In each issue of the Bioplastics Bulletin, we present 5 facts about a member of European Bioplastics. In this issue, Dr Erwin Lepoudre, Business Manager Biopolymers at the Green Polymer Division at Kaneka Belgium N.V., based in Westerlo-Oevel, Belgium, shares some information about the producer of high-performance polymers.
5 facts about Kaneka
- Kaneka Corporation, headquartered in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, was established in 1949. Besides the plant in Belgium, Kaneka Corporation has sites in USA, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia. Kaneka employs more than 9300 people worldwide.
- Kaneka produces chemical intermediates for the production of applications in several domains: such as chemicals, functional plastics, expandable plastics & products, foodstuffs products, life science products, electronic products and synthetic fibers.
- Kaneka’s biopolymer AONILEX®, poly((R)-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-(R)-3-hydroxyhexanoate), is a 100% bio-based polymer produced by microbial fermentation from plant oils. Polymers are accumulated in the bodies of microorganisms through strain development and fermentation technology. There are also prospects for the establishment of manufacturing technology utilizing biomasses not used for food as the primary ingredients.
- AONILEX® is stable under every day usage conditions. At the same time, it is biodegradable in either anaerobic, aerobic or marine conditions in the natural environment, ultimately being converted into carbon dioxide and water. AONILEX® can improve biodegradability of other bio-polymers such as PLA, PBAT, PBS through blending.
- AONILEX® is 100% plant-based biopolymer that offers both flexibility and heat resistance. It exhibits a range of properties from hardness through to softness as well as a number of key characteristics of polyethylene and polypropylene materials. In addition printability and dye-ability are very good.