PHA from sewage sludge enters demonstration phase: The Phario project produces PHA at the biological sewage treatment plant in Bath, the Netherlands, which is run by the Brabantse Delta water board. The processes required for purifying sewage water breeds bacteria that can produce 0.47 grams of PHA per gram of organic matter in the sludge, and in 2015, the project reported to produce a kilo of PHA a week. The PHA proved to offer superior properties compared to commercially available PHA. The project now enters the next phase, which comprises a demonstration facility that will produce between one and three thousand kilograms of PHA. This is a sufficient volume for large-scale testing by customers in order to determine the value of the material. This, in turn, will provide the basis for the step to full scale. Project leader Leon Korving says: „The cost price of PHA bioplastic is competitive, can even fall and the supply is reliable. Moreover, we demonstrated in the pilot that we can produce PHA bioplastic of good and stable quality.“
3D printed object made from PLA can generate electricity: Physicists from Clemson’s University’s Nanomaterials Institute have printed a 3D device known as W-TENG that can generate electricity in a circuit and store it in a capacitor. They a multipart fibre made of graphene and the biodegradable polymer polylactic acid (PLA) and a Teflon tape to create high voltages. The Teflon has a lot of fluorine groups that are highly electronegative while the graphene-PLA is highly electropositive. “It cannot only give you energy, but you can use the electric field also as an actuated remote. For example, you can tap the W-TENG and use its electric field as a ‘button’ to open your garage door, or you could activate a security system – all without a battery, passively and wirelessly,” says Sai Sunil Mallineni, on of the authors of the study and a Ph.D. student in physics and astronomy.
UPM Raflatac launches new plant-based PE film: UPM Raflatac is extending its range of film face materials for the European market with a new white plant-based material that provides a sustainable alternative to fossil-based films for a wide variety of end uses, including home and personal care application. RafBio PE White performs just like standard PE film, and its excellent flexibility makes it ideal for the squeezable bottles and contoured containers. Made from sugarcane ethanol, the films contain more than 80% renewable plant-based raw material and are recyclable together with fossil-based PE. RafBio PE films can be combined adhesives for multi-purpose labelling applications.
Teijin develops formable gasoline-resistant bioplastic film: Japan’s Teijin Limited has developed a formable gasoline-resistant film made of Planext bioplastic to replace chrome plating. Parts maker Honda Lock Mfg. has adopted the film for nonconductive door handles integrated with smart-entry systems. Planext is an eco-friendly bio-polycarbonate made with bio-content based on isosorbide from corn-starch and other plants. This new film is made with Planext SN4600, an improved grade of Teijin’s Planext bioplastic. In addition to original Planext grade properties such as chemical resistance, transparency and surface hardness, polymer reforming is employed to confer Planext SN4600 with important new properties including gasoline resistance, formability, and UV resistance.