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More Durable Bioplastic Application Developments Emerging

SpecialChem / Donald Rosato – Feb 13, 2012

Public concern about the environment, climate change and limited fossil fuel resources are important drivers for governments, companies and researchers to find alternatives to petroleum-based plastic materials. Ball Innovations’ SoilWrap plantable container is made with Metabolix’s Mirel PHA bioplastic. Adept Limited has introduced new biodegradable Plantic based injection molded lamb plugs to eliminate the pathological contamination of meat. Pharmafilter BV will use Mirel PHA bioplastic in a suite of semidurable products for hospital use. Today soy-based polyurethane foam is used by Ford for seat cushions/backs, head restraints, arm rests, headliners and other interior parts.

The Woodbridge Group targets multiple auto interior parts for its BioFoam polyurethane. The Automotive Bioplastics Design Challenge (abdc) was recently launched. As part of the Ontario BioCar initiative, Ford teamed with Guelph University, the university of Waterloo and A. Schulman to develop the wheat-straw reinforced plastic third row interior storage bin/interior lid for use in the Ford Flex. Toyota Motor Corporation will make vehicle liner material and other interior surfaces from a new bio-PET derived from sugar cane. The Fujitsu KBPC PX ECO keyboard developed by Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH replaces 45% of plastic components with materials made from renewable sources. A new concept shoe dubbed the ‘Ecotrekker’ was introduced recently and was pioneered by Bayer MaterialScience at its Global Footwear Competence Center in Shanghai. Italian fashion designer Sergio Rossi collaborating with the Fraunhofer Institute launched the Eco Pump, a biodegradable fashion shoe made using Arboform ‘liquid wood’ (derived from lignin) in the heel and sole.

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