colors remain bold and vivid through many work-outs

and adventures.

In blended fabrics popular in ready to wear, Sorona

continues to provide wonderful benefits. Wool/Sorona

blends offer softness and drape along with resistance

to wrinkles – perfect for the business traveler who

goes from plane to meeting. Cotton/Sorona blends

offer softness and a comfort stretch and recovery to

provide freedom of movement through the shoulders

and elbows where consumers need it most. And, baggy,

saggy knees and elbows are virtually eliminated since

it also provides permanent recovery. This stretch and

recovery leads to freedom of movement improving

comfort and wearability in clothing. In other words,

such blends enhance and maximize the fabric’s benefits.

Spun Bamboo ® has incorporated blends of Sorona

and bamboo into it’s lines of t-shirts and polo shirts.

Timberland and Izod have also adopted Sorona into a

line of fishing shirts and polo shirts respectively.

Designers and apparel manufacturers appreciate the

easy dyability of fibers made with Sorona since it reaches

full color absorption at the boiling point of water. Unlike

some other synthetic fibers, it doesn’t require additional

heat, pressure or chemical carriers to dye. Fabrics print

beautifully too – and prints remain sharp, vivid and



Hans-Josef Endres, Andrea Siebert-Raths

Technische Biopolymere

Rahmenbedingungen, Marktsituation,

Herstellung, Aufbau und Eigenschaften

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Engineering Biopolymers

General conditions, market situation,

production, structure and properties

number of pages t.b.d., hardcover,

coming soon.

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version is in preparation and coming soon. An e-book is included

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The new book offers a broad basis of information from a plastics

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of the biopolymer market, the different materials and suppliers

as well as production-, processing-, usage- and disposal

properties for all commercially available biopolymers.

The unique book represents an important and comprehensive

source of information and a knowledge base for researchers,

developers, technicians, engineers, marketing, management and

other decision-makers. It is a must-have in all areas of applications

for raw material suppliers, manufacturers of plastics and

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packaging suppliers, the automotive industry, the fiber/nonwoven/textile

industry as well as universities.


Definition of biopolymers

Materials classes

Production routes and polymerization

processes of biopolymers


Comprehensive technical properties

Comparison of property profiles

of biopolymers with those of

conventional plastics

Disposal options

Data about sustainability and


Important legal framwork

Testing standards

Market players

Trade names



Current availabilities

and future prospects

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 15

Fiber Applications

crisp since fabrics are fade resistant from both sunlight and

repeated washings.

The most unique attribute of Sorona, however, lies in the

fact that this fiber is also an environmentally smart choice

for textile and carpet markets. The performance of Sorona

contributes to the overall sustainability since the performance

keeps products look newer longer.

Since one of the ingredients is made with renewable

resources instead of petrochemicals, Sorona is 37% renewably

sourced by weight. Energy savings and reduced greenhouse

gas emissions are added to the environmental benefits

since the production requires 30% less energy and reduces

CO 2 emissions 63% over nylon 6 on a pound for pound basis.

Durability and performance also contribute to the sustainable

aspects since products perform and look better, longer.


The ‘Performance PLUS Environmental‘ story of Sorona

continues in carpet fibers for both residential and commercial

applications. In carpeting, it offers a unique combination

of benefits that customers’ value. In addition to providing

durability and crush resistance, carpets with Sorona are

permanently, naturally stain resistance. Since the stain

resistance is an inherent attribute of the fiber, it will never

wash or wear off and therefore never has to be reapplied.

Triexta, the new generic, also pertains to Sorona as a fiber for

residential and commercial carpets. In test after test, carpets

with Sorona outperformed both premium stain treated nylon

and polyester carpet in both durability and stain resistance.

And the energy equivalent of 1 gallon of gasoline is saved for

approximately every 7 square yards (1 liter per 1.55 m²) of

residential carpet. Leaders in the carpet industry state that

Sorona is the newest innovation to positively impact the carpet

industry in over 20 years.

The benefits of Sorona in commercial carpet continue in

green building design for commercial interiors. It’s permanent

natural stain resistance and durability attributes delight both

building residents and maintenance teams alike. Architects

and designers appreciate the three ways that carpeting with

Sorona can contribute to LEED’s points: 1) As a ‘Rapidly

Renewable Material’ MR Credit 6; 2) as a ‘Regional Material’

MR Credit 5; and 3) ‘Low-Emitting Materials,’ IEQ Credit

3. The LEED program was established by the U. S. Green

Building Council as guidelines for the design and construction


Sorona is evidence of the innovation that results from

intersections – the intersection of biology, chemistry and

polymer science as well as the intersection of performance

and environmental benefits.

16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


Twin-Screw Extruders for

Biopolymer Compounding

ENTEK Manufacturing, Inc., headquartered in Lebanon,

Oregon, USA, the leading U.S. based manufacturer

of twin-screw extruders and replacement wear

parts, recently introduced customized twin-screw extruders

specifically designed for bio-based compounding.

At NPE in Chicago in June, ENTEK showed a specially

outfitted E-MAX 27mm twin-screw extruder designed for

processing bio-based blends. It includes two dry feeders and

a liquid feeder for processing a combination of thermoplastics

and a bioresin or starch material.

The use of ENTEK twin-screw extruders for biopolymer

processing is not new; in fact, the company’s machinery is

currently being used by several processors worldwide in

commercially successful bio-based applications. However,

because of the ever-increasing number of biopolymer

materials, additives and fillers being used in the industry,

ENTEK has developed new machine configurations

specifically designed for compounding materials in the

following three areas:

• Reactive bio-based materials (starch-based materials

and plasticizers)

• Bioresin materials (PLA, PHA, PSM, etc.)

• Bio-based blends (Bioresins or Starches blended with


“Our development lab has seen a real spike in the

number of bio-based material and product trials,” said John

Effmann, ENTEK Director of Sales and Marketing. “The

experience we’ve gained from these trials, as well as our

in-field bio experience, has helped us understand what’s

needed to successfully compound the many types of biobased

materials on the market.”

ENTEK 27mm, 40mm, and 53mm twin-screw extruders

are the most popular models for bio-based applications, but

larger models such as the 73mm and 103mm machines are

also in use for commercial applications. “Typically a customer

will use our in-house development lab for material trials,

then start with a 27mm or 40mm machine,” said Effmann.

“Once the bio-based compound makes it to market, the

customer ramps up for production by purchasing our larger

machines,” he said.

ENTEK was an early participant in biopolymer processing.

Back in 2004, Australian customer Plantic, a pioneer in

biopolymer compounding, successfully processed their

patented packaging products on ENTEK machinery before

the term ‘biopolymers’ was common in the industry. The first

Plantic products got their start in the ENTEK lab in Lebanon,

Oregon, and the two companies continue a strong business

relationship today.

While still a young industry, today biopolymers are a fastgrowing

field. In 2008, bio-based material trials made up

36% of all trials run in ENTEK’s in-house development lab.

Several new players have emerged in the industry in

this area, and ENTEK is working with many of them. New

materials of all types are arriving at the company weekly,

and ENTEK welcomes the opportunity to lend its lab and

processing expertise for the next breakthrough biopolymer


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 17

Paper Coating




Article contributed by

John T. Moore,

Vice President- Business Development,

DaniMer Scientific, Bainbridge, Georgia,


Many companies are building the value of their brands

and growing their business by investing in development

of product offerings that utilize renewable-based

biopolymer materials. DaniMer Scientific, LLC is enabling brand

owners and converters who focus on environmental stewardship

to grow their market share by offering biopolymers for extrusion

coating of paper and paperboard. Extrusion coating is an excellent

application for biopolymers, and there is no current opposition

concerning contamination of the existing recycle stream for

paper articles when biopolymers are present. Further enhancing

its appeal, DaniMer’s extrusion coating resin provides additional

value by enabling coated articles to be repulpable. DaniMer’s advances

in the use of biopolymers led to the introduction in 2006

of the world’s first commercial extrusion coating resin that meets

global standards for compostability while utilizing renewable resources.

This new DaniMer technology enabled International Paper

to launch the Ecotainer product in a partnership with Green

Mountain Coffee. Since that launch, DaniMer’s extrusion coating

product has continued to enjoy the market’s embrace and

steady growth. In fact, International Paper recently announced it

has crossed the one billion cup milestone and is expanding their

product line to include cold cups for a certain large global brand

owner; further demonstrating that biopolymer coated paper substrates

are more than just a fad. DaniMer has expanded its customer

base and is working with key customers on a global basis

in various stages of commercialization for new products.

DaniMer’s proprietary extrusion coating resin is based on

NatureWorks Ingeo Biopolymer. Ingeo biopolymer is an excellent

material, but requires modification for melt strength, melt curtain

stability, and adhesion to paper in extrusion coating applications.

In most cases, DaniMer’s extrusion coating resin can be run on

existing equipment with minimal adjustments relative to the

18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Paper Coating

setup typically used for low density polyethylene. One challenge

encountered with the use of biopolymers is the need to process the

material at lower moisture content than that typically acceptable

for polyethylene. Like PET and other polyesters, biopolymers (which

are typically bio-polyesters) can gain moisture when exposed to

ambient conditions. Moisture management is often a new area

of focus to most converters of LDPE. Another difference often

noted with biopolymer materials such as the DaniMer extrusion

coating resin is the lower processing temperatures than those

used when processing traditional polyolefin materials such as

LDPE. The ability to process at much lower temperatures enables

an additional cost savings when using biopolymers. With proper

training and instruction, most processing changes are recognized

as minor and require only slight adjustment in procedure.

The market success that DaniMer has enabled its customers to

experience with the first generation renewable-based, compostable

extrusion coating biopolymer has led to development of a second

generation formulation. Development of this second generation

material is in the final stages of commercial-scale validation with

cost reduction and broader operating parameters as the primary

new characteristics. Increased efficiencies in manufacturing

of the next generation material will translate into cost savings,

which along with broader processing and converting parameters

are expected to enable converters and brand owners to gain and

retain greater market share for coated paper articles that are

intended for single-use and short-term-use applications.

