DuPont wins 2017 European Company of the Year Award for bio-based materials: DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) has been awarded the 2017 European Company of the Year Award for bio-based materials, reflecting the company’s position “at the vanguard of innovation, developing cutting-edge, bio-based materials that improve customers’ lives and meet market needs for high-performing, sustainable products” according to the host Frost & Sullivan. DuPont’s bio-based polymer Sorona comprised of 37 percent renewable plant-based ingredients and requires significantly less energy and releases fewer greenhouse gases than competing products such as nylon 6.
WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision: The World Wildlife Fund’s is launching a new effort to promote reuse of materials, including plastics with its Cascading Materials Vision, which seeks to minimise barriers for increased use of recycled materials. While businesses seek to use more secondary materials, there are systematic barriers influencing both quality and quantity. There are 10 guiding principles for the vision, including one that stresses designing products to account for waste management. Other guidelines address sharing responsibility, inclusive solutions, effective policy, adaptability, diversity and science. European Bioplastics, together with the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, DuPont Co. and the Recycling Partnership are among the initial group of organisations and companies supporting the idea.
EUR 25 million subsidy granted for polyethylenfuranoate (PEF): The European Joint Undertaking on Bio-Based Industries (BBI), consisting of representatives from the European Union and the bio-based industry, granted 25 million Euro to “PEFerence”, a consortium of eleven companies. The grant supports the establishment of an innovative value chain for bio-based raw materials as well as chemicals and materials based on polyethylenefuranoate (PEF). It includes the intended construction of a 50,000 tons FDCA reference plant, the main chemical building block for the production of PEF. Synvina will be coordinating the “PEFerence” project.
NatureWorks to expand its Ingeo product portfolio: NatureWorks has signed a contract to license Plaxica’s Optipure chemical processing technology for the production of D-lactic acid. The company says the license provides it with a low-cost route to produce D-lactic acid, a building block for a further range of performance Ingeo PLA grades. While small volumes of D-lactic acid have previously been available from producers in Europe and Asia, they have until now been at a substantive price premium to the L-lactic acid which NatureWorks uses today. “D” and “L” lactic acid monomers are essentially identical yet “mirror images” of one another. In combination, the two can produce polymers that offer unique features such as higher melt point and melt strength. NatureWorks expects to begin sampling new Ingeo grades to customers in the second half of 2017.
BIC announces new Strategic and Research Agenda SIRA: Helping build a resource-efficient, circular and bio-based economy, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) has announced its new Strategic and Research Agenda (SIRA). The SIRA identifies the activities needed to speed up the development of sustainable and competitive bio-based industries in Europe. According to the agenda, bio-based plastics play an essential part in the bioeconomy as they “decarbonise major industrial sectors by replacing fossil-based carbon with renewable carbon as raw materials”. They further reduce CO2 emissions: “bio-based plastics can save 26 kg of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of plastic compared with petrochemical-based plastics”, so the report. Read the revised SIRA here.