Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rhodia to Use Avantium’s YXY Technology to Develop Renewable Polyamides


Rhodia, member of the Solvay Group, and Avantium recently announced that they have entered into a partnership to jointly develop a range of new bio-based polyamides targeting a variety of applications.
This partnership expands and completes the previously announced development agreement in the field of bio-based engineering plastics between Solvay and Avantium. Building on the newly combined forces of Rhodia and Solvay, the extended relationship offers the partners a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of compositions and applications based on Avantium's YXY technology in the larger Polyamidefield. In the frame of this joint development, the companies will explore the market potential of polyamide compositions on the basis of YXY building blocks. Produced from renewable and bio-based feedstock, these compositions are expected to exhibit superior environmental profile and at the same time to deliver applicative performances at a competitive cost. Rhodia will test these new polyamides for fibers and engineering applications in various areas such as consumer goods, automotive and electronic materials. Rhodia and Avantium have entered into a multi-year, exclusive collaboration towards commercialization of these new polyamides.
"This collaboration perfectly fits with our strategy to deliver new sustainable products to our markets, and will combine our know-how in polyamides with Avantium's YXY technology to produce building blocks for green materials. This open innovation partnership is inspiring for our teams and we are confident that it will deliver breakthrough in the development of bio-based competitive polyamides", explained Louis Neltner, R&D Vice-President at Rhodia. Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, about the new collaboration: "Rhodia is a world leading player in the development, manufacturing and supply of polyamides. We are very pleased to work with Rhodia on developing performing, sustainable and competitive solutions for a broad range of customers. Together with our existing partnerships in polyamides, we are now completely covering all application areas for polyamides on basis of our green building blocks."
* YXY (pronounced icksy) is Avantium's brand name of a family of green building blocks for making materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives, and which have a superior environmental footprint. Based on Avantium's patented catalytic technology to convert biomass into furanic building blocks, YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production assets.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

RadiciGroup to Display Yarns Made from Post-consumer Recycled Polymer at Heimtextil 2012

At the Heimtextil trade fair from 11 to 14 January 2012, RadiciGroup is exhibiting its product range for the home and contract textile markets. Yarn lines that were developed to meet any request, requirement and application need: yarn produced from post-consumer recycled polymer or made from polylactic acid biopolymer; microstructured yarn; yarn with flame-retardant, anti-UV and bacteriostatic/antimicrobial properties; and two-component yarn. Thanks to its superior quality level, production know-how and expertise in innovative production and processing technologies, the Group can provide its customers with state-of-the-art, high value-added products.
RadiciGroup customers are demanding ever more innovative products. They want high-quality, high-performance customized yarn that enables them to make technologically advanced fabrics. That is why, in the yarn design stage, RadiciGroup allows customers to choose the count, lustre, quantity and type of yarn they need. Colour can also be totally customized. Furthermore, customers can select any combination of additional features. RadiciGroup can supply multi-functional yarn produced with a mix of additives to give the yarn various performance characteristics, such as flame, UV ray and/or bacterial-resistance, as well as with solution dyeing. During the design stage, the customer has no limits. Innovation, quality and sustainability: these are the distinctive traits of RadiciGroup.
During the event RadiciGroup companies Noyfil SA and Noyfil SpA leading European manufacturers of a wide range of polyester yarns are exhibiting their product portfolios.
RadiciGroup is also showcasing the following lines at the fair: Starlight® feel yarn incorporating a silver nanocompound to provide bacteriostatic properties, CornLeaf solution-dyed yarn with antimicrobial functionality made from Ingeo™ polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer, RADYARN® FR flame-retardant yarn, STARLIGHT® UV-GUARD anti-UV yarn, MICRALON® PES/PA two-component yarn, and MICRELL® microfiber.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cool Polymers' Thermally Conductive Thermoplastic Finds Use in LED Applications

More than 80 million LED lights are running cooler, thanks to CoolPoly® thermally conductive plastics, notes Cool Polymers®, Inc., currently celebrating ten years of successful thermal management of high power LEDs. This equates to annual energy savings for users of as much as $115 million.
Cool Polymers, Inc. of North Kingstown, is the original manufacturer of thermally conductive thermoplastics for injection molding. The firm first targeted heat problems in laptops computers and quickly realized that thermally conductive plastics were a flexible and low cost solution for managing excess heat from the tiny LED chips. Due to ongoing accelerated sales in the LED marketplace as well as other markets, the firm recently moved to expansive new facilities in North Kingstown, just south of Providence and Boston.
General Manager, Kevin McCullough, recounts that "In initial LED applications, customers benefited from high brightness and low power consumption, but experienced significant corrosion problems with metallic heat sinks. The marine industry was one example. They wanted the benefits of LEDs and the thermally conductivity of our CoolPoly product line eliminated all corrosion and environmental concerns while managing the heat the same as aluminum."
The Cool Polymers General Manager continues, "Early adopters were excited about using LEDs in their applications and the design freedom of plastics. Many users also had captive injection molding and found they could manufacture parts in-house which they previously had to purchase from outside vendors. This helped them reduce the risk of uncontrolled costs and uncertain supply. Ten years of manufacturing plastics for successful LED applications has enabled Cool Polymers to rapidly and efficiently support existing and new customers in all lighting segments. We help optimize part, tooling and heat transfer designs as well as provide support that only comes from a decade of experience."
Today, the applications are growing rapidly and CoolPoly thermally conductive plastics are used for LEDs in automotive, transportation, architectural, medical, aerospace, and general illumination. As the industry grows, "We're seeing a consistent movement towards plastic thermal solutions" states Jessica Weimar, Operations Manager at Cool Polymers. "Thermally conductive plastics provide light weight and design flexible heat sinks and housings that can be injection molded on the same equipment used to manufacture LED optics. This is a tremendous benefit to the integrated manufacturing concept," she continues, "thus enabling manufacturers to reduce total cost and eliminate margin stack-up."
Looking forward, McCullough points out that, "We're highly pleased with the first ten years and our ability to contribute to an estimated $115 million/year in energy savings to users. We anticipate that the next ten years will bring unprecedented demand worldwide for thermally conductive plastics to manage the heat and enclosure challenges in LED lighting."

