bioplastics daily news
  • Arkema selects Singapore as new Rilsan production site


    Earlier this month, Arkema announced the location of its planned new world-scale plant for the production of the monomer of PA11 - 11-Aminoundecanoic acid, derived from castor oil - and its Rilsan polyamide 11 resins.

    mThe company has chosen Jurong Island in Singapore to set up its new bio-sourced polyamide production site, because of the advantages the location offers in terms of infrastructure, logistics, industrial integration and operational excellence, as well as optimization of the carbon footprint of the planned business.

    Plans for the new plant, which will double global production capacities, were announced in July 2017, in response to strong demand from Asia for high-performance bio-sourced lightweighting solutions. As a 100% bio-sourced polyamide, PA11 can replace metal in applications in the electronics, 3D printing, oil and gas extraction, and automotive markets. 

    “Singapore’s industrial and innovation-friendly environment is, we believe, a key asset for our project, " commented Erwoan Pezron, global group President for Arkema’s technical polymers business line.
    This project is part of the Group’s exceptional investments of in total some 500 million euros earmarked for the 2018-2021 period. Construction is scheduled to be completed by late 2021.

  • Buried in biocomposite


    Fredahl Rydéns, the largest supplier of funeral products in the Nordic countries has launched a burial coffin made from a biocomposite called OrganoComp. Using only 50% of the amount of raw material normally needed, the weight of the ‘Saga’ coffin is half the weight - 20kg instead of 40kg – of a traditional coffin.

    nThe Saga, introduced to the funeral industry on May 10, is the culmination of a development process that started 10 years ago. Sweden-based OrganoClick, a green chemical technology company that invented and patented a technology to modify biofibres, started to develop a new biocomposite based on modified cellulose fibres, wheat bran, and biopolymers from food waste such as orange peels and shrimp shells.

    The company’s proprietary fibre modification technology enabled properties such as fire resistance, strength and water repellency to be added to the material, if desired. The biocomposite is suitable for the replacement of hard plastics such as polypropylene, or particle boards which contains large amounts of synthetic glue.

    The company has also developed a new technology to produce large products from the biocomposite, such as coffins. Inspired by the production process for moulded pulp, used for applications such as packaging, a 3D moulding process was successfully developed enabling the highly automated production of large, complex, 3D-shaped products. The Saga coffin is produced in only two pieces (lid and bottom), before being assembled to a final coffin.

    OrganoClick’s biocomposites are based on biomimicry research conducted at Stockholm University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, according to Mårten Hellberg, CEO and co-founder of OrganoClick. “By mimicking nature’s own chemistry, and combine this with our unique fibre moulding technology, we have developed strong and durable materials which can be used in such demanding products as burial coffins with high requirements on quality and surface smoothness,” he said

    Another application using OrganoComp is that of a sound absorbing acoustic panel, launched by Baux, a leading supplier of acoustic products. New applications in the pipeline include a risk waste container used in hospitals, where OrganoComp is replacing polypropylene. Other future applications of OrganoComp include furniture, interior design and speciality packages.
    Serial production of the Saga and the acoustic panel will now start at OrganoClick’s factory north of Stockholm. The first production line has a production capacity of 50,000 burial coffins per year.

  • New fibre-based ready meal trays from Huhtamaki to replace black plastic


    The hopes are high when a high-end retailer, a premium food manufacturer, an innovative fibre material producer and a food packaging specialist join forces in an accelerated development project. The aim was nothing less than to find a plastic-replacing, sustainable solution for ready meal trays used in significant quantities every day.

    mTangible results of this co-operation are hitting the market in the UK with growing volumes just now. Waitrose & Partners launches its Italian ready meal range in the new fibre-based tray suited for both microwave and regular ovens. The new trays, called Fresh, are manufactured by the global food packaging specialist Huhtamaki, packed at Saladworks and the fibre used as the base material comes from the Swedish forest company Södra. The trays can be recycled, and they are also certified for home composting.

    From the drawing board and through trials since 2016

    "We have made a commitment to move out of black plastic by the end of 2019," said Nikki Grainge, Packaging Development Manager from Waitrose & Partners in the UK.

    "We have been testing the new trays since May 2018 and have received very positive feedback from our customers," Grainge continued. "Now, with the current launch on Italian range moving to the new tray, we'll be able to move nearly 9 million meals out of black plastic."

    Fresh trays are made from natural materials and e.g. the wood fibre comes from certified, sustainable Nordic forests. This means that per every tree cut down, three more trees are planted.

    "The project started already in 2016 with the aim to find alternative food packaging for trays made from black plastic, most often CPET. The reason to avoid this material is not only its fossil origin but also because it is problematic to recycle due to the detection systems used in end-of-life material separation," explained Steve Davey, Project Manager from Huhtamaki.

    An important accelerator was the EU's Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking program for research and innovation, securing the initial funding and helping build the core team. The team wanted to spearhead the new concept in the UK, which is one of the most significant markets for ready meals in Europe.

    Fresh and innovative ideas

    "Demand for sustainable alternatives is increasing from both manufacturers and customers. For Södra, the collaboration in Fresh project offers an opportunity to learn more about how we can use our bio-based raw materials as an alternative to fossil packaging in such an important area of use as food packaging," said Catrin Gustavson, Head of Innovation & New business at Södra.

    "Huhtamaki has extensive knowledge in the moulded fibre technology which is used to manufacture the trays for Waitrose. Together with the team, we were able to test alternatives and find the right solution all the way from pulp to the retail shelves," Steve Davey said.

    "We have called the new tray concept Fresh. We continue to develop its properties further and believe there are many new applications for it," Davey concluded.

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