CHINAPLAS 2018 paves the way to plastics’ future

China is rapidly becoming a preeminent new market in the world. With over RMB 1.5 trillion spent in R&D in 2016, a 10.6% annual increase, and of which 77.5% was contributed by businesses, the overall productivity and comprehensive national power of China is strategically being boosted, enhancing the country’s influence in technology innovations.

Striding into the future – innovation is the weapon

High-speed rails, an aircraft carrier, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the FAST telescope (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope), the EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) nuclear fusion reactor, etc. are but a few glimpses of the technological advancements achieved by China in the 21st century.

For the plastics and rubber industries, foundations for manufacturing, innovation and technology advances are always in order, as pointed out by Ms. Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., the organizer of CHINAPLAS. “Innovation, an important ‘weapon’ in the plastics and rubber industries, is also the key to CHINAPLAS’ success in keeping itself improved over the years.”

As a major and recognized platform to promote technological innovations, CHINAPLAS addresses the latest needs of many application industries including automotive, E&E, IT & Telecom, packaging, building and medical, presenting leading and hot solutions from all over the world. “The theme of the coming edition of CHINAPLAS and beyond is set as ‘Innovation is Key to the Future’, highlighting the roles of technology and innovation,” Ms. Leung continued.

CHINAPLAS will make its debut in the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), Hongqiao,Shanghai, PR China in 2018. An estimated 4,000 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions will showcase their advanced exhibits on an over 320,000 sqm of exhibition area. Focusing on “Smart Manufacturing, Innovative Materials and Green Solutions”, CHINAPLAS facilities the plastics and rubber industries in business transformation and upgrading, leading the industries to a brighter future!

A full spectrum of smart manufacturing solutions

Smart manufacturing, considered by some to be synonymous with Industry 4.0, the influence of which is now going deep and wide, provides continuous opportunities for innovation and development for the manufacturing industries.

E&E, IT & telecom industries

Mr. Neo Cao, Senior Manager, Mechanical Technology Department, Meizu Technology Co., Ltd., remarked after visiting the last edition of CHINAPLAS, “Through the abundance of solutions introduced to mobile phone manufacturers such asmold automated production systems, automated processing equipmentand others, the realization of Industry 4.0 is now more apparent than ever.”

Industries that are actively upgrading, have put “smart manufacturing” under the spotlight. Smart manufacturing solutions, for instant, unmanned automated production, equipment interconnection and visualization etc., are in high demand among home appliance manufacturers.

Smart manufacturing solutions are abundant at CHINAPLAS. ENGEL e-motion 80 TL injection molding machine (with inject 4.0 logos) combines the benefits of all-electric drive technology and tie-bar-less technology, ensuring high production rate of precision components and high-quality optical components. Chen Hsong SPEED series of small-to-medium-tonnage hydraulic injection molding machine stands for high-speed; thanks to its 1.5 seconds dry cycle time and 300 mm/s injection speed. The machine is an ideal option for injection molding of mobile phone accessories, precision electronics and medical consumables at a high speed and a short cycle, and at the same time ensuring high repetition accuracy, stable dimensions, performance and quality. It can sustain long-term large-scale automated production.

Innovative materials are playing important roles

Metals and other materials are gradually replaced by high performance materials, which are low in density, strong, moldable, heat resistant, corrosion resistant, antibacterial, UV-resistant etc., creating high value-added products.

Automotive industry

Application of engineering plastics and carbon fiber composite materials in the automotive industry incredibly contributes to vehicle lightweighting. Battery cases, a core component of new energy vehicles, made of carbon fiber composite materials, are 80% lighter than their steel counterparts, on top of being corrosion resistant, water proof, flame retardant and long lasting. Automotive air-conditioning’s outlet leaf is mainly made of high rigidity PA6. Due to the high fiber content, defects such as floating fiber and white mark frequently occur duringinjection molding. Jinyoung (Xiamen) Advanced Materials Technology Co., Ltd.’s PA6 successfully addresses the defects and improves the part appearance.