In response to requests from key market leaders, DaniMer has

recently developed a wax replacement coating. This proprietary

material is also made from renewable resources and is both

compostable and repulpable. Traditional wax coatings are

losing favor with paper companies and converters, due to large

fluctuations in consistency and price. Utilizing their Seluma

technology platform, the Danimer R&D staff has developed a

wax replacement material using renewable based monomers to

create a coating resin that can be used as a ‘drop in’ for existing

wax coatings of paper and other substrates. Early customer

evaluations confirmed that because the DaniMer material has

a higher stiffness vs. wax, a reduction in part weight or paper

thickness is possible resulting in significant overall package


Photos: International Paper

DaniMer continues to focus on cost-effective innovation in order

to serve brand owners and converters with a broad product portfolio

of biopolymer materials. DaniMer recently acquired the Procter &

Gamble intellectual property portfolio for a new type of biopolymer

known as polyhydroxyalcanoate (PHA) and is commercializing the

technology via a new company identified as Meredian, Inc. It is

expected that Meredina PHA (scheduled for commercial-scale

production in 2010) will provide additional innovations in the area

of biopolymer technologies suitable for paper and paperboard

coatings as well as for other unique combinations of biopolymers

that will be offered through Meredian’s sister company DaniMer


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 19

Paper Coating

Sustainable Cups

from Georgia-Pacific

Article contributed by

John Mulcahy

Vice President – Category

Georgia-Pacific Professional

Food Services Solutions

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

In August, Georgia-Pacific Professional Food Services Solutions

launched a complete line of Dixie beverage solutions, which are

part of the company’s EcoSmart product line that demonstrates

the company’s commitment to innovative products that support

sustainability goals.

The EcoSmart products includes two collections: A PLA-lined

single wall paper hot cups made from at least 95 percent renewable

resources; and the Insulair ® line of insulated cups, available in 12

and 25 percent post-consumer recycled fiber.

The products are designed to allow operators to enhance their

environmental stewardship position. These EcoSmart products can

be processed successfully in commercial composting operations,

where they exist. The PLA hot cup is 100 percent compostable

because both the fiber portion and the coating are fully compostable.

This coating is supplied by NatureWorks. The Insulair collection

contains a fiber portion which is fully compostable in commercial

facilities. While the Insulair coating is not inherently compostable, it

will separate from the fibers and can be screened out at the end of

the composting operation.

“This is a tremendous step forward in the approach we take to

responsible manufacturing,” notes John Mulcahy, vice president

– category, Georgia-Pacific Professional Food Services Solutions.

“The EcoSmart line represents some of the most groundbreaking

products available to operators and is just one example of our

dedication to providing sustainable solutions that create a positive

impact on the world around us.”

New from Georgia-Pacific Food Services Solutions, the PLA

coated cup collection is printed with a green foliage stock design,

Viridian, and available immediately in 8-, 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-

ounce sizes.

The Insulair insulated hot cup collection features 12 and 25 percent

post-consumer recycled fiber options. Both feature triple-wall

construction and an insulative middle layer that keeps beverages

hot while staying cool to the touch. The corrugated middle layer is

comprised of 99 percent post-consumer recycled fiber.

Insulair is available in attractive stock designs, including Viridian,

Aroma and Interlude, and in 8-, 12-, 16-, 20- and 24-ounce

sizes. The cup also boasts custom graphic capabilities with sharp

resolution and rich colors, which have won Bronze, Silver and Gold

at the 2008 Flexography Awards international design competition.

20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Polylactic Acid

Uhde Inventa-Fischer extended its portfolio to technology and production plants for PLA,

based on its long-term experience with PA and PET. The feedstock for our PLA process is lactic acid

which can be produced from local agricultural products containing starch or sugar.

The application range is similar to that of polymers based on fossil resources. Physical properties of

PLA can be tailored to meet the requirements of packaging, textile and other applications.

Think. Invest. Earn.

Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH

Holzhauser Strasse 157–159

13509 Berlin


Tel. +49 30 43 567 5

Fax +49 30 43 567 699

Uhde Inventa-Fischer AG


7013 Domat/Ems


Tel. +41 81 632 63 11

Fax +41 81 632 74 03

Uhde Inventa-Fischer

A company of ThyssenKrupp Technologies


In conjunction with the new 62N BioTAK contact adhesive,

German company Herma is offering a unique adhesive

material that is 100 % biodegradable. Located in Filderstadt

near Stuttgart, Herma GmbH is a leading European specialist

in self-adhesive technology. The new contact adhesive

satisfies the European standard DIN EN 13432 which certifies

products made from compostable materials. A white, lightweight

coated paper and three different films are available as

the label material. The patented 62N BioTAK contact adhesive

is used on all of them. “Biodegradable materials based on

renewable raw materials have already had a huge impact on

the packaging materials sector,“ explains Herma managing

director Dr. Thomas Baumgärtner. “Consumers are already

showing a growing interest in where packagings come from,

and whether they can be reused; natural cosmetics, fruit and

vegetable packagings and all the products in the burgeoning

organic sector are good examples of this trend.“

Fully Compostable

Self-Adhesive Labels

HERMAnaturefilms – films made from wood

In the certification procedure, the HERMAnaturefilms

widely exceeded the requirements. To comply with EN

13432, 90 % of the material must have biodegraded after 45

days. The HERMAnaturefilms achieved this value after only

31 days and were fully degraded after 39 days. The special

films are obtained from cellulose supplied by FSC-certified

companies (from sustainable forestry). The films can be

printed using solvent-free and water and UV-based inks by

all conventional printing methods; they are antistatic and

repel oil and grease. Paper converters also benefit from the

high moisture and oxygen barrier. “The film is already used

as a packaging material by a large number of major food

manufacturers and packaging companies. With labels made

from our HERMAnaturefilms, these packaging materials are

now fully compostable,“ stresses Baumgärtner. Thanks to the

high gloss level, they even meet the sophisticated needs of

cosmetics packagings.

Labels using BioTAK adhesive

(Photo: courtesy BioTAK)

The biodegradable adhesive material is a further addition

to HERMA‘s ‘GreenLine’ product range. Just recently the

company included PEFC-certified paper adhesives and label

papers in its offering. “In this way label manufacturers will

now be able to take even greater advantage of the growing

demand for environmentally friendly packagings and marking

systems,“ states Baumgärtner.

22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Biobased and


Shrink Film

Application News

Sustainable and compostable, metallised NatureFlex NM

wraps Dr Vie Inc’s nutritional products

Nutritional Canadian


Canadian company, Dr Vie Inc, is wrapping its entire range

of nutritional ‘superfood’ products in metalized NatureFlex

NM film from Innovia Films, Wigton, Cumbria, UK.

Based in Montréal, Québec, Dr Vie Inc is a family-owned

business managed by a mother and daughter team. A family

history of ill health inspired their mission to create powerful

low-allergenic superfoods that stimulate wellness, enhance

a feeling of well-being and prevent illness.

The company’s 100% all-natural products are lowglycemic,

high in antioxidants, essential omegas and fatty

acids. The product line includes a variety of pure cacao

products, antioxidant-rich goji berry and acai berry raw

chocolate bars, sports nutrition bars and frozen desserts.

Dr Vie Inc has recently partnered with a global team of

elite sports, IronMan and Olympic team coaches and their

products are now available worldwide online to athletes, in

addition to Canadian health food, sports, wellness centres

and speciality stores.

Dr Vie Inc individually cuts and shapes the roll of

NatureFlex film to wrap each product at their factory.

According to company founder, Dr Vie, NatureFlex is an

ideal packaging choice: “Our company’s goal is to promote

wellness, optimise individual performance and protect the

planet in the process. NatureFlex is fully sustainable and

aligns beautifully with our core values”.

The high barrier against water vapour (WVTR

Application News

Green Packaging Line

A new ‘Green Packaging Line‘ of products has been

recently developed by Smurfit Kappa, Orsenigo, Italy, a

leading company specialised in the sector of innovative

cardboard based packaging.

It has adopted a new technology offered by Novamont,

Italy and Iggesund Paperboard, a leading company active

in the sector of high quality coated boards, headquartered

in Iggesund, Sweden.

World’s First

Bioplastic Eyeglasses

Japanese Companies Teijin Limited and Teijin Chemicals

Limited announced the development of eyeglass frames

made from plant-based, heat-resistant PLA BIOFRONT,

the world’s first bioplastic to be used for all plastic parts

of eyeglass frames, including the temples. The frames

were developed in collaboration with Tanaka Foresight

Inc., Higashi-Sabae City, Japan, which manufactures and

sells approximately 60% of all plastic eyeglass parts in


The new Biofront frames will be exhibited at the Tanaka

Foresight booth during the International Optical Fair

Tokyo (IOFT 2009) at Tokyo Big Sight from October 27 to

29. Tanaka Foresight eventually expects to sell between

50,000 and 100,000 pairs of PLA eyeglasses per year.

Although acetate is commonly used for the plastic

parts of eyeglasses, contact with cosmetics or hairstyling

products can result in bleaching. Acetate also

tends to warp under high heat and can cause skin rashes.

PLA (polylactide) has been used for eyeglass nose pads

because its antibacterial properties help to avoid rashes,

but conventional PLA has not been used for other parts

such as frames and temples because of insufficient heat


Biofront, however, is an advanced polylactide that offers

enhanced heat resistance. Its melting point of 210 °C puts

it on par with PBT, a leading engineering plastic. Biofront

also is highly resistant to bleaching and bacteria, making

it ideal for the plastic parts of eyeglasses.

This new rigid packaging line, which comprises trays,

punnets and containers for fresh and frozen food, bakery,

confectionary and others, is based on the virgin fibre

paperboard Invercote, coated through extrusion coating

technology with a compostable Mater-Bi polymer.

This special coating brings various technical properties

to the cardboard, like an excellent sealability, good thermal

stability and water, oil and fat protection.

Given these properties, Smurfit Kappa Orsenigo is able

to supply a wide range of products for cold and hot, dry and

wet food packaging applications, in the retail, catering and

Ho.Re.Ca. (=Hotel/Restaurant/Café) areas, like:

Deep frozen packaging, trays and punnets for ready cut

salad or fresh fruits or vegetables, ready meals and take

away containers, fresh cheese and dairy products, sweets,

chocolate, bakery.

Moreover, several non food applications can be taken

into consideration, like agro-floricultural ones, customised

gifts, wear packaging.

Besides being food contact approved, biodegradable and

compostable (according to EN13432), the ‘Green Packaging

Line’ products may also be disposed in the paper stream,

because the Mater-Bi coating has been designed as

well in order to meet the paper and cardboard recycling


The result is an extremely versatile and sustainable range

of products, because of its multiple end of life options.

24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

The ‘Green‘ Shaver

Application News

Established in 1945, the Société BIC is a Clichy, France based, well

recognized one-time-use products manufacturer. The company specialises in

ballpoint pens, cigarette lighters, razors and many more such products. The

BIC Group is committed to a pragmatic approach when it comes to materials

which have a better environment performance: to experiment them. This is

why the company started to implement different material alternatives in their

products and packaging recycled or coming from renewable resources.

