09. Feb 2017
Netherlands-based Synbra Technology bv invented and patented the first 100% bio-based foam that, says the company, is both environmentally friendly and CO2 neutral. CO2 Neutral certification is currently pending.
BioFoam is a PLA-based particle foam developed in 2006 by Synbra Technology bv, a Dutch manufacturer of EPS, or Airpop, as this is now called. BioFoam is similar in structure and has more or less the same properties as Airpop, but is derived from 100% renewable resources. It will therefore not ‘add’ CO2 to the atmosphere when composted or during biodegradation. Hence, while the ‘green’ credentials of BioFoam have long been established, Synbra Technology is now also pursuing BioFoam’s certification for CO2 neutrality according to the PAS 2060 standard, the standard for carbon neutrality launched in 2010 by the British Standards Institution.
Earlier, in 2009, as the first foam to do so BioFoam already received Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certification, as well as a material health certificate stating that it is free of CMR substances (substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) from Michael Braungart’s Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA). According to a statement from the company, the foam’s CO2 neutral certification is now being ‘finalized’, which will make it the world’s first particle foam to receive Carbon Neutrality verification in compliance with the PAS 2060 standard.
While biodegradable and industrially compostable at high temperatures, BioFoam is a durable product that is suitable for long-term use in virtually all technical and packaging applications. Without addition of a flame retardant it meets the Euro class E fire standard. Unlike any other particle foam on the market, only CO2 (taken from the atmosphere) is used as a blowing agent. No VOC’s are emitted during production. BioFoam is a certified food contact approved material.
Synbra Technology is a member of the Synbra Group, a group to which a number of converting companies also belong. Through these companies, Synbra Group wants to become the leading supplier of sustainable and biodegradable particle foam. Synbra Group companies, such as IsoBouw, Synprodo, Plastimar and Styropack, are already using the BioFoam material in series production for the white goods sector, ice cream packaging and the pharmaceutical sector, amongst others. Some recent applications are Alabastine (Akzo Nobel) trays for tubes (DIY market), Zandonella ice-cream box (Germany), Greeny ice-cream box (Italy), Cryostore (cold chain boxes), IsoBouw (Deco- Bio) and Termokomfort (BioFoam pearls).
In December 2016, BioFoam E-PLA was approved for use in the entire range of a large furniture retail chain. The foam has also been approved as filler protection in furniture products. In January 2017, it was also approved as a buffer protection material by several white goods producers.
Besides its own production facilities, Synbra is setting up a network of pioneering partner companies in the USA, the UK, Italy and in other European countries and is seeking coverage in strategic markets. The existing distribution and production network already offers BioFoam moulded products as a valuable and sustainable addition to the existing range of particle foam products.