Candidates Nominated for "Bio-based Material of the Year 2017" Award
The 10th International Conference on Bio-based Materials will take place on 10-11 May 2017 in Cologne, Germany. Once again, the Innovation Award "Bio-based Material of the Year" will be awarded to the young, innovative bio-based material industry, finding suitable applications and markets for bio-based products. The competition focuses on new developments in these areas, which have had (or will have) a market launch in 2016 or 2017. The winners will be elected at the International Conference on Bio-based Materials.
This year, six bio-based materials and products have been nominated for the Award by the advisory board – out of more than 18 submitted products. The nominated companies are from Belgium, Finland, Germany and the United States. In a short ten-minutes presentation, each of the six companies will introduce its innovation. The three winners will be elected by the participants of the conference and awarded with a prize, sponsored by InfraServ GmbH Knapsack at the dinner buffet. The “Top 6” candidates are:
- bio-lutions, Germany: bio-lutions fibers (up-cycled agricultural residuals). bio-lutions produces high performance ecologically sustainable packaging and disposable tableware made directly from agricultural residuals. Converted into self-binding natural fibers, the final products can either decompose under normal conditions, be used for biogas production and can be recycled or burned with a nearly CO2 neutral carbon footprint.
- Cooper Tire, USA: Guayule natural rubber for tire application (guayule polymer - polyisoprene). Guayule is a shrub that grows in regions such as the Southwestern U.S. It holds promise as a source of rubber for the tire industry. This year, Cooper and its consortium partners completed a five-year bio-material study to assess how guayule rubber could be used in modern passenger car tires. Key wins include among others the creation of the first ever concept tire where all of the natural and synthetic rubber has been replaced with guayule.
- Hexpol, Belgium/Sweden: Dryflex Green (bio-based thermoplastic elastomer). Dryflex Green is a family of bio-based thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). They are opening up previously unreachable solutions to the bio-based thermoplastic market by covering a wider range of hardnesses, including softer grades, while incorporating high levels of renewable content to over 90%. Hexpol has also developed compounds using organic fillers from plants, crops or trees; these give additional organic appearance and haptics.
- Paptic, Finland: Papric – the next generation of paper (novel renewable, recyclable and reusable material). Paptic is replacing oil based plastics with bio-based, recyclable and reusable Paptic material, which uses a novel wood fiber for a bioplastic composite paper combining the benefits of paper, plastics and textiles. First application of Paptic is carrier bags, addressing the EU directive target for 55% reduction of plastic bag use by 2019. Paptic bags have been launched to market in June 2016.
- Patagonia, USA: Yulex R3 wetsuit (85% natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content, recycled polyester content in linings). Wetsuits have always relied on neoprene (polychloroprene), which is non-renewable with energy-intensive manufacturing process. In 2016, Patagonia launched the world’s first neoprene-free wetsuit, reducing their CO2 emitted in the polymer manufacturing by up to ~80% compared to conventional neoprene. The new plant-based material pioneered by Yulex Corp is sourced from Hevea rubber that is independently certified to the FSC standard by the Rainforest Alliance, uses ambient rainfall and recycled water in manufacturing.
- Phytowelt GreenTechnologies, Germany: Chiral raspberry fragrance ((R)-alpha-Ionone). The (R)-alpha-Ionone is the main component of raspberry fragrance. Usually it is synthesized chemically as an racemate which contains the enantiomer (R)-alpha-Ionone as well as the distomer (S)-alpha-Ionone. The (S)-form has a woody and musty flavour which gives the chemical racemate a different and impure fragrance. However, it is complex and uneconomic to separate enantiomers and distomers. With its patented process, Phytowelt is not producing any of the distomers but only the enantiomer. Therefore, the raspberry fragrance is chiral pure, smells intensive and is, because of the biotechnological production, a natural flavor component.
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