Gevo Gets USDA Grant to Develop Biojet Fuel from Woody Biomass & Forest Residues

Gevo, Inc., one of the leading renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels companies, received a $5 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the development of biojet fuel from woody biomass and forest product residues. The award is a portion of a $40 million grant presented to the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a consortium led by Washington State University (WSU).
"This is an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and drive economic development in rural communities across America by building the framework for a competitively-priced, American-made biofuels industry," said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Public-private partnerships like these will drive our nation to develop a national biofuels economy that continues to help us grow and out-compete the rest of the world while moving our nation toward a clean energy economy."
NARA includes a broad consortium of scientists from universities, government laboratories and private industry. The WSU-led grant aims to address the urgent national need for a domestic biofuel alternative for U.S. commercial and military air fleets. The NARA project envisions developing a new, viable, aviation fuel industry using wood and wood waste in the Pacific Northwest, where forests cover almost half of the region. The project also will focus on increasing the profitability of wood-based fuels through development of high-value, biobased co-products to replace petrochemicals that are used in products such as plastics.
Gevo, the only product development company in this consortium, believes that woody biomass can be used as a cellulosic feedstock to create petroleum replacements such as isobutanol. This project is a critical next step in proving its effectiveness. Gevo intends to use its portion of the award to optimize its cellulosic yeast and fermentation process.
"The airline industry and the United States Department of Defense are eagerly looking for near-term alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuel," said Patrick Gruber, Ph.D., CEO of Gevo. "Woody biomass has the potential to be a cost-effective and sustainable option for biorefineries. This project should help accelerate the commercial deployment of cellulosic biorefineries, grow the economy in rural America and contribute to home grown energy independence."
Gevo previously announced its progress to airline engine testing using starch derived isobutanol to jet fuel. Gevo expects to receive full fuel certification by 2013 from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for its biojet fuel. Gevo also recently announced a toll-manufacturing alliance with Texas-based South Hampton Resources for the construction of a demonstration plant to make biojet fuel and other hydrocarbons from Gevo's renewable isobutanol.
"This project is a great fit for the plant we are building near Houston with South Hampton Resources," commented Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., president and COO of Gevo. "The aviation industry understands our plans to use cellulosic feedstocks, such as woody biomass, as soon as practical. They will see this project as real progress toward achieving this goal."
Other NARA members include Weyerhaeuser, Catchlight Energy, Oregon State University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Minnesota.

Monday, January 2, 2012

MMATech Develops Polyimide-based Hip Replacement Implant for Medical Industry

Due to constant increase in human life expectancy, more and more people require total hip replacement surgeries; a field generating billions of US$ per year. One of the major problems with current materials used for hip implants is the extremely high friction and wear created between the different articulating implant components. Thus, the big players in the field are constantly striving to find improved materials. The Johnson and Johnson unit DePuy Orthopaedics issued a global recall of two hip aid systems after finding that more people than expected suffered pain which required additional surgery.
The friction and wear may cause mechanical failure of the implant resulting in its breakage and dislocation. This friction and wear creates sub-micron particles which and may activate the inflammatory system leading to local inflammation. This could lead to more significant complications including loosening of the implant, fracture of the hip bone and dislocation of the implant which requires a revision surgery. In the case of metal implants metal ions can be absorbed by tissue or enter the bloodstream resulting in allergy development and kidney and/or nerve system effects. In rare cases it might cause carcinogenic and poisoning effects.
Resolving the described problems was the main goal of the scientists and engineers at MMATech, Naharyya Israel. MMATech Ltd., develops components made of a revolutionary material of the Polyimide family, MP1™, originally developed at NASA USA for the aviation and space industry.
The material, being highly thermosetic, combines unusual strength, self-lubrication, and excellent friction and wear durability together with resistance to fatigue, creep, impact and chemicals.
MMATech manufactures acetabular liners made of its novel MP1™ material. Pre clinical and clinical studies indicated that the liner characteristics prevent, almost totally, wear debris formation, