July 12, 2012

SDK starts bio-PBS sampling

The blog just noted in its last post about increasing activities from Japanese chemical companies, and in a happy coincidence, Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) just announced today that it has succeeded in producing its polybutylene succinate (PBS) resin under the trademark Bionolle using bio- based succinic acid.
PBS, a compostable polyester, is traditionally made from petrochemical-based succinic acid and 1,4 butanediol (BDO). The BDO part in SDK's Bionolle is probably still made from petrochemical feedstock. SDK's Bionolle Starcla is made from a combination of Bionolle (PBS) and starch.
Myriant is the company's bio-succinic acid supplier.
According to SDK, it has started providing the renewable-based Bionolle film-grade samples to customers such as Natur-Tec, a US-based bioplastic products manufacturer. Natur-Tec is already using petrochemical-based Bionolle for certain high-volume consumer goods packaging applications.
"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 Bionolle into our compounds and converted plastic products, to meet this burgeoning market demand." - Natur-Tec
SDK said it is planning to secure 10,000-20,000 tons/year of bio-based succinic acid to expand sales of its renewable-based Bionolle.
Another company already producing bio-based PBS (containing bio-succinic acid) is Japan-based Mitsubishi Chemical Company. The company estimated the PBS market worldwide at 5,000-6,000 tonnes/year, and is expected to grow to 50,000 tonnes/year in the next five years.
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