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05-12-2011

New bioplastic

Biodegradable in 180 Days

New bioplastic

In collaboration with customers Wacker Chemie AG, Munich, Germany, developed a new bioplastic. This bioplastic is a combination of a vinyl acetate-based polymeric binder system (Vinnex) and renewable raw materials such as starch, polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Its properties can be adjusted individually and matched with various synthetic polymers.

The resulting biopolymers, which have a vinyl acetate content of between 5 and 30 %, can be readily processed like commercial thermoplastics by injection molding, extrusion, vacuum or thermoforming, and calendering. In addition, the recipes for the polymer blends can be adjusted so that they can be processed on machines conventionally used for thermoplastics.

The greatest advantage of the novel polymer blends is their biodegradability. Composting trials have shown that vinyl acetate in these blends decomposes within 180 days under industrial composting conditions as per standard DIN EN 13432. Another advantage of the new biopolymers is that the main ingredient can be flour. Compared with starch, the production of flour requires fewer process steps and thus less energy, so that the carbon footprint is much more sustainable. Wacker already holds patents for starch-modified polymers.

The biodegradation properties of the new polymer blends makes them ideal materials for food packaging, disposable tableware, tote bags, garbage bags or injection molded articles in the agricultural sector, such as tomato clips and plant pots.

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