Medical industry

New materials also find their applications in the medical sector. Functional materials like polymers with good biocompatibility, new materials for implants, sterilization/gamma ray resistant materials and electro-conductive materials are only a few examples of safe, green and high performance medical grade plastics. LUVOCOM material is suitable for various disinfection methods and repeated disinfection. It can be used for plastic parts of reusable medical devices such as dental instruments and handle of minimally invasive surgical instruments. LUVOCOM can also meet the requirement of high temperature resistant, sterilizable, anti-static /electromagnetic protection and pigmentable. It can be used for special color button, connectors, insulators, valve parts, anti-static roller, etc.

Green solutions are answers to prosperity

To go green is to prosper, so the importance of environmental technology innovation is self-evident. Lightweight plastics, multifunctionalities, low VOC emissions, the use of biodegradable plastics and the recovery of recycled materials are among the means by which many industries move towards sustainable development.

Packaging industry

Promotion of lightweighting continues to be the major driver for the packaging industry, as not only can it reduce the use of materials, but also effectively reduce the gross weight, facilitating transportation.The Dow Chemical Company’s enhanced expanded polyethylene (EPE) foam solution delivers high level of cushion performance and abuse resistance, achieving new levels of downweighting or downgauging. There is 10 – 15% savings on raw material cost in unit packaging.

Biodegradable materials, as well as centralized collection and recycling of packaging materials, are gaining popularity among many companies. The Ecoworld biodegradable polymer and Ecowill biodegradable polymer compounds from Jinhui Zhaolong High Technology Co., Ltd. are compostable, printable and weldable. NatureWorks joined hands with compounders, converters and coffee companies for a comprehensive research and development effort, using Ingeo to solve many technical challenges presented in making a capsule that meets the temperature requirements for both the drip and high pressure platforms while maintaining compostability.

Building and construction industry

At CHINAPLAS 2018, high-performance PVC formwork, large diameter polyolefin drainage, water-based polyurethane, solvent-free eco-synthetic leather, lead-free PVC profiles, as well as the recovery of recycled raw materials, etc., will be the highlights for visitors coming from building and construction industry.
The XPS Board Production Line from Jiangsu Cenmen Equipment Corp., Ltd. is a perfect replacement of CO2 composite foaming agent for CFC foaming agent. And the compressive strength of fine products can be improved by more than 15%.

As the Chinese economy gathers tremendous momentum and the application of plastics and rubber in various industries becomes more widespread, CHINAPLAS, having profound influences, will play an increasingly important role in promoting technological advances and product innovation. CHINAPLAS 2018 will be relocated to NECC in Hongqiao, Shanghai, PR China, and run from April 24-27, 2018. For walk-in visitors, RMB 50 and RMB 80 will be charged for a one-day pass and a four-day pass respectively. Visitors can enjoy admission discount through online pre-registration from now till April 18, 2018, at an early-bird rate of RMB 50 for a four-day pass.

To pre-register now, please visit For more information about CHINAPLAS 2018, please visit

European Parliament supports use of biodegradable mulch films

On 24 October 2017 the Plenary of the European Parliament voted in favour of supporting biodegradable mulch films in the revision of the EU Fertilizers Regulation. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the outcome. “The inclusion of biodegradable mulches in the EU Fertilizers Regulation will help to harmonise regulations across the EU Member States and to create a single market for bio-based and biodegradable materials used in agriculture”, says François de Bie, Chairman of EUBP.

The amendments, which have already been approved by the Parliament’s Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), and on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) in July earlier this year, acknowledge the innovative potential of biodegradable mulch films to provide positive agronomical effects and to help avoid the accumulation of microplastics on fields. Biodegradable mulch films have been available on the EU market for many years, meeting a high level of acceptance among European farmers. They play an essential role in modern agriculture as help to increase yield, improve the quality of crops, enhance weed control, and reduce water irrigation and pesticides. Additionally, they offer distinctive advantages at the end of the crop cycle as they can be left on the field and ploughed under.

