30 Juli 2009

Roquette: Biobased Plasticiser for Flexible PVC

Fatty acids and sorbitol as input materials

Roquette is continuing its development of vegetal-based chemistry and has received the 2009 Pierre Potier prize for the launch of a new plasticizer made from natural products.

The Pierre Potier prize, created in 2006 on the initiative of the Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry, rewards every year industrialists in the Chemistry field who commit themselves to innovation at the service of sustainable development. Roquette has been rewarded with the 2009 Pierre Potier prize for its POLYSORB ID 37, a high-performance plasticizer produced from natural products. This price was awarded to Roquette on 24 June 2009 by Mr. Christian Estrosis, Minister for Industry.

POLYSORB ID 37 is a composition of isosorbide diesters produced from fatty acids of vegetable origin and isosorbide obtained by simple modification (dehydration) of a derivative of glucose, sorbitol. POLYSORB ID 37 is totally produced from renewable (bio-based) natural products. It is non-toxic and biodegradable. It constitutes, thanks to its plasticizing properties equivalent to the products on the market, an alternative to the phthalates conventionally used for the manufacture of flexible PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

In relation to the other phthalate-free plasticizers (adipates, acetylated monoglycerides, citrates) POLYSORB ID 37 is particularly versatile and has both excellent compatibility with PVC and a very low volatility.

The first step towards the industrialisation of isosorbide diesters has just been completed with the recent obtainment of the European authorisation to produce significant volumes. In order to back up the development of this product, Roquette launched in June 2008 in Lestrem (France), a demonstration unit for the production of POLYSORB ID 37 with a capacity of over 100 t per annum. This investment follows on from that made in 2007 to build an industrial isosorbide unit with a capacity of over 1,000 t per annum and confirms Roquette’s strategy of promoting sustainable development.

The development of POLYSORB ID 37 is part of the BioHub programme relating to Vegetal-based chemistry backed by OSEO Innovation.

About Roquette
Roquette is one of Europe’s largest and one of the world’s most advanced starch and starch-derivatives businesses and world leader in polyols (sugar alcohols). Roquette derives over 650 products from six million tonnes of maize, wheat, peas and potatoes, and adds outstanding value to over 500,000 hectares of agricultural output. Roquette has annual sales of more than EUR 2.5 billion and employs some 6,000 people worldwide.

Roquette is a private family business dedicated to long-term development. With production facilities in Europe, North America and Asia, Roquette serves customers all over the world in the food, paper/board, biochemicals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and animal nutrition sectors. The company has its headquarters in Lestrem (France).

Further informationen
BioHub programme

Source: Roquette, press release, 2009-06-26.

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