Mazda teams with Mitsubishi Chemical to develop bio-based engineering plastic grade: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and Mazda have jointly developed a new grade of Durabio, a bio-derived polycarbonate engineering plastic suitable for molding large cosmetic automotive parts. Durabio is based partially on isosorbide, which in turn is derived from sorbitol, a widely available natural feedstock. Mazda has adopted the material for the front grill of its new CX-5 compact crossover. Previously, French automaker Renault adopted Durabio in the outer mask of the speedometer-tachometer combo used by the new generation Clio. The material’s transparent nature means it is highly colorable, with pigment dispersion in colored compounds of a level that obviates the need for painting. Further, impact strength and weatherability are said to be superior compared with 100% petroleum-derived engineering plastics, while high surface hardness imparts good scratch resistance.
OK compost certification now part of TÜV AUSTRIA Group: As of 1 December 2017, TÜV AUSTRIA Group is taking over the OK compost label from the independent Belgian testing institute Vinçotte. TÜV AUSTRIA Group will integrate the OK compost activities, including the Seedling certification, from Vinçotte into TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium. The Seedling label and the OK compost label both exist for over 20 years and identify products that are industrial compostable. They can be applied to a wide variety of product groups, including plastic bags, films, and various packaging materials. With its broad product certification portfolio and its wide network of partners outside Europe, OK compost operates in more than 40 countries.
Novamont doubles production of biopolyesters: Novamont, one of the world leaders in the development and production of bioplastics, announced that by the end of the first quarter of 2018, the production capacity of the subsidiary MATER-BIOPOLYMER will have increased from 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year of ORIGO-BI, a family of high-value polyesters derived from monomers from vegetable oils, with a higher content of renewable raw materials. According to Novamont’s Managing Director Catia Bastioli, “Doubling the production capacity of the Patrica plant is a further step towards building an Italian bioplastic and biochemical supply chain integrating research, agriculture and industry and developing products that can deliver solutions to major environmental problems”.
Map of 224 European biorefineries published by BIC and nova-Institute: Biorefineries are the heart of the bioeconomy, where different types of biomass are fully utilised and transformed into a large variety of chemicals and materials. The map distinguishes between “Sugar-/starch based biorefineries”, producing bioethanol and other chemicals (63), “Oil-/fat-based biorefineries – biodiesel” (64) and “Oil-/fat-based biorefineries – oleochemistry” (54), “Wood-based biorefineries” (25) excluding those that produce pulp for paper only, “Lignocellulose other than wood” (5) and finally “Biowaste-based biorefineries” (13). The prevalence of biorefineries differs considerably between countries. The type of biorefinery is clearly dependent on the locally available biomass. Wood-based biorefineries can be found mainly in Northern Europe, and “Sugar-/starch based biorefineries” mainly in France, Belgium, Germany and Hungary, where we see high yields in sugar and starch. The map can be downloaded for free at www.bio-based.eu/graphics or http://bioconsortium.eu