The approved amendments on biodegradable mulch films are linked to the criteria of the upcoming European standard CEN FprEN 13655:2017 on biodegradation of plastic mulch films in soil developed by CEN-Technical Committee 249 on Plastics. The standard is expected to be published at the beginning of 2018.

Five-year EU flagship project to establish an innovative supply chain for FDCA and PEF

PEFerence, a €25 million EU project was officially launched Wednesday, September 20th 2017. Led by Synvina, the project consortium is comprised of 11 partners from 8 European countries.

On September 20th 2017, the official kick-off was held for the PEFerence project in Geleen, the Netherlands. The consortium consists of 11 companies from 8 countries including Synvina, Avantium, BASF, Tereos Participants (France), Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner (Austria), OMV Machinery (Italy), Croda Nederland (The Netherlands), Nestec (Switzerland), Lego System (Denmark), nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation (Germany), and Spinverse Innovation Management (Finland).

The partners will be cooperating for the next five years to establish an innovative value chain for FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid) and PEF (Polyethylene furanoate), including the intended construction of a 50,000 tons reference plant in Antwerp. The “PEFerence” project will be coordinated by Synvina.

As background, FDCA is the essential chemical building block for the production of PEF. Compared to conventional plastics, PEF is characterized by improved barrier properties for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen. This can lead to longer shelf life of packaged products. Due to its higher mechanical strength, thinner PEF packaging can be produced, thus a lower amount of packaging material is necessary. Therefore, PEF is particularly suitable for the production of certain food and beverage packaging, for example films and plastic bottles. After use, PEF can be recycled.

PEFerence has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 744409.

Biodegradable plastics boost organic recycling and improve mechanical recycling

Biodegradable plastics offer innovative solutions to improve recycling quality by facilitating the means for more efficient separate waste collection. This has been confirmed by a recent study jointly released by Corepla, the Italian Consortium for Collecting, Recycling, and Recovering Plastic Packaging, the Italian Composters Consortium (CIC), and Assobioplastiche, the Italian Bioplastic and Biodegradable and Compostable material Association. The study focused on the effects of biodegradable plastics on plastics recycling streams in Italy, where all single-use carrier bags have to be compostable (according to the European standard EN 13432) since 2011.

Analysing the quality of recycled plastics from 19 waste sorting and recycling facilities around the country, Corepla found that compostable plastics only made up 0.85% of the plastic input. Similar studies by the University of Wageningen show that there are no negative effects on the properties of recycled plastics containing starch film and PLA recyclates. Biodegradable plastics are designed to be treated in industrial composting plants. If they do enter mechanical recycling streams due to misthrows, they can easily be sorted out by available sorting technologies such as NIR (near infrared), as recent tests by the German research institute Knoten Weimar show.

Biodegradable and compostable plastics facilitate separate collection of bio-waste and help to divert organic waste from other recycling streams. Organic recycling is a well-established industrial process ensuring the circular use for biodegradable plastics while creating a strong secondary raw material market and opportunity for renewable energy generation. Yet, the contamination of organic waste streams by misthrows of non-compostable plastics is high and constitutes a real problem for composting facilities and negatively affects the quality of compost. CIC, in cooperation with Corepla, conducted tests in 27 composting plants in Italy and found that the contamination of organic waste by non-compostable plastics reaches up to 3.1% on average. The study also confirmed the complete biodegradation of compostable items such as bags and tableware and their ensured compatibility for industrial composting plants.

“The results of these studies carried out in real-life conditions in recycling plants confirm that mandatory separate collection of recyclable waste throughout Europe is necessary in order to improve the quality and quantity of plastics recycling. Additionally, more investments in the modernisation of the waste management infrastructure are essential, including the implementation of separate mechanical and organic recycling streams”, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association representing the interests of the bioplastics industry in Europe.