This is the case for example for the new BIC ECOLUTIONS triple blade shaver

with its bioplastic handle and its 100% recycled cardboard packaging. After

5 years of research, BIC succeeded to develop a handle made with Ingeo T

PLA and other additives that resists to the constraints of shaving. In addition

bio-pigments of vegetable origin give this shaver a distinct green color and

the recycled pack is printed with bio inks made of vegetable based pigments


Consumers usually perceive ‘green‘ products as expensive. However with

a suggested retail price of €3.20 per pack of four shavers, BIC ® ecolutions

remains affordable to everyone. - MT


Parenting Solutions

Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc, Columbus, Indiana, USA, the

largest juvenile products manufacturer in the USA, recently

launched its Safety 1st ® Nature Next collection as part of its

ongoing initiative to focus on the environment. The special

collection addresses a growing concern among parents

who want to provide quality products for their children that

incorporate eco-conscious materials.

“We recognize the need – and our customers’ desire – to

make products that help keep children safe and healthy,“

said Vinnie D’Alleva, EVP Business Development at Dorel,

“but with a view to maximizing the environmental benefits.

We are also pleased to bring the collection to retail at an

accessible price point that all parents can appreciate.”

The Nature Next collection features the following ecoconscious

materials, such as bamboo, a quick-growing

and renewable resource. It is able to rapidly replenish

itself, making it a great alternative to traditional woods. In

addition, bamboo can thrive with little water and does not

require the use of fertilizers or pesticides, further reducing

its environmental impact.Bioplastics: The starches used in

the Nature Next collection’s items are all plant byproducts,

not crops that could otherwise be used as a food source.

Dorel also applies recycled plastics.

The line currently includes a Bamboo Booster Seat (photo),

Bamboo Gate, Bio-Plastic Infant-to-Toddler Bathtub, Bio-

Plastic Booster and Bio-Plastic 3-in-1 Potty.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 25




Castor beans


DSM Engineering Plastics from Sittard, The Netherlands,

has expanded further its Green Portfolio with

the introduction of EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high

performance engineering plastic. The new material, which

is based on polyamide (PA) 410 (or PA 4.10), has been developed

by DSM in recent years, and is now set to be commercialized.

High performance

Polyamide 410 is a ‘long-chain polyamide’. Thus EcoPaXX

is a high-performance polyamide with excellent mechanical

properties. It combines typical long-chain polyamide

properties such as low moisture absorption with high

melting point of 250°C (the highest of all bio-plastics) and

high crystallization rate enabling short cycle times and

thus high productivity. The material has excellent chemical

and hydrolysis resistance, which makes it highly suitable

for various demanding applications, for instance in the

automotive and electrical markets. A good example is its

very good resistance to salts, such as calcium chloride.

Because of its low moisture absorption, EcoPaXX will also

keep good strength and stiffness after conditioning.

Zero carbon footprint

Newly-introduced EcoPaXX is a green, bio-based

material: The polyamide 4.10 consists of the ‘4‘-component

(fossil oil based diaminobutane) and the ‘10‘-component

(approximately 70% of the polymer) derived from castor

oil as a renewable resource. Castor oil is a unique natural

material and is obtained from the Ricinus Communis plant,

which grows in tropical regions. It is grown in relatively poor

soil conditions, and its production does not compete with the


As not all carbon of the castor beans (or even of the castor

plants) is being used for making the building blocks of the

PA 4.10 there is still a certain amount of carbon sequestered

by the castor plant that is being used as an energy source

for the PA production or as fertilizer. Thus EcoPaXX can be

seen as to be 100 % carbon neutral from cradle to gate, as

per DSM, which means that the carbon dioxide which is

generated during the production process of the polymer, is

fully compensated by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed

in the growth phase of the castor beans. According to Kees

Tintel, project manager EcoPaXX “the carbon footprint

of plastics is rapidly becoming a hot issue for Customers,

therefore they really appreciate EcoPaXX being carbon


Market introduction phase

“DSM Engineering Plastics is proud to have EcoPaXX,

the ‘Green Performer’ , in a market introduction phase.

Combining unique DSM knowledge with the skills of Mother

Nature allows our Customers to benefit from a new step

towards a more sustainable world” says Roelof Westerbeek,

President of DSM Engineering Plastics. - MT

Castor plants

26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4



Moldable High



Launched in March 2009 by Colombes (France) based

Arkema, Rilsan ® HT for extrusion is the first flexible

high-temperature thermoplastic to replace metal in

high-temperature applications. Now, the company unveiled

Rilsan HT injection resins. The Rilsan HT range is now the

first complete polyphtalamide (PPA)-based product line

suitable for all process technologies, ranging from extrusion

to blow or injection molding. Rilsan HT resins are up to 70%

bio-based (according to ASTM D6866-06, biobased carbon)

and match the increasing environmental commitment of

many industries.

PPA-based injection resins in automotive applications

have increasingly replaced metal parts as a way to optimize

costs, reduce emissions and weight, improve fuel economy

and extend car life. Until now, PPA-based injection resins

were more difficult and costly to process when compared to

aliphatic high-performance polyamides.

According to Arkema, Rilsan HT is the only PPA-based

injection resin that offers processing characteristics similar

to those of aliphatic high-performance polyamides. With

mold temperatures close to those of PA12 and PA11, it

can be easily processed on standard injection-molding

equipment using conventional water-cooled temperature

control. Moreover, the material can be processed in injection

molds designed for PA12 and PA11 thanks to similar mold

shrinkage properties.

Unlike conventional PPA-based resins, Rilsan HT has very

low moisture uptake, which provides multiple benefits in

manufacture and applications. Low moisture pickup means

that the resin is easily stored and requires no supplemental

steps before processing. Low moisture absorption makes

the resin easy to process and handle, and imparts reliable

uniformity to the finished parts’ properties, which avoids

further downstream processing and limits waste. The

finished parts exhibit excellent dimensional stability.

Rilsan HT injection grades have exceptional ductility not

found in typical semi-aromatic injection resins. Thus the

resins deliver a designer-friendly balance of toughness,

strength and elongation and reduce the risk of failures that

can occur with brittle plastics, such as conventional PPAbased

injection materials or PPS.

Conductivity combined with ductility make it the first

conductive PPA-based injection resin that perfectly balances

high temperature resistance and excellent mechanical

properties with conductivity – making it well suited for

fuel system applications where conductivity is specifically

required, as it is for example in the North American market.

As stated by Arkema, this new PPA-based injection resin

is the only one that can be easily spin-welded with aliphatic

high performance polyamides, a completely new processing

feature for this material group. This offers further component

integration and addresses the enhanced safety and emission

standards of pipe connections in fuel-conducting systems.

Rilsan HT injection grades - glass-fiber reinforced or

formulated for conductivity - are ideally suited for metal

replacement in fuel system applications requiring low

permeation, low swelling and high thermal resistance. And

the suitability of the injection grade for quick-connectors

and other temperature resistant parts extends to powertrain

components including those integrated with Rilsan HT

flexible tubing.

Largely derived from renewable non-food-crop

vegetable feedstock, the polyamide material is a

durable high-temperature thermoplastic containing

up to 70% renewable carbon. It offers a significant

reduction in CO 2 emissions compared to conventional

petroleum-based high-temperature plastics, a reduced

dependence on oil resources and a perfect fit with the

eco-design concepts of many vehicle manufacturers.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 27


Composite Technical Services Inc. (CTS), based in Kettering (Dayton),

Ohio, USA, have recently established manufacturing and

research and development operations. Combining innovation

with environmental sustainability, CTS is providing high performance,

cost effective materials and technology that include unique bio-resins

and flame retardant additives. Housed in the National Composite Center

(NCC), CTS is initially targeting the composites and plastics industries.

Versatile Precursor

Made From Cashew Nuts

Cardanol from Cashew

One versatile precursor for a variety of polymers is cardanol, a phenol

derivative having a C15 unsaturated hydrocarbon chain with one to three

double bonds in meta position. It has interesting structural features for

chemical modification and polymerization. Cardanol can be obtained

from anarcadic acid, the main component of Cashew (Anacardium

occidentale L.) Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) by double vaccum destillation.

CNSL is a renewable natural resource obtained as a by-product of the

mechanical processes used to render the cashew kernel edible. Its total

production approaches one million tons annually. If not used as a widely

available and low cost renewable raw material, CNSL would represent a

dangerous pollutant source.

Cardanol-phenol resins were developed in the 1920s by a student of

the Columbia University (New York) named Mortimer T. Harvey.

The name ‘cardanol‘ comes from the word Anarcadium, which includes

the cashew tree, Anarcadium occidentale. The name Anarcadium itself is

based on the Greek word for heart.

Cardanol-based resins

Based on this, CTS is currently working on a breakthrough brand called

Exaphen. Exaphen products use a process that extracts (exa) phenolic

(phen) resins from agricultural by-products such as CNSL while retaining

the special properties nature has already engineered. A unique chemical

structure gives phenolic-type resins the capability to fight fire and delay

the spread of flames combined while providing resistance to aggressive


28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Photo: Barnabà


CTS offers a series of products based on the phenolic structure derived

from cashew nut shells.

• Cardanol-based phenolic resins (novolacs) as curing agents of

commercial epoxy resins;

• Cardanol-based polyols (POLYCARD XFN) for the preparation of


• Cardanol-based epoxy-novolacs (NOVOCARD XFN);

• Saturated and unsaturated polyester resins prepared using cardanol


• Cardanol-based aminoalcohols to be used in polymeric matrices with

a polyurea scaffold;

• Cardanol-based acrylic and methacrylic monomers as additives for

coating or varnishes;

• Cardanol-based benzoxazines as either coupling agents for glass and

natural fibres or as reticulating agents for epoxy resins.

Cardanol based polyols for poluyrethanes

Polycard XFN product line is a family of earth-friendly polyols derived

from cardanol for the formulation of both high and low density rigid

polyurethane foams, flexible polyurethane foams for use in insulating

foams, mattresses and couches, elastomers and coatings. The high

percentage of primary hydroxyl groups give these polyols a relatively

high rate of reactivity with isocyanates. In addition to classic polyols an

aminolachol monomer, AMINOLCARD XFN-AM120, is available.

Cardanol based epoxy hardeners

Novocard XFN products are liquid cardanol/formaldehyde novolacs

designed to be used as curing agent in formulating heat cured bisphenol-

A and bisphenol-F epoxy resins. Their long alkenyl side chains impart

flexibility in cured epoxy resins. The intrinsic properties of the phenolic

structure are chemical resistance, heat and flame resistance. Novocard

XFN can also be used as polyols for polyurethane formulations.

Cardanol based epoxy monomer and resins

Epocard XFN are epoxy monomers and resins suitable for composite

manufacture and coating applications which are available in a wide range

of viscosities. The alkyl side chain of the phenolic ring enhances the

final product flexibility, while the phenolic structure enhances chemical

resistance, heat and flame durability. Epoxy Equivalent Weight and their

formulation can be tailored for any end-use. - MT


CTS-Materials Divison Brochure


Tullo, Alexander H.: (September 8,

2008). „A Nutty Chemical“. Chemical and

Engineering News 86 (36): 26–27.

