21 August 2014

Plastics from sugar beets

Cosun and Philips cooperation project to develop new biobased high-grade plastics for example coffee machines and vacuum cleaners

Cosun processes vegetable raw materials. First of all into food products like sugar and French fries but also into a number of other ingredients which are all used in human nutrition. A new and recent development is the extraction of components from biomass that are not suitable for human consumption. But for completely other applications like biobased engineering plastics they may become very suitable. An increasing number of companies are looking for new biobased materials to replace the materials extracted from oil or gas.

One of these innovators is Philips. Together, Cosun and Philips started the Beets to Biopolymers project. Objective is to investigate if biobased building blocks from sugar beet can be used to develop new high-grade plastics. Philips would like to use these materials in for example coffee machines and vacuum cleaners. Together with Cosun company Suiker Unie in Groningen research is done to confirm the functionality of the biobased building blocks. By combining recycling with the use of biobased materials Philips is aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of its electrical appliances.

Alex Benschop of Cosun Biobased Products says: “After several years of research we know that sugar beet components are suitable as polymer building blocks. Combining forces with Philips, we want to realize the next step and develop the first applications. We hope that jointly we will be able to develop a more sustainable new material and a successful business case.”

Source: Royal Cosun, press release, 2014-08-05.

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