Green solutions for outdoor life

Global Thermoplastic Elastomers compounding group HEXPOL TPE worked with Wildo Sweden AB on the development of a biobased TPE for their iconic Fold-A-Cup.

“The Scandinavian and Nordic countries have long fostered a culture of sustainability and ‘green’ thinking is not new,” says Klas Dannäs, Global R&D Coordinator at HEXPOL TPE. “What we’re doing with the development of our biobased TPEs is creating new possibilities to achieve these goals. Dryflex Green TPEs make it easier for customers to meet application and material demands, while deploying global resources in a sustainable way.

We also recognise that using renewable resources brings with it a responsibility to ensure that they are managed in an ethical way. In this regard, we are working closely with our suppliers to ensure they operate in a responsible manner with good environmental practices that comply with social and environmental demands. We continue to trial new and emerging raw material combinations and further test the possibilities of Dryflex Green TPE compounds. We’ve found that as the requirements can vary greatly for each application, there is a need for highly customised formulations. For example, working with Wildo Sweden AB, we developed a bespoke Dryflex Green TPE compound for their Fold-A-Cup product. We had several interesting properties to meet, the TPE compound needs to display the correct behaviour during repeated folding and opening of the cup. It should be flexible, yet rigid enough to withstand temperatures from hot or cold drinks. We also needed to consider haptics and of course the raw materials we usedhad to be compliant with food contact.”

Lena-Marie Johannisson, project manager at Wildo commented “Being an outdoor product producer we always strive to be part of something bigger. With the outdoor as our platform we understand the importance of respecting the environment and surroundings around us. We need to make sure that we can enjoy our planet now and in the future”.

Wildo’s history started more than 35 years ago when the Fold-A-Cup and Camp-A-Box was developed – outdoor utensils that are functional, durable and lightweight, and can be used over and over again. At that time, it was pioneering in contrast to the buy and throw away-thought as well as the heavy options that were around. Making many small steps by keeping the production in Sweden, well selected suppliers and short transports, recycling and re-usage of boxes as well as easy designed packages has been natural choices in their production. It also enables close contact with their suppliers, they understand and can relate to Wildo’s products.

The question of developing a bio material together with HEXPOL TPE was brought up, “It was not hard to leap into this further, knowing that they, as well as us, would never compromise with the quality of the material,” adds Johannisson. “This was what we had been looking for! Working for more sustainable material reducing the fossil recourses is not a luxury we can choose but a necessary way to go. Wildo has now started with a first step to a green choice, but there will be more to come.”

Sukano enables the next generation of drinking straw

Sukano, a world leader in the development and production of additive and colour masterbatches and compounds for polyester and specialty resins, today announced the results of its initiative to rethink the materials used to manufacture drinking straws. Using Sukano’s additive masterbatches portfolio based on NatureWorks’ Ingeo
PLA bioplastic, it is now possible to have a material for straws that achieves the expected performance attributes, is renewably-sourced and manufactured cleanly – yet still provides desired after-use options such as compostability.

An alternative to oil-based plastics
Straws, today made mostly from polypropylene, present a variety of technical challenges for alternative new materials seeking to bring new functionality. For example, narrow U-shaped straws for juice boxes must be articulated and have a high flexibility modulus. As straws are manufactured, edges must be cut smoothly to prevent unsafe sharp or rough edges and visual aesthetics such as transparency are also critical. These are just a few of the many specifications new materials must meet for adoption into this market application. Solving this problem required a unique combination of innovation and expertise. The demand for disposable straws is expected to grow, driven in part by consumer desire for convenience, meals on the go, and consumption of more specialty drinks. There is therefore a place for materials that provide complete, responsible lifecycle solutions while providing the functionality consumers expect.