Senning, Alexander: (2006). Elsevier‘s

Dictionary of Chemoetymology. Elsevier.

ISBN 0444522395

Ikeda, Ryohei et. al.: (2000). „A new

crosslinkable polyphenol from a

renewable resource“. Macromolecular

Rapid Communications 21 (8): 496–499.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 29

End of Life











E nd users End users










orting &






Shipment of

used PLA lot

A new Cradle-to-Cradle

Galactic is a Belgian company involved in the world of

green chemistry with its lactic acid being produced

by fermentation of a biomass such as beet or cane

sugar. Lactic acid is used in different applications such as

foodstuffs, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well as in industrial


Lactic acid is also used as the starting material for

the production of polylactic acid or PLA, an eco-friendly,

renewable biopolymer with attractive characteristics for

packaging and other convenience applications.

Introduction to LOOPLA ®

Although PLA is derived from renewable resources,

Galactic has conceived the LOOPLA process to provide the

best ‘end-of-life‘ option for PLA waste and contribute to the

development of a sustainable environment.

The LOOPLA concept is a closed loop where the used

PLA is recovered and recycled back into its original form:

lactic acid. This lactic acid can easily be polymerised again

to make PLA with exactly the same characteristics as the

original material.

Carbon footprint

The patented technology is a chemical recycling process

that goes back from PLA to lactic acid by depolymerisation

through hydrolysis. The process does not need harmful

chemicals and is optimised to create a minimum CO 2


Currently there are several ‘end-of-life‘ options available:

mechanical recycling, incineration, composting, anaerobic

digestion and land filling.

All energy and raw materials invested in the original PLA

are recovered as the recycling rate with LOOPLA is close to

100% and provides a low carbon footprint.

Chemical Recycling vs. other ‘end-of-life‘ options

With this concept, GALACTIC is proud to contribute to a

more sustainable solution for the ‘end-of-life‘ management

of PLA waste:

• Less energy consumption

• Low chemicals needed

• Recycling rate close to 100%

• Recycling process is endless

• Less agricultural land needed

• shorter recycling loop means:

- lower CO 2 foot-print

- Cheaper process


The success of LOOPLA is related to the contribution of

the different parties involved in the recycling process.

The sorting and recovery of the used PLA is key in the

efficiency of the process:

PLA is used in a wide range of applications including food

packaging, beverage containers, cars, electronic, housing

etc. Two types of material are identified: the nearly 100%

PLA, and material combinations such as blends, compounds

and composites. LOOPLA not only recovers close to 100% of

the lactic acid used for the production of PLA, it also takes

care of possible contamination of the used PLA.

All PLA waste can be put into one of three different


• ‘Post-industrial‘ waste or production waste that consists

of out-of-specification material or objects produced

during trial runs, production start-up procedures or as

trimmings or runners and sprue in injection moulding.

30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

ECO-Benefits (points)

End of Life
















Composting Incineration Anaerobic digestion LOOPLA

Approach for PLA

Article contributed by

Johnathan Willocq,

Project Engineer Developments

n.v. Galactic s.a.,

Escanaffles, Belgium

The material flow is generally very clean and does not

need specific sorting.

• ‘Short-loop‘ or ‚closed-loop‘ waste that is locally generated

during a defined period: cups during a music-festival,

catering in aeroplanes etc… and even non-woven carpets,

combining a wide range of colours and patterns as used

during an exhibition, can be sorted out and recycled.

Indeed, the flow of waste generally does contain other

materials. A creative effort has to be realised in order

optimise the process and efficiently sort PLA from other


• And finally, ‘post-consumer‘ waste. The process for this

kind of waste is the most complex one. For example,

bottles made of PLA and PET are mixed together. It is

important to sort PLA from PET to avoid a negative impact

on the recycling of PET (yield and quality) and also to be

able to recover a single stream of PLA in order to recycle it.

Technical solutions are available on the market, including

NIR installations or a green chemical treatment able to

separate PLA (more than 99%) from PET.

LOOPLA technology

According to the origin of the used PLA, the process will

be adjusted: the treatment is not the same if the stream

is clean or dirty, pure or contaminated. The contamination

can arise from a problem of sorting or when the product is

made from different materials. In case of contamination,

the process can be easily adjusted in order to remove the

contaminant(s) with no consequence on the quality of the

final lactic acid.

At the end of the cycle, the lactic acid obtained by

depolymerisation will be purified according to the targeted

applications (industrial applications or polymer production).

A little chemistry

Lactic acid is a chiral molecule and has two optical

isomers. One is known as L-(+)-lactic acid and the other,

its mirror image, is D-(−)-Lactic. L-(+)-Lactic acid is the

biologically important isomer.

During the polymerisation and the production of the

original product, the treatments generate a racemization of

the lactic acid. If PLA is made of L-(+)-Lactic acid, only a

small quantity of D-(−)-Lactic will remain in the final product.

Then, lactic acid coming from the LOOPLA technology

contains a low amount of D-(−)-Lactic but the production of

PLA is feasible.

The research and development team has developed a

process in order to reach a high L polymer grade of lactic


Galactic has acquired a deep knowledge of the PLA

market with its involvement in Futerro, a joint venture

created between Total Petrochemicals and Galactic. The

project entails the construction of a demonstration plant

able to produce 1,500 tonnes of PLA per year using a clean,

innovative and competitive technology, developed by both


Thanks to the LOOPLA concept, PLA can be then

depolymerised back into lactic acid which also could be the

raw material for a wide range of products including solvents,

detergents, textiles, food and beverages containers...

PLA is a renewable and sustainable resource with

countless possibilities!

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 31


In a new series bioplastics MAGAZINE plans to introduce, in no

particular order, research institutes that work on bioplastics,

whether it be the synthesis, the analysis, processing or application

of bioplastics. The first article introduces the Fraunhofer

Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung in Potsdam-Golm,


The Fraunhofer Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

(The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research) is one

of about 60 Institutes within the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e.V.,

a non-profit organization headquartered in Munich, Germany.

The institute‘s budget in 2008 was about € 12 million, 30% of

which was government funded and 70% acquired from other

sources (35% by way of publicly funded research projects and

35% directly from industry projects)



Bead cellulose with porous and smooth surface

In the preface to the institute‘s 2008 Annual Report, Professor

Hans Peter Fink, director of the institute writes: “We are living in

the age of plastics. Polymers are everywhere, found in plastics

and in many other applications like fibers and films, foam plastics,

synthetic rubber products, varnishes, adhesives, and additives

for construction materials, paper, detergents, cosmetic and

pharmaceutical industries. In addition to innovative developments

in polymer functional materials, research is now focusing on the

sustainability of the polymer industry. Environmentally friendly

and energy efficient production processes and the utilisation of

bio-based resources, which are not dependent on petroleum,

are playing a vital role. The Fraunhofer IAP is well positioned in

this regard with its unique competencies in the area of synthetic

and bio-based polymers…“


In the area of biopolymers, the Fraunhofer IAP is active in

particular in the field of synthesis and material development of

bio-based polylactide (PLA) in connection with the establishment

of production facilities in Guben (on the German/Polish border).

A biopolymer application center is being planned at the site

in collaboration with the investor Pyramid Bioplastics Guben

GmbH. Here, a project group from IAP will develop PLA grades,

blends and composites for different fields of application such

as films, fibers, bottles, injection moulded or extruded products

and many more. The research and development of blends and

copolymers of L- and D-lactides is also part of the planned


Further research activities concentrate on naturally

synthesized polysaccharides such as cellulose, hemicellulose,

starch and chitin, which are available in almost unlimited


The opportunities for using cellulose and starch biopolymers,

which have been available in almost unlimited quantities for a

long time, are far from being exhausted. One focus of the research

and development at the Fraunhofer IAP is on these versatile

raw materials. New products and environmentally friendly

production methods are being developed at the IAP thanks to

the growing amount of knowledge concerning the exploration,

characterization and modification of these polymers.

32 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4



Cellulose is the most frequently occurring biopolymer, and

as dissolving pulp it is an important industrial raw material. It

is processed into regenerated cellulose products such as fibers,

non-wovens, films, sponges and membranes. It can also be

processed into versatile cellulose derivatives, thermoplastics,

fibers, cigarette filters, adhesives, building additives, bore oils,

hygiene products, pharmaceutical components, etc.


Cellulose-based man-made fibers (rayon tyre cord yarn)

are a serious alternative to short glass fibers for reinforcing

even biopolymers such as PLA or PHA. Rayon fibers have

advantages over short glass fibers in terms of their low density

and abrasiveness. Furthermore, they do not pierce the skin

as do glass fibers, which makes them much easier to handle.

When rayon fibers are combined with PLA, a completely biobased

and biodegradable material is formed. One of the crucial

disadvantages of PLA is its low impact strength. In composites,

rayon fibers can increase impact strength significantly, as they

act as impact modifiers.

By reinforcing a polyhydroxyalkonoate (PHA) polymer with

cellulose-based spun fibers, biogenic and biodegradable

composites were obtained with substantially improved (in

some cases double) mechanical properties as compared with

the unreinforced matrix material. bioplastics MAGAZINE will

publish more comprehensive articles about these findings in

future issues.


Starch is another indispensable resource with a long tradition.

The substance’s many functional properties make it suitable

for use in the food sector and for technical applications. Nonfood

applications include additives for paper manufacture,

construction materials, fiber sizes, adhesives, fermentation,

bioplastics, detergents, and cosmetic and pharmaceutical












Charpy, un-notched [kJ/m²]

- 23 °C

- 18 °C

native 15%

25% 30%

Un-notched Charpy impact strenght of rayon

reinforced polylactic acid vs. fibert content.

Charpy, notched [kJ/m²]

- 23 °C

- 18 °C

native 15%

25% 30%

Notched Charpy impact strenght of rayon

reinforced polylactid vs. fiber content.

Fiber content

Fiber content

To further their aim of comprehensive utilization of biomass

for such materials, scientists at Fraunhofer IAP have developed

strong lignin competencies in recent years. They have also

investigated the use of sugar beet pulp for polyurethane


The use and optimization of biotechnology with the aim of

directly applying the biomass by extraction and plant material

processing is a further focus of Fraunhofer IAP‘s biopolymer

research. With its comprehensive expertise in the field of

biopolymers and long-standing experience and knowledge of

polymer synthesis, the institute is highly qualified to develop

products and processes in various areas of biopolymers,

ranging from applied basic research in the laboratory to pilot

plant operation. - MT

SEM micrograph of a cellulose melt blown nonwoven

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 33


Raw materials and

required for

In the last issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE we looked at the basic principles of ‘Land use

for Bioplastics’. Following this general introduction we now put forward some more

concrete facts concerning the specific biopolymers. The following article is an edited

extract from the new book entitled ‘Technical Biopoymers’, written by Hans-Josef Endres

and Andrea Siebert-Raths. The book has already been published in German and will be

available in English at the beginning of next year (see also page 15).

