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27th April 2018, Tampere

Bio-based innovations recognised

A developer of composites based on PLA (polylactic acid) is one of six finalists who have been nominated for the Bio-Based Material of the Year 2018 Award which will be announced at the forthcoming 11th International Conference on Bio-based Materials, to be held from May 15-16 in Cologne, Germany.

Arctic Biomaterials, based in Tampere, Finland, has developed PLA composites reinforced with glass fibre that can erode back to harmless minerals in a composting environment.

The LFRT technology opens a variety of possible application areas in the field where technical plastics are being used. © Arctic Biomaterials

The materials are produced on the company’s long-fibre-reinforced-thermoplastic (LFRT) line. This proprietary degradable long glass fibre compounding technology increases the PLA temperature resistance and mechanical properties to new levels and opens a variety of possible application areas in the field where technical plastics are being used. Heat deflection temperature of up to 160°C can be reached.

Reflecting the diversity of the growing bioeconomy, the other five finalists are:

Aimplas of Spain for bio-based and biodegradable nets for green beans packaging. A compound has been developed through reactive extrusion and the combination of different biodegradable materials and additives. Chemical modification was made by grafting low molecular weight units, such as oleic alcohol, obtained by the fermentation of sugars extracted from vegetable waste (watermelon).

Borregaard of Norway for Exilva – the world’s first commercially-available cellulose fibril Exilva is a completely natural and sustainable three-dimensional network of cellulose fibrils, that improves rheology and stability, as well as enhancing structures in product formulations. Due to the fibril’s flexible aggregates creating ultra-high surface area and water retention capability – that will retain their crystallinity features even after the production process – Exilva increases formulation efficiency, reduces the CO2 footprint and creates exciting opportunities for greener innovation. Exilva also improves product stability (anti-settling) and versatility, alongside controlling dry-out time, improving barriers and enhancing the uptake of active ingredients.

Cardolite Corporation of Belgium for its cashew nutshell residual-based blocking agent. NX-2026 is an ultra-high purity 3-pentadeca-dienyl-phenol recently developed through advanced proprietary process technology. The 3-pentadeca-dienyl-phenol is the main component distilled from cashew nutshell liquid, a renewable and non-edible resin extracted from the honeycomb structure of the nut. NX-2026 has been successfully introduced to the coating and adhesive market as a non-toxic isocyanate (NCO) blocking agent that is a suitable replacement for petrochemical phenols. NCO systems blocked with NX-2026 provide lower viscosity and deblocking temperature than equivalent systems blocked with phenols. Moreover, NX-2026 blocked NCO prepolymers can be used in 2K epoxy systems to improve bond and T-peel strengths while maintaining good cure properties.

Rhenoflex of Germany for Rx 35, a rice husk filled, thermoplastic material for easy handicraft work. Rx 35 is a biodegradable and partly bio-based thermoplastic sheet material with 35 weight% rice husk filler. One side of Rx 35 sheets has smooth leather-like haptics and is mostly used in the visual field of final products. The other side is laminated with a fine mesh offering high strength and resilience. It is non-toxic, solvent-free and recyclable. Its unique properties allow for easy handicraft work by heating the material up to 90°C. It is mainly being used for fashion accessories and toys.

Ohio Soybean Council, collaborating with Roof Revivers of the USA for Roof Maxx, a soy-bean-based roof material sealer. Roof Maxx is a bio-based, renewably sourced shingle sealer-rejuvenator that is spray-applied to asphalt-based roofing materials to extend their service life be up to 15 years. Roof Maxx re-saturates dried, curled, leaky shingles or modified bitumen roofing material, restoring pliability and flexibility, and enhances adhesion of the protective mineral granules. It employs oil from soybeans as the chemical feedstock and contains no solvents, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or toxic ingredients.

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