Straw Trek – the next generation
So when Sukano and NatureWorks, two global market leaders in PLA – and its modification for optimal product performance – got together, a new, broad market opportunity was born. Sukano masterbatches reduce the brittleness of PLA, which allows precise cutting during production and avoids splintering and rough edges. Combining melt enhancer additives in Ingeo-based PLA masterbatches, Sukano concentrates promote dimensional stability and greater flexibility without cracking at temperatures of 110° to 120°C. The additive masterbatches formulations are also designed to maintain the high transparency required in straws.

Rethinking plastics
The last decade has seen the advent of plastics made from renewable resources (or bioplastics) entering the mainstream for packaging. Bioplastics like polylactic acid (PLA) have been viewed as sustainable in sourcing, manufacture and after-use – but, until today, they were unable to meet the market’s criteria for performance in straws and replace the use of polypropelene. There is an opportunity to broaden the perspective on bioplastic materials for packaging. “We are thrilled that this collaboration between key players in the value chain allows us to bring an innovative alternative to the market. Using our combined experience, we are able to modify Ingeo PLA to customize its performance for a new end market – providing benefits to consumers and companies,” comments Alessandra Funcia, Head of Marketing at Sukano.

“At NatureWorks, we are helping rethink plastics. The replacement of conventional oil-based polypropylene by Ingeo in drinking straws is just one example of how bioplastics can help address sustainability, while still providing the high performance material required for this application,” concludes Steve Davies, Commercial Director – NatureWorks Performance Packaging.

Sukano is a world leader in the development and production of additive and colour masterbatches and compounds for polyester and specialty resins. The company develops innovative products and services for oil and bio-based polymers for applications such as thin and thick films, bottles and containers, fibers, filaments, and sheets. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Switzerland, Sukano has a global distribution network and three production facilities strategically located in Europe, the Middle-East & Africa, the Americas and Asia. Providing unparalleled service, knowhow, and quality to its customers worldwide, Sukano is the global partner of choice for plastic converters and brand owners.

Bio-based Materials of the Year 2017 announced

The Innovation Award Bio-based Material of the Year 2017 was awarded to three innovative materials in specific applications. The competition focused on new developments in the bio-based economy, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2016 or 2017. The winners were elected by the participants of the 10th International Conference on Bio-based Materialsin Cologne, Germany ( Award sponsor is InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, a service provider for the planning, construction and operation of plants and sites.

The “International Conference on Bio-based Materials” is a well-established meeting point for companies working in the field of bio-based chemicals and materials. Almost 200 participants, mainly from the industry and representing 25 countries, met in Cologne to discuss the latest developments in the sector. 25 companies presented their products and servicesat the exhibition. The event was supported by Novamont.

Currently, the bio-based economy is developing well. We see a lot of investment in medium-sized production plants and double digit growth for new bio-based building blocks and platform chemicals. They are precursors for new bio-based polymers, composites, textiles, adhesives, solvents, detergents or lubricants, which provide new features and properties for a wide range of end products. The worldwide leading companies in the field of new bio-based building blocks presented their latest developments and applications at the event in Cologne.

The conference presentations highlighted bio-based solutions with special features and properties. As representatives of a new sustainable green chemistry, they have a lot to offer and will conquer the market. What comes next? The winners of the award are great examples of this new generation of bio-based products with improved features.

Six companies out of about 20 applicants were nominated by the conference’s advisory board and experts of nova-Institute. Each nominee introduced its innovation in a short 10-minute presentation to the audience. The three winners were elected by the participants of the conference and announcedat the traditional gala dinner.
nova-Institute and the award sponsor InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG (DE), are proud to announce the winners of the “Bio-based Material of the Year 2017”, which are from Finland and Germany:

First place: BIO-LUTIONS (DE): Upgrading agricultural residues to packaging materials (
With its innovative mechanical process, BIO-LUTIONS produces high performance ecologically sustainable packaging and disposable tableware made directly from agricultural residuals. For this, BIO-LUTIONS works with small farmers in India and China. Converted into self-binding natural fibres, this innovation lets the contaminating and energy-intense process of cellulose extraction to be a thing of the past. The final products can either decompose under normal conditions, be used for biogas production and can be recycled or burned with a nearly CO2 neutral carbon footprint. Local raw material, local production and local market – decentralisation is the key.