To evaluate the land area required for biopolymer production the annual yield from

different renewable raw materials is illustrated below.

In Fig. 1 the raw materials have been grouped into sugars, starches, plant oils and

cellulose or fibrous materials to facilitate comparison. It can be seen that the sugars offer

the highest yield. Starches too deliver relatively high yields, whilst the yield from renewable

plant sources of oils or cellulose is, in comparison, significantly less. Among the oils it is

only palm oil and perhaps jatropha oil that offer yields approaching that of the starches.

In order to determine the annual amount of biopolymer that can be produced per unit

of land area (the biopolymer yield per area) it is also necessary to take into account the

data in Fig. 2, i.e. the various biobased percentage of each biopolymer. With the blends in

particular there is a wide range of bio-based content because petrochemical components

and additives are often also used in the blend.

Furthermore, consideration must be given to the efficiency of converting the biobased

materials listed, i.e. the initial amount of the raw material required to produce the

particular bio-based component.

Based on the respective percentage of bio-based material and the amount of renewable

raw material required for this, Fig. 3 shows the representative relationship of the amount

of bio-based input material to the total amount of material output. When ethanol is used

as an intermediate step almost 0.5 tonnes of ethanol per tonne of sugar is output. But it

must be noted that almost no biopolymers are 100% bio-based. At times the bio-based

element of the material is below 25% by weight, i.e. in such a case 75 % of the weight of

the material is in no way to be considered when calculating the necessary amount of land

because it is not based on renewable raw materials. Basically the lower the percentage

of bio-based material the higher the relationship of the absolute quantity of bio-polymer

to the area under cultivation. This also shows the direct comparison of the data in figures

2 and 3, each of which represents a basically inverted proportionality. A statement of the

biopolymer output per unit of arable land without taking into consideration the percentage

of bio-based material in that polymer is therefore not sufficient.

When calculating the outputs of biopolymer materials and the input of renewable raw

material required, as shown in Fig. 3, the following assumptions were made:

1: Cellulose acetate (CA): Percentage of cellulose based material 40 – 50

percent by weight

Since even with partially biodegradable cellulose acetate at least about 2/3 of the

hydroxyl groups in the glucose element unit are replaced by acetal groups (for details

please see the respective section in the book), i.e. the degree of substitution is as a rule

greater than 2.0, and in addition non-bio-based softeners of up to a maximum of 30 %

by weight are used, for cellulose acetate an initial input amount of between 40 and 50 %

34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


arable land


by weight is required. This means that under

certain circumstances up to 60 % of the material

is not cellulose at all but is based on acetic acid

(largely produced under pressure by catalytic

conversion of petrochemical methanol with carbon

monoxide), and other petrochemical softeners.

With an assumed minimum degree of substitution

of 2 the acetate content alone represents 30 and

the plasticizer 20 % by weight.

2: Cellulose regenerate: Percentage

of cellulose based material 90 - 99 percent

by weight

Cellulose regenerates are used in the biopolymer

sector mainly as coated film (e.g. with a barrier

coating or sealing layer). From the point of view

of the weight of the dominant material a cellulose

percentage of near enough 100 % can be assumed.

For the coating, a percentage by weight of at the

most 10 % is assumed. Normally the coating will

account for a much smaller percenatge.

3: Thermoplastic starch (TPS): Starch based

percentage of the material 70 - 80 percent

by weight

To optimise the performance of thermoplastic

starch in processing and use, native starches must

be modified and/or in particular be added with a

softener such as glycerine or sorbitol (for details

please see the respective section in the book).

To calculate the average starch content, a total

conversion of 100 % of the unmodified starch to a

biopolymer was assumed. For starch acetate on

the other hand, similar to cellulose acetate with a

high degree of substitution, a starch requirement

of only 600 kg per tonne is required. For the

remaining additives or softeners raw materials

of petrochemical origin were assumed. We can

therefore assume on average that thermoplastic

starch materials require an input of 70 to 80 % by

weight of starch itself.

4: Starch blends: Starch-based percentage

25 - 70 percent by weight

To optimise the properties in the processing and

use of thermoplastic processable starch polymers

it is necessary for native starch - as already

Raw material yield [t/(hectare*annum)]

The percentage of material in biopolymers

that is biobased, i.e. obtained from

renewable resources (% by weight)

Output: tonnes of biopolymer or bioethanol /

Input: tonnes of regenerating raw materials




















Sugars Starches Plant oils Cellulose (fibres)

Sugar (cane)

Sugar (beet)

Maize starch

Potato starch

Wheat starch

Rice starch

Palm oil

Jatropha oil

Cocoa oil

Castor oil

Rapeseed oil

Sunflower oil

Soy oil

Wood fibres

Wheat straw




Fig 1: Absolute yield of various renewable raw materials

per hectare per annum

Cellulose regenerates 2

Cellulose acetates 1

Thermoplastic starches (TPS) 3

Starch blends 4

Polylactides (PLA) 5

Polylactide blends 6

Polyhydroxyalkcanoates (PHA) 7

Fig 2: Percentage of renewable raw materials

by weight in various biopolymers

Cellulose regenerates 2

Cellulose acetates 1

Thermoplastic starches (TPS) 3

Starch blends 4

Polylacticdes (PLA) 5

Polylactide blends 6

Polyhydroxyalkcanoates (PHA) 7

Bioenthanol 8

Bioenthanol 8

Fig 3: Total Biopolymer output in relation to the

input of renewable raw materials

Biopolyesters 9

Biopolyesters 9

Biopolyethylene (BIO-PE) 10

Biopolyethylene (BIO-PE) 10

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 35


[tonnes of bioplymer /(ha*annum)]









Cellulose regenerates 2

Cellulose acetates 1

Theoretical minimum and maximum biopolymer

yield per unit of land area

Thermoplastic starch (TPS) 3

Starch blends 4

Polylactic acid (PLA) 5

Polylactic acid blends 6

Polyhydroxyalkcanoates (PHA) 7

Fig 4: Minimum and maximum possible

biopolymer yields per hectare per annum

Bioenthanol 8

Biopolyesters 9

Biopolyethylene (BIO-PE) 10

explained - to be modified or blended with other

polymers. The second component of the blend

usually represents the continuous phase in the

resultant 2-phase blend (for details please see the

respective section in the book). The assumption is

made that in starch blends there is 30 to 85 % by

weight of material coming directly from the starch.

For this figure the values of thermoplastic starch

from the above assumption 3 have been used. For

the remaining 15 to 70 % of the starch blends it is

assumed that a petrochemical-based material is


5: PLA: PLA-based percentage 90 - 97

percent by weight

With the PLA polymers produced from lactic

acid the assumption is made that only functional

additives (nucleating agents, colour batches,

stabilisers etc) in amounts from maximum 3 to 10 %

by weight, are added to the PLA. It is assumed

that maize starch is used as the raw material for

PLA. Around 0.7 tonnes of PLA are obtained from 1

tonne of maize starch.

6: PLA blends: PLA-based material

percentage 30 - 65 percent by weight

For these suitably ductile PLA blends, used

overwhelmingly for film applications, it can be

assumed a percentage of PLA-based material of

between a maximum of 65 % and a minimum of

30 % by weight. For the PLA components the PLA

values from the previous assumption 5 were used.

The second component of the blend is mainly a

bio-polyster. For the bio-polyester (30 to 65 % by

weight) the assumptions described under point 9

were made. Also, for PLA blends, the addition of

5 % by weight of a petrochemical-based additive

is assumed, for example processing aids or

components to improve the interaction of the two

basic materials.

7: Polyhydroxyalcanoate: PLA-based material

percentage 30 - 65 percent by weight

With the Polyhydroxyalcanoates (PHA), produced

by fermentation, there is a very small amount

of additive used and thus an average bio-based

material content of 90 to 98 % by weight can be

assumed. To produce one tonne of PHA about 4 to

5 tonnes of sugar are required.

8: Bioethanol

To produce bioethanol as an intermediate,

particularly for bio-polyethylene and various

bio-polyesters, it is assumed that 100% of the

bio-alcohol is sugar-based. In addition it can be

assumed that in the most favourable case about

1.7 (and in the least favourable case 2.7) tonnes of

sugar are required per tonne of bioethanol.

36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

9: Bio-polyester: Bioalcohol content 30 - 40 percent by weight,

remainder based on petrochemical raw materials

With bio-polyesters a bioalcohol-based input of 30 - 40% was assumed to

calculate the conversion efficiency, i.e. viewed from the opposite perspective

60 - 70% of the so-called bio-polyester is not based on renewable raw

materials. For the bioalcohol content the raw material requirement for

bioethanol, as specified in point 8, is assumed.

10: Bio-polyethylene (bio-PE): Bioalcohol-based content 95 - 98

percent by weight

As with conventional PE, bio-polyethylene also requires between 2 and 5%

by weight of other additives, which means that a bioalcohol-based material

content of 95 to 98% by weight can be assumed. Furthermore it is assumed

that 2.3 - 2.5 tonnes of ethanol are required per tonne of polyethylene. For

the bioethanol content the same assumptions are made as in point 8.

Finally, to define the annual output of various biopolymers per unit of land

area working from the bio-based material content of each of the biopolymers

(cf. Fig 2), the required input amount of renewable raw material for each

biopolymer (cf. Fig 3) and the related annual yield per unit of land area for

each of the renewable raw materials (cf. Fig 1) the theoretical achievable

annual amount of each of the biopolymers per unit of land area can be

calculated and is shown in Fig. 4.

Because of the wide range of yields from renewable resources, and the

possibility of using different renewable raw materials to produce the same

biopolymer (e.g. starch instead of sugar), plus the, at times, very different

bio-based material content, there is ultimately a very wide range of the

theoretical biopolymer yields per unit of arable land.

Because, in biopolymer manufacture, there is pressure on economic

grounds for maximum material usage and the maximum possible yield per

hectare, a comparison of the values detailed above is more representative of

the effective trends in biopolymer yield per hectare.

