Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), at its Tatsuno Plant in Hyogo Prefecture, has succeeded in producing biodegradable polyester resin BionolleTM on a commercial scale using bio-derived succinic acid. SDK has started providing film-grade samples of this product.
BionolleTM, which can be fully decomposed after use into water and carbon dioxide, has been used in compost bags and mulch films. To reduce CO2 emissions and better protect the environment, SDK has worked to use bio-derived raw materials. Specifically, SDK has developed the volume production technology for BionolleTM that uses succinic acid made from starches or sugars. This means that about 50% of main raw materials for BionolleTM are now bio-derived. As for Bionolle StarclaTM, in which starch is mixed with k]BionolleTM, the ratio can be increased to about 70%. Both of BionolleTM and Bionolle StarclaTM have been certified compostable by OK Compost and DIN CERTCO according to EN13432.
The product is being test-marketed to some customers, including Natur-Tec®, a division of Northern Technologies International Corp., a U.S.-based global bioplastics products manufacturer. The company is already using conventional grades of BionolleTM for certain high-volume consumer goods packaging applications developed by Harita-NTI Ltd, its joint-venture in India. Vineet Dalal, Vice President and Director of Global Market Development for NTIC’s Natur-Tec® Business Unit, said, “Our customers are increasingly demanding higher biobased carbon content in our materials, in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint of their finished products. We are excited at the possibility of incorporating SDK’s bio-derived BionolleTM into our compounds and converted plastic products, to meet this burgeoning market demand.”
In view of the increasing international awareness of the need for environmental protection, SDK aims to expand the sales of BionolleTM biodegradable plastic based on bio-derived raw materials. By the end of this year, SDK will be able to secure the supply of 10,000-20,000 tons a year of bio-derived succinic acid. The company will therefore step up its activity to meet new demand.
Source: Showa Denko K.K., press release, 2012-07-12.