Second place: Paptic (FI): The next generation of paper bags – lighter and stronger (
Papticis replacing oil-based plastics with bio-based, recyclable and reusable PAPTIC materials, which uses a novel wood fibre for a bioplastic composite paper combining the benefits of paper, plastics and textiles. Furthermore, this material can be recycled in existing paper recycling facilities. First application of PAPTIC is carrier bags, addressing the EU directive target for 55% reduction of plastic bag use by 2019. PAPTIC bags have been launched to market in June 2016. The patented PAPTIC technology is based on foam forming technology which is using 30% less energy and enabling up to 50% light weighting of products, when compared to traditional papermaking.

Third place: Phytowelt Green Technologies (DE): High-quality raspberry fragrance with the help of biotechnology (
The (R)-alpha-Ionone is the main component of raspberry fragrance. Usually it is synthesized chemically as a racemate which contains the enantiomer (R)-alpha-Ionone as well as the distomer (S)-alpha-Ionone. The (S)-form has a woody and musty flavour which gives the chemical racemate a different and impure fragrance. However, it is complex and uneconomic to separate the two molecules. With its patented process, Phytowelt is now able to produce only the desired (R)-alpha-Ione. Therefore, the raspberry fragrance is chiral pure, smells intensive and is, because of the biotechnological production, a natural flavour component. It is used in food, drinks, perfumes, drugs and other applications. This raspberry fragrance is the first natural essence in the market which can be produced in high quantity as well as quality resulting in a high competitive advantage.

More information on the six nominated candidates and the winners:

Bio-on bioplastic spearheds development of the food packaging of tomorrow

The bioplastic developed by Bio-on will be at the centre of a new European project that, thanks to a budget of almost 4 million Euro, aims to create new sustainable and biodegradable food packaging materials in the coming years.

The project BioBarr (New bio-based food packaging materials with enhanced barrier properties) has received funding of 3,784,375 euro from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745586 and it will start on 1st June 2017.

BioBarr, which received an excellent evaluation from independent science experts at the European Commission, will be coordinated by TecnoalimentiS.C.p.A. over its estimated 4-year duration and will involve 7 prestigious European partners, public and private, from Italy, Spain, Denmark and Finland.

The researchers’ objects are as follows: to develop new bio-based and biodegradable food packaging materials, to improve and strengthen their barrier functionalities and to validate their application in real working environments inside the food industry. The ambitious research and development project will focus on PHAs biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates) produced using Bio-on technology which, thanks to their high thermo-mechanical and rheological performance, ductility and aesthetic characteristics, are unmatched in the biopolymers market.

“We are extremely proud to take part in the BioBarr project, to be an active part in this varied team of complementary researchers and companies,” explains Bio-on Chairman and CEO Marco Astorri, “it will allow us to study and increase the potential of our bioplastic in the food packaging sector for new solutions in the wider consumer sectors.”

Bio-on, listed on the AIM segment of BorsaItaliana, is the project’s main scientific partner and will make use of a European contribution of Euro 800,000 to carry out the production, development and demonstration of PHAs film to be adapted to the project’s objectives. Bio-on will also work on setting up a complete study of the product lifecycle according to modern LCA principles.

The PHAs bioplastics developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable at ambient temperature. This is why Bio-on’s PHAs bioplastics have been shown to have extremely high potential as a replacement for the conventional polymers currently used in food packaging. To increase its adoption in this market sector, the BioBarr Project will focus on the implementations of PHAs’ capacity to protect the food (barrier properties) through the validation of a series of food products with different shelf-lives.