Accordingly to these considerations a bio-PE for example, despite the

high sugar yield available per hectare, exhibits the lowest land use efficiency

because of the high demand for sugar at the bioethanol stage and the high

ethanol demand for polymerisation of the polyethylene. The relatively low

land-use efficiency of the PHAs can, as with cellulose regenerates, also

be traced back to the high bio-based material input and the lack of a

petrochemical component not related to land use or to another bio-based


By contrast the high percentage of non bio-based material components

in particular with bio-polyesters, starch blends, PLA blends and cellulose

acetate, leads to what seems to be a high land-use efficiency that is,

however, traced back to the addition of significant amounts of non landdependent

substances of petrochemical origin.

However, what is important at the end of the analysis is the fact that, in

comparison with bio-fuels, to achieve a perceptible share of the plastics

market biopolymers would require a significantly smaller land area in

absolute terms (see article on Land Use for Bioplastics in issue bM 04/2009),

as well as exhibiting a higher land use efficiency.

With a cautious estimate of the average yield per unit of land area of at

least 2.5 tonnes per hectare the current global biopolymer output (about 0.4

million tonnes per annum) would need only 0.01 % of the world‘s agricultural



bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 37


Position Paper



In this issue bioplastics MAGAZINE publishes an extract of

the recently published Position Paper of European Bioplastics.

The complete document can be downloaded from


Bioplastics are either biobased or biodegradable or

both. European Bioplastics, as the industry association for

such materials is distancing itself from the so-called ‘oxobiodegradables‘


Terms such as ‘degradable‘, ‘biodegradable‘, ‘oxodegradable‘,

‘oxo-biodegradable‘ are used to promote

products made with traditional plastics supplemented with

specific additives.

Products made with this technology and available on

the market include film applications such as shopping

bags, agricultural mulch films and most recently certain

plastic bottles. There are serious concerns amongst many

plastics, composting and waste management experts that

these products do not meet their claimed environmental


In this position paper, European Bioplastics, the

international organisation representing the certified

Bioplastics and Biopolymer industries outlines the issues and

questions concerned in order to support consumers, retailers

and the plastics industry in identifying unsubstantiated and

misleading product claims.


Producers of pro-oxidant additives use the term ‘oxobiodegradable’

for their products. This term suggests

that the products can undergo (complete) biodegradation.

However, main effect of oxidation is fragmentation into small

particles, which remain in the environment. Therefore the

term ‘oxo-fragmentation’ does better describe the typical

degradation process, which can occur to these products,

under some specific environmental conditions.

European Bioplastics considers the use of terms such as

biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable etc. without reference

to existing standards as misleading and as such not

reproducible and verifiable. Under these conditions the term

‘oxo-biodegradable‘ is free of substance. (...)

On the other hand, the terms ‘biodegradable and

compostable‘ enjoy a different status. There are

internationally established and acknowledged standards

that effectively substantiate claims on biodegradation and

compostability such as ISO 17088. (...) The specification of

time needed for the ultimate biodegradation is an essential

requirement for any serious claim on biodegradability.

Therefore, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has

advised companies “that unqualified biodegradable claims

are acceptable only if they have scientific evidence that their

product will completely decompose within a reasonably

short period of time under customary methods of disposal”

[1]. (...)

The Degradation Process behind the So-called ‘Oxobiodegradable‘


The ‘oxo-biodegradable‘ additives are typically incorporated

in conventional plastics (...) at the moment of conversion into

final products.

38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


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• International Trade

in Raw Materials,

Machinery & Products

Free of Charge

These additives are based on chemical catalysts,

containing transition metals such as cobalt, manganese,

nickel, zinc, etc., which cause fragmentation as a

result of a chemical oxidation of the plastics’ polymer

chains triggered by UV irradiation or heat exposure. In

a second phase, the resulting fragments are claimed

to eventually undergo biodegradation. (...)

Fragmentation Is Not the Same as


Fragmentation of ‘oxo-biodegradable‘ plastics is not

the result of a biodegradation process but rather the

result of a chemical reaction. The resulting fragments

will remain in the environment [2]. The fragmentation

is not a solution to the waste problem, but rather

the conversion of visible contaminants (the plastic

waste) into invisible contaminants (the fragments).

This is generally not considered as a feasible manner

of solving the problem of plastic waste, as the

behavioural problem of pollution by discarding waste

in the environment could be even stimulated by these

kinds of products.

An Answer to Littering or the Promotion of

Littering ?

Oxo-fragmentable plastic products have been

described as a solution to littering problems, whereby

they supposedly fragment in the natural environment.

In fact, such a concept risks increasing littering

instead of reducing it. (...)

Accumulation of Plastic Fragments Bears Risks

for the Environment

If oxo-fragmentable plastics are littered and end

up in the landscape they are supposed to start to

disintegrate due to the effect of the additives that

trigger breakdown. Consequently, plastic fragments

would be spread around the surrounding area. As

ultimate biodegradability has not been demonstrated

for these fragments [3], there is substantial risk of









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bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 39


accumulation of persistent substances in the environment.

Through the impact of wind or precipitation the plastic

fragments can drift into aquatic or marine habitat where they

affect organisms and pose the risk of bioaccumulation. In

addition, studies, amongst others by the US National Oceanic

and Atmospheric Administration, have shown that degraded

plastics can accumulate toxic chemicals such as PCB, DDE and

others from the environment and act as transport medium in

marine environments [4]. Such persistant organic pollutants in

the marine environment were found to have negative effects on

marine resources [5].

Organic Recovery Is Not Feasible

Collection and recovery schemes for organic waste are liable

to suffer from the use of oxo-fragmentable materials, as these

materials are reported not to meet the requirements of organic

recovery [6].

Unfortunately, sometimes the oxo-fragmentable products

have been publicised as ‘biodegradable‘ and ‘compostable‘,

despite not meeting the standards of suitability for organic

recovery. Besides, the terms oxo-biodegradable, oxo-degradable

and the like can be taken by the consumers as synonym of

‘biodegradable and compostable‘ and erroneously recovered

via organic recovery. (...) Therefore, well-developed and broadly

accepted certification schemes according to EN 13432, EN 14995

or equivalent standards should be used invariably.

This is also why, in the interest of the best recovery of organic

fractions and biowaste, the involvement of ‘oxo-fragmentable’

materials in such recovery schemes should be avoided.

Plastic Recycling Schemes Are Disturbed

A further environmentally feasible option for the handling

of used plastics is that of recycling. Oxo-fragmentable

products can hamper recycling of post consumer plastics.

In practice, the ‚oxo-biodegradable‘ plastics are traditional

plastics. The only difference is that they incorporate additives

which affect their chemical stability. Thus, they are identified

and classified according to their chemical structure and

finish together with the other plastic waste in the recycling

streams. In this way, they bring their degradation additives

to the recyclate feedstock. As a consequence the recyclates

may be destabilised, which will hinder acceptance and lead to

reduced value. The European Plastics Recyclers Association

(EuPR) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers

(APR) therefore warn against oxo-degradable additives [7, 8].


[1] Federal Trade Commission Announces

Actions Against Kmart, Tender and Dyna-

E Alleging Deceptive ‚Biodegradable‘


shtm. Accessed on June 19, 2009

[2] Narayan, Ramani, Biodegradability

- Sorting Facts and Claims, in bioplastics

magazine, 01/2009, pp 29.

[3] Koutny et al. (2006)

[4] Moore C. (2008). Synthetic polymers

in the marine environment: A

rapidly increasing, long-term threat.

Environmental Research 108(2), pp.


[5] Yuki Mato (2001), Plastic Resin

pallets as a transport medium for toxic

chemicals in the Marine Environment,

Environmental Science and Technology,

35(2), pp. 318-324 .

[6] California State University, Chico

Research Foundation (2008).

Performance Evaluation of

Environmentally Degradable Plastic

Packaging and Disposable Food Service

Ware – Final Report. www.ciwmb. Publication Date:

November, 8, 2008. Accessed on June

19, 2009

[7] Association of Postconsumer Plastic

Recyclers (APR) and the National

Association for Plastic Container

Resources (NAPCOR) express concerns

about degradable additives. www.

Publication Date: February 12, 2009.

Accessed on June 19, 2009

[8] European Plastics Recyclers, OXO

degradables incompatibility with plastics


press. Publication Date: June 10, 2009.

Accessed on June 19, 2009

40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4


Basics of

Starch-Based Materials

Starch is a reserve of energy for plants and is widely

available in cereals, tubers and beans all over the

planet. The present annual production of starch

worldwide is about 44 million tonnes and comes mainly

from corn, where worldwide production is about 700 million

tonnes, as well as from wheat, tapioca, potatoes etc.. Today

the main uses of starch available annually from corn and

other crops, produced in excess of current market needs in

the United States and Europe, are in the pharmaceutical and

paper industries. Starch is totally biodegradable in a wide

variety of environments and can permit the development of

totally biodegradable products for specific market demands.

Biodegradation or incineration of starch products recycles

atmospheric CO 2 sequestered by starch-producing plants

and does not increase potential global warming.

All of these reasons aroused a renewed interest in

starch-based plastics over the last 20 years. Starch graft

copolymers, starch plastic composites, starch itself, and

starch derivatives have been proposed as plastic materials.

Starch consists of two major components: amylose (Fig. 1),

a mostly linear a-D-(1,4)-glucan; and amylopectine (Fig. 2), an

a-D-(1,4) glucan that has a-D-(1,6) linkages at the branch

point. The linear amylose molecules of starch have a

molecular weight of 0.2–2 million, while the branched

amylopectine molecules have molecular weights as high as

100–400 million.

In nature starch is found as crystalline beads of about

15–100 mm in diameter, in three crystalline design

modifications: A (cereal), B (tuber), and C (smooth pea and

various beans), all characterised by double helices - almost

perfect left-handed, six-fold structures, as elucidated by X-

ray-diffraction studies.

Starch as a filler

Crystalline starch beads can be used as a natural filler in

traditional plastics [1]; they have been used particularly in

polyolefines. When blended with starch beads, polyethylene

films biodeteriorate on exposure to a soil environment. The

microbial consumption of the starch component, in fact,

leads to increased porosity, void formation, and loss of

integrity of the plastic matrix. Generally, starch is added at

fairly low concentrations (6–15%); the overall disintegration

of these materials is obtained, however, by transition metal

compounds, soluble in the thermoplastic matrix, used as

pro-oxidant additives to catalyse the photo and thermooxidative

processes [2].

Starch-filled polyethylenes containing pro-oxidants have

been used in the past in agricultural mulch film, in bags,

and in six-pack yoke packaging. According to St. Lawrence

Starch Technology, regular cornstarch is treated with a

silane coupling agent to make it compatible with hydrophobic

polymers, and dried to less than 1% of water content. It is

then mixed with the other additives such as an unsaturated

fat or fatty-acid autoxidant to form a masterbatch that is

added to a commodity polymer.

The polymer can then be processed by convenient

methods, including film blowing, injection molding, and

blow molding. The non compliance of these materials with

the international standards of biodegradability in different

environments and the increasing concern for micropollution

that can be enhanced by their fragmentability, together with

the potential negative impact on recyclability of traditional

plastics, and their limited performances with time, have not

permitted serious consideration of this technology as a real

industrial and environmental option.

Thermoplastic starch

There are two different conditions for loss of crystallinity

of starch: at high water volume fractions (>0.9) described

as gelatinization; and at low water volume, fractions (

Article contributed by

Catia Bastioli, CEO,

Novamont S.p.A.,

Novara, Italy

Fig. 3: Droplet-like structure of

thermoplastic starch / EVOH blend

above. It can show other forms of crystallinity, different from the

native ones, induced by the interaction of the amylose component with

specific molecules. These types of crystallinity are characterised by

single helical structures and are known as V complexes [7]. Moreover

thermoplastic starch is characterised by a melt viscosity comparable

with that of traditional polymers [8]. This aspect makes possible the

transformation of destructurised starch in finished products through

the use of traditional manufacturing technologies for plastics.

Thermoplastic starch alone can be processed as a traditional plastic;

its sensitivity to humidity, however, makes it unsuitable for most


Thermoplastic starch composites

Starch can be destructurised in combination with different synthetic

polymers to satisfy a broad spectrum of market needs. Thermoplastic

starch composites can reach starch contents higher than 50%.

EAA (ethylene-acrylic acid copolymer) /

thermoplastic starch composites

EAA/thermoplastic starch composites have been studied since 1977

[9]. The addition of ammonium hydroxide to EAA makes it compatible

with starch. The sensitivity to environmental changes and mainly the

susceptibility to tear propagation precluded their use in most of the

packaging applications; moreover, EAA is not at all biodegradable.

Starch / vinyl alcohol copolymers

Starch/vinyl alcohol copolymer systems, depending on the processing

conditions, starch type, and copolymer composition, can generate a

wide variety of morphologies and properties. Different microstructures

were observed: from a droplet-like (Fig. 3, 4) to a layered (Fig. 5) one

[10], as a function of different hydrophilicity of the synthetic copolymer.

Furthermore, for this type of composite, materials containing starch

with an amylose/amylopectine weight ratio of >20/80 do not dissolve

even under stirring in boiling water. Under these conditions a

microdispersion, constituted by microsphere aggregates, is produced,

whose individual particle diameter is


Fig.3: Mater-Bi technology: droplike structure

The products based on starch/EVOH show mechanical properties

good enough to meet the needs of specific industrial applications.

Their moldability in film blowing, injection molding, blow-molding,

thermoforming, foaming, etc is comparable with that of traditional

plastics such as PS, ABS, and LDPE [11]. The main limits of

these materials are in their high sensitivity to low humidities,

with consequent enbrittlement. The biodegradation of these

composites has been demonstrated in different environments [12].

A substantially different biodegradation mechanism for the two

components has been observed:

Fig. 5: Foamed loose fill


[1] G. J. L. Griffin, U.S. Pat. 4016117 (1977).

[2] G. Scott, U.K. Pat. 1,356,107 (1971).

[3] J. W. Donovan, Biopolymers 18, 263 (1979).

[4] P. Colonna and C. Mercier, Phytochemistry

24(8), 1667–1674 (1985).

[5] J. Silbiger, J. P. Sacchetto, and D. J. Lentz,

Eur. Pat. Appl. 0 404 728 (1990).

[6] C. Bastioli, V. Bellotti, and G. F. Del Tredici,

Eur. Pat. Appl. WO 91/02025 (1991).

[7] P. Le Bail, C. Rondeau, and A. Buléon,, Int.

Journal of Biological Macromolecules 35

(2005), 1-7

[8] J.L:Willett, B.K: Jasberg, C.L: Swanson,,

Polymer Engineering and Science 35 (2), 202-

210 (2004)

[9] F. H. Otey, U.S. Pat. 4133784 (1979).

[10] C. Bastioli, V. Bellotti, M. Camia, L. Del

Giudice, and A. Rallis “Biodegradable

Plastics and Polymers” in Y. Doi, K. Fukuda,

Ed., Elsevier, 1994, pp. 200–213.

[11] C. Bastioli, V. Bellotti, and A. Rallis,

“Microstructure and Melt Flow Behaviour of

a Starch-based Polymer,” Rheologica Acta

33, 307–316 (1994).

[12] C. Bastioli, V. Bellotti, L. Del Giudice, and

G. Gilli, J. Environ. Polym. Degradation 1(3),

181–191 (1993).

[13] C. Bastioli, V. Bellotti, G. F. Del Tredici, R.

Lombi, A. Montino, and R. Ponti, Internatl.

Pat. Appl. WO 92/19680, (1992).

• The natural component, even if significantly shielded by an

‘interpenetrated‘ structure of vinyl alcohol, seems, first,

hydrolysed by extracellular enzymes.

• The synthetic component seems biodegraded through a

superficial adsorption of micro-organisms, made easier by the

increase of available surface that occurred during the hydrolysis

of the natural component.

The degradation rate of 2–3 years in watery environments

remains too slow to consider these materials as compostable.

Aliphatic polyesters/thermoplastic starch

Starch can also be destructurised in the presence of more

hydrophobic polymers, totally incompatible with starch, such as

aliphatic polyesters [13].

It is known that aliphatic polyesters having a low melting point are

difficult to process by conventional techniques for thermoplastic

materials, such as film blowing and blow molding. It has been

found that the blending of starch with aliphatic polyesters allows

an improvement of their processability and their biodegradability.

Particularly suitable polyesters considered in the past have been

poly-e-caprolactone and its copolymers, or polymers at higher

melting point formed by the reaction of glycols as 1,4-butandiol

with succinic acid or with sebacic acid, adipic acid, azelaic acid,

dodecanoic acid, or brassilic acid. The presence of compatibilizers

between starch and aliphatic polyesters such as amylose/EVOH V-

type complexes [10], starch grafted polyesters, and chain extenders

such as diisocyanates, and epoxydes is preferred. Such materials

are characterised by excellent compostability, excellent mechanical

properties, and reduced sensitivity to water.

Thermoplastic starch can also be blended with polyolefines,

possibly in the presence of a compatibilizer. Starch/cellulose

derivative systems are also reported in the literature [12]. The

combination of starch with a soluble polymer such as polyvinyl

44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

Fig.4: Mater-Bi technology: layered structure

alcohol (PVOH) and/or polyalkylene glycols has been widely considered

since 1970. In recent years the thermoplastic starch/PVOH system

has been studied, mainly for producing starch-based loose fillers as

a replacement for expanded polystyrene.

Micro- and Nanostructured Composites

The most important achievement of recent years in the sector of

starch technology is seen in the creation of micro and nanostructured

composites of starch with polyesters of different types and particularly

with aliphatic-aromatic polyesters and with rubber. This technology

has been developed and patented by Novamont. In these families

of products starch gives a technical contribution to the mechanical

performance of the finished products in terms of increased toughness

and excellent stability at different humidities and temperatures. With

this generation of products it is possible to cover a wide range of

demanding applications in the film sector and to meet the different

needs of end-of-life conditions up to home compostability and soil

biodegradation. Moreover, it is possible to obtain low hysteresis rubber

for low rolling-resistance treads in tyres. The last developments in

this sector have been achieved within the EU Biotyres project which

has led Goodyear to produce the tyres used in the new BMW 1-series


The development of aliphatic and aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters

containing monomers from vegetable oils, covered by a new range

of Novamont’s patents, has further improved and widened the

performances of these products from an environmental and technical

point of view. Such development has justified the significant industrial

investment made by Novamont to build the first local biorefinery of

this type in Europe, which comprises plants for the production of

nanostructured starch and polyesters from vegetable oils. Moreover

new investments in monomers from vegetable oils from local crops

will permit a further up-stream integration of the biorefinery.

This family of tailor-made products has permitted Novamont to

work on many case studies aimed at demonstrating the opportunity

offered by biodegradable and bio-based plastics to rethink entire

application sectors, thereby affecting not only the manner in which

raw materials are produced, but also permitting verticalisation

of entire agro-industrial non-food chains, or which are synergistic

with food, and the way in which products are used and disposed of,

expanding the scope of experimentation to local areas. This is the

way Novamont believes bio-plastics may become a powerful, largescale

case study for sustainable development and cultural growth - a

real example of transition from a product-based to a system-based


Fig. 6: Biotyre

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 45



Suppliers Guide

1. Raw Materials

2. Additives /

Secondary raw materials



























Global Business Management

Biodegradable Polymers

Carl-Bosch-Str. 38

67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany

Tel. +49-621 60 43 878

Fax +49-621 60 21 694

1.1 bio based monomers

Du Pont de Nemours International S.A.

2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50

CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex,

Geneva, Switzerland

Tel. + 41 22 717 5428

Fax + 41 22 717 5500

PURAC division

Arkelsedijk 46, P.O. Box 21

4200 AA Gorinchem -

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0)183 695 695

Fax: +31 (0)183 695 604

1.2 compounds

BIOTEC Biologische

Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG

Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32

46446 Emmerich


Tel. +49 2822 92510

Fax +49 2822 51840

Cereplast Inc.

Tel: +1 310-676-5000 / Fax: -5003

European distributor A.Schulman :

Tel +49 (2273) 561 236

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH

Siemensring 79

D - 47 877 Willich

Tel. +49 2154 9251-0

Tel.: +49 2154 9251-51

Natur-Tec ® - Northern Technologies

4201 Woodland Road

Circle Pines, MN 55014 USA

Tel. +1 763.225.6600

Fax +1 763.225.6645

Transmare Compounding B.V.

Ringweg 7, 6045 JL

Roermond, The Netherlands

Tel. +31 475 345 900

Fax +31 475 345 910

1.3 PLA

Division of A&O FilmPAC Ltd

7 Osier Way, Warrington Road


MK46 5FP

Tel.: +44 844 335 0886

Fax: +44 1234 713 221

1.4 starch-based bioplastics

BIOTEC Biologische

Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG

Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32

46446 Emmerich


Tel. +49 2822 92510

Fax +49 2822 51840

Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients

ZAC „Les Portes de Riom“ - BP 173

63204 Riom Cedex - France

Tel. +33 (0)4 73 67 17 00

Fax +33 (0)4 73 67 17 10

Plantic Technologies Limited

51 Burns Road

Altona VIC 3018 Australia

Tel. +61 3 9353 7900

Fax +61 3 9353 7901

PSM Bioplastic NA

Chicago, USA


1.5 PHA

Telles, Metabolix – ADM joint venture

650 Suffolk Street, Suite 100

Lowell, MA 01854 USA

Tel. +1-97 85 13 18 00

Fax +1-97 85 13 18 86

Tianan Biologic

No. 68 Dagang 6th Rd,

Beilun, Ningbo, China, 315800

Tel. +86-57 48 68 62 50 2

Fax +86-57 48 68 77 98 0

1.6 masterbatches


Avenue Melville Wilson, 2

Zoning de la Fagne

5330 Assesse


Tel. + 32 83 660 211

Sukano Products Ltd.