“Food products generate a lot of waste plastic packaging. The idea behind this project is to meet the demands expressed by the food industry to offer the market food products with a long shelf-life combined with environmentally-friendly packaging solutions,” says Raffaello Prugger, CEO of Tecnoalimenti.

Bio-On S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials.

Przetwórstwo biotworzyw – miniprzewodnik (wstęp)

Dzięki uprzejmości pracowników hanowerskiego instytutu IfBB (Institut für Biokunststoffe und Bioverbundwerkstoffe) – mamy przyjemność opublikować fragmenty przewodnika “Przetwórstwo biotworzyw” w polskiej wersji językowej. Opracowanie przewodnika jest efektem projektu „Kompetentznetzwerk zur Verarbeitung von Biokunststoffen”, realizowanego dzięki finansowemu wsparciu rządu federalnego przez cztery centra kompetencji – IfPP, SKZ – Das Kunststoff-Zentrum (Würzburg), IAP – Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung (Potsdam-Golm) i SLK –Strukturleichtbau und Kunststoffverarbeitung (Chemnitz).

Celem projektu było z jednej strony przyspieszenie transferu wiedzy z ośrodków badawczych do przetwórców biotworzyw, z drugiej zaś – udzielenie odpowiedzi na wiele pytań i problemów, z którymi borykają się często średniej wielkości przedsiębiorstwa pragnące wdrożyć innowacyjne rozwiązania.

Niniejszy miniprzewodnik w skrótowy sposób przedstawia wybrane dane zebrane przez uczestniczące w projekcie ośrodki w ciągu trzech lat – kompletna baza dotycząca biomateriałów i ich przetwórstwa dostępna jest w Internecie. Wykorzystując dane zawarte w przewodniku, jak również sięgając do kompletnych wyników dostępnych w sieci, przetwórcy uzyskują poręczne narzędzie ułatwiające wejście na rynek biotworzyw. W dalszej perspektywie podjęte działania mają przyczynić się do realizacji założeń biogospodarki.

Trudno wyobrazić sobie obecnie życie codzienne bez tworzyw sztucznych. Od zastosowań medycznych, przez opakowania, produkty biurowe, zabawki, sprzęt sportowy i artykuły gospodarstwa domowego, po zastosowania ściśle techniczne – w niemal wszystkich obszarach tworzywa sztuczne udowodniły swoją przydatność i efektywność. Jednak większość tworzyw pochodzi z przerobu podstawowego surowca nieodnawialnego – ropy naftowej, której nadmierne zużycie z czasem doprowadzi do wyczerpania się zasobów. W tym miejscu jako alternatywa dla ropy naftowej pojawiają się tworzywa biopochodne. Trzeba do tego dodać wzrastającą świadomość ekologiczną konsumentów, którzy coraz większą uwagę przykładają do wyboru rozwiązań przyjaznych środowisku i celowo odchodzą od stosowania wyrobów z tworzyw konwencjonalnych.

Aby takie przejście było możliwe, branża tworzyw sztucznych potrzebuje przede wszystkim informacji, które ułatwią wdrożenie biotworzyw do systemów produkcyjnych, i dostarczenie tych informacji jest celem realizowanego w Niemczech projektu. Partnerzy projektu chcą w ten sposób istotną lukę – brak arkuszy danych materiałowych bądź nieadekwatne informacje często zniechęcają przetwórców do biotworzyw bądź prowadzą do nieoptymalnych wyników procesów. I choć w zasadzie dzisiejsza oferta biotworzyw pokrywa się z wieloma obszarami zastosowania tych materiałów, to jednak w praktyce wciąż pojawiają się problemy przetwórcze, nawet gdy luka w zakresie dostępnych informacji pozornie wydaje się niewielka. Dlatego tak ważne jest pozyskanie brakujących danych, i takie zadanie postawili sobie uczestnicy projektu.