Chaltenbodenstrasse 23

CH-8834 Schindellegi

Tel. +41 44 787 57 77

Fax +41 44 787 57 78

Du Pont de Nemours International S.A.

2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50

CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex,

Geneva, Switzerland

Tel. + 41(0) 22 717 5428

Fax + 41(0) 22 717 5500

3. Semi finished products

3.1 films

Huhtamaki Forchheim

Herr Manfred Huberth

Zweibrückenstraße 15-25

91301 Forchheim

Tel. +49-9191 81305

Fax +49-9191 81244

Mobil +49-171 2439574

Maag GmbH

Leckingser Straße 12

58640 Iserlohn


Tel. + 49 2371 9779-30

Fax + 49 2371 9779-97

Sidaplax UK : +44 (1) 604 76 66 99

Sidaplax Belgium: +32 9 210 80 10

Plastic Suppliers: +1 866 378 4178

3.1.1 cellulose based films



Cumbria CA7 9BG


Contact: Andy Sweetman

Tel. +44 16973 41549

Fax +44 16973 41452

46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4

4. Bioplastics products

Suppliers Guide

alesco GmbH & Co. KG

Schönthaler Str. 55-59

D-52379 Langerwehe

Sales Germany: +49 2423 402 110

Sales Belgium: +32 9 2260 165

Sales Netherlands: +31 20 5037 710 |

Arkhe Will Co., Ltd.

19-1-5 Imaichi-cho, Fukui

918-8152 Fukui, Japan

Tel. +81-776 38 46 11

Fax +81-776 38 46 17

Postbus 26

7480 AA Haaksbergen

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 616 121 843

Forapack S.r.l

Via Sodero, 43

66030 Poggiofi orito (Ch), Italy

Tel. +39-08 71 93 03 25

Fax +39-08 71 93 03 26

Minima Technology Co., Ltd.

Esmy Huang, Marketing Manager

No.33. Yichang E. Rd., Taipin City,

Taichung County

411, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Tel. +886(4)2277 6888

Fax +883(4)2277 6989

Mobil +886(0)982-829988

Skype esmy325


Via Fauser , 8

28100 Novara - ITALIA

Fax +39.0321.699.601

Tel. +39.0321.699.611

Pland Paper ®


2F, No.57, Singjhong Rd.,

Neihu District,

Taipei City 114, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Tel. + 886 - 2 - 27953131

Fax + 886 - 2 - 27919966

President Packaging Ind., Corp.

PLA Paper Hot Cup manufacture

In Taiwan,

Tel.: +886-6-570-4066 ext.5531

Fax: +886-6-570-4077


8752 Näfels - Am Linthli 2


Tel. +41 55 618 44 99

Fax +41 55 618 44 98

4.1 trays

5. Traders

5.1 wholesale

6. Equipment

6.1 Machinery & Molds

FAS Converting Machinery AB

O Zinkgatan 1/ Box 1503

27100 Ystad, Sweden

Tel.: +46 411 69260


Stubenwald-Allee 9

64625 Bensheim, Deutschland

Tel. +49 6251 77061 0

Fax +49 6251 77061 510

6.2 Laboratory Equipment

MODA : Biodegradability Analyzer

Saida FDS Incorporated

3-6-6 Sakae-cho, Yaizu,

Shizuoka, Japan

Tel : +81-90-6803-4041

7. Plant engineering

Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH

Holzhauser Str. 157 - 159

13509 Berlin


Tel. +49 (0)30 43567 5

Fax +49 (0)30 43567 699

8. Ancillary equipment

9. Services

9. Services

Siemensring 79

47877 Willich, Germany

Tel.: +49 2154 9251-0 , Fax: -51

Bioplastics Consulting

Tel. +49 2161 664864

Marketing - Exhibition - Event

Tel. +49 2359-2996-0

10. Institutions

Simply contact:

Tel.: +49-2359-2996-0

Stay permanently listed in the

Suppliers Guide with your company

logo and contact information.

For only 6,– EUR per mm, per issue you

can be present among top suppliers in

the field of bioplastics.

For Example:

Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112

41066 Mönchengladbach


Tel. +49 2161 664864

Fax +49 2161 631045

Sample Charge:

35mm x 6,00 €

= 210,00 € per entry/per issue

Sample Charge for one year:

6 issues x 210,00 EUR = 1,260.00 €

The entry in our Suppliers Guide is

bookable for one year (6 issues) and

extends automatically if it’s not canceled

three month before expiry.

European Bioplastics e.V.

Marienstr. 19/20

10117 Berlin, Germany

Tel. +49 30 284 82 350

Fax +49 30 284 84 359

10.2 Universities

Michigan State University

Department of Chemical

Engineering & Materials Science

Professor Ramani Narayan

East Lansing MI 48824, USA

Tel. +1 517 719 7163

35 mm





10.1 Associations

natura Verpackungs GmbH

Industriestr. 55 - 57

48432 Rheine

Tel. +49 5975 303-57

Fax +49 5975 303-42

Molds, Change Parts and Turnkey

Solutions for the PET/Bioplastic

Container Industry

284 Pinebush Road

Cambridge Ontario

Canada N1T 1Z6

Tel. +1 519 624 9720

Fax +1 519 624 9721

BPI - The Biodegradable

Products Institute

331 West 57th Street, Suite 415

New York, NY 10019, USA

Tel. +1-888-274-5646

University of Applied Sciences

Faculty II, Department

of Bioprocess Engineering

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Josef Endres

Heisterbergallee 12

30453 Hannover, Germany

Tel. +49 (0)511-9296-2212

Fax +49 (0)511-9296-2210

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 47

Companies in this issue

Company Editorial Advert

A&O Filmpac 46

Ahlstrom Corporation 12

Alesco 23 47

Arkema 27

Arkhe Will 47

Bamboo 15


Biax-FiberFilm 10

BIC 25


bioplastics 24 39

BioTAK 22

Biotec 46

BPI 47

Centerplate 7

Cereplast 46

Composite technical Services 28

Dallas Convention Center 7

DaniMer 18

Dorel Juvenile 25

Dr Vie 23

DSM Engineering Plastics 26

DuPont 14 46

Entek 17


European Bioplastics 3, 5, 38 9, 47

Fachhochschule Hannover 5, 34 47

FAS Converting Machinery 47

FKuR 6 2, 46

Forapack 47

Fraunhofer IAP 32

Fraunhofer UMSICHT 47

Futerro 31

Gabriel Chemie 7

Galactic 30

Georgia Pacific 20

Green Mountain Coffee 18

Hallink 47

Herma Labels 22

Huhtamaki 46

Innovia Films 23 46

International Paper 18

Izod 15

Lexus 13

Limagrain 6 46

Company Editorial Advert

Maag 46

Mann + Hummel Protech 47

Michigan State University 47

Minima Technology 47

natura Verpackung 47

Naturally Iowa 8

NatureWorks 5, 10, 11, 12, 18, 20, 25

NaturTec 46

Nedupack 6

Neue Messe München (drinktec) 8

nova Institut 8

Novamont 6, 24, 42 47, 52

Plantic 16 46

Plastick2Pack 6

Plasticker 39

Polymediaconsult 47

Polyone 46

President Packaging 47

PSM 46

Purac 46

Pyramid Bioplastics 32

Saida 47

Sidaplax 46

Smurfit Kappa 24

Sommer Needlepunch 11

Speedo 15

Sukano 46

Symphony 3

Tanaka Foresight 24

Teijin 24

Telles 9 51, 46

Tetly 12

Tianan 46

Timberland 15

Toray 13

Total Petrochemicals 31

Toyota 11

Toyota 13

Transmare 46

Typhoo 12

Uhde Inventa-Fischer 21, 47

Unilever 12

University of Tennessee 10

Wei Mon 41, 47

Wiedmer 47

Next Issue

For the next issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE

(among others) the following subjects are scheduled:

Nov/Dec 30.11.2009

Editorial Focus:

Films / Flexibles / Bags

Consumer Electronics


Anaerobic Digestion

Next issue:

Month Publ.-Date Editorial Focus (1) Editorial Focus (2) Basics Fair Specials

Jan/Feb 01.02.2010 Automotive Applications Foam Basics of Cellulosics

Mar/Apr 05.04.2010 Rigid Packaging Material Combinations Polyamides

May/June Injection Moulding Natural Fibre Composites t.b.d.

48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4


Event Calender

October 06-07, 2009

3. BioKunststoffe

Technische Anwendungen biobasierter Werkstoffe

Duisburg, Germany

October 7-10, 2009

Plastics Philippines

SMX Convention Center, Seashell Drive,

Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Phillipines

October 22, 2009

Timeproof biopolymers: durability of biobased materials

PEP (Pôle Européen de Plasturgie)

Bellignat, Franceopéen de Plasturgie)

October 26-27, 2009

Biowerkstoff Kongress 2009

within framework of AVK and COMPOSITES EUROPE

Neue Messe Stuttgart, Germany

October 27-28, 2009

Biofoams 2009

Sheraton Fallsview Hotel & Conference Centre

Niagara Falls, Canada

October 29, 2009

NVC Kurs Nachhaltige Verpackungsinnovationen

Hotel Novotel Düsseldorf City West

Düsseldorf, Germany

November 10-11, 2009

4th European Bioplastics Conference

Ritz Carlton Hotel,

Berlin, Germany

December 2-3, 2009

Dritter Deutscher WPC-Kongress

Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany

March 16-17, 2010

EnviroPlas 2010

Brussels, Belgium

June 22-23, 2010

8th Global WPC and Natural Fibre Composites

Congress an Exhibition

Fellbach (near Stuttgart), Germany

You can meet us!

Please contact us in advance by e-mail.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 4 49


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50 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/09] Vol. 3

Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2008

Visitors of Salone del Gusto 180,000

Meals served at Terra Madre 26,000

Compost produced* kg 7,000

CO 2

saved kg 13,600

* data estimate – Novamont projection

The future,

with a different flavour:


Mater-Bi® means biodegradable

and compostable plastics made

from renewable raw materials.

Slow Food, defending good things,

from food to land.

For the “Salone del Gusto” and “Terra Madre”, Slow Food

has chosen Mater-Bi® for bags, shoppers, cutlery,

cups and plates; showing that good food must also

get along with the environment.

Sustainable development is a necessity for everyone.

For Novamont and Slow Food, it is already a reality.

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