Nikt nie zamierza ukrywać, że udział biotworzyw w rynku jest wciąż jest niewielki. Jednak wzrastające zdolności produkcyjne wytwórców przekładają się na coraz niższe ceny materiałów biopochodnych. W tej sytuacji dodatkową zachętą dla przetwórców będzie maksymalne uproszczenie zagadnień związanych z produkcją wyrobów z tych materiałów.

W tym celu niezbędna jest współpraca praktyków oraz naukowców – w ramach projektu pytania, które pojawiły się w działalności praktycznej, zostały poddane szczegółowej analizie przez partnerów projektu uzyskując wyniki, które mogą być przez każdego przetwórcę wykorzystywane w produkcji. W ramach projektu analizowano właściwości biotworzyw dostępnych na rynku, jak PLA, PLLA, bio-PE czy PBT.

W kolejnych dniach zaprezentujemy rezultaty badań niemieckich naukowców w takich obszarach, jak: compounding, formowanie wtryskowe, wtrysk wielokomponentowy, spienianie tworzyw, sieciowanie, barwienie, wytłaczanie z rozdmuchem, ekstruzja, termoformowanie i in.

Zapraszamy do lektury!

Braskem presents intelligent packaging solutions at Interpack 2017

Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, takes part in Interpack, in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 4 to 10, at stand G15 (Hall 9). At the event, the company presents new applications for its I’m green Green Plastic packaging, including coffee packaging for The Netherlands’ Peeze as well as packaging for the personal care segment, for Germany’s Speick and Italy’s L’Erbolario. It will also show Braskem Amppleo, a polypropylene resin developed for the production of high performance foams, and display research work and advances made in intelligent packaging technology.

I’m green Green Polyethylene is produced from sugar cane, a renewable source, and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, as it captures carbonic gas during its productive process. A recent update of a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) study on Green Plastic from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research GmbH (IFEU), focusing on the agricultural phase, points to process improvements and a reduction in environmental impact. This has allowed a higher level of carbon capture to be registered compared to previously measured results.

“Our Green Plastic is the result of a research and development study involving a variety of people and investment of around US$ 300 million. This biopolymer is currently exported to Europe, the US, Asia, Africa and South America and is used in more than 150 brands worldwide. For Braskem, taking part in the world’s foremost packaging fair is an opportunity to reinforce our global presence,” affirms Gustavo Sergi, head of Renewal Chemicals Business at Braskem.

At Interpack 2017 Braskem also showcases Amppleo, a high-melt-strength polypropylene resin. This HMS-PP resin has been developed for versatile and high-performance foam applications in the packaging, automotive and industrial markets. The resin can withstand temperatures of up to 130°C without deforming and enables the production of foams for a wide range of applications within a broad density range, from 30 to 300 kilograms per cubic meter. It enables products to be made with a lighter weight than those made using other materials and offers excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. The material is also 100% recyclable.

Another of the fair’s highlights is Braskem’s advances in research into intelligent packaging, which can inform the consumer, via colour changes, of the quality and state of conservation of various products, from food to cosmetics. Braskem is developing this technology in partnership with the USA’s Clemson University and Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul Federal University (UFRGS).

Also available on Braskem’s stand at Interpack are:
– Polypropylene Cups produced in partnership with packaging company Gizeh, and Green Plastic cups produced in partnership with Finnish company Stora Enso.

– Information on a partnership between Braskem and Made In Space – a US company which is a leader in the development of 3D printers for NASA – for the supply of Green Plastic for the manufacture of tools and parts for the International Space Station (ISS).

– The coffee served on the stand is produced by Peeze, the only coffee processor in The Netherlands to supply coffee which is 100% certified, and which uses packaging made with I’m greenT Green Plastic. This sustainable packaging has resulted from a partnership announced between the companies in October 2016 and which has allowed Peeze to significantly reduce its carbon footprint: for each kilo of Green Polyethylene used to package its coffee, more than 4.5 kg of CO2 are captured from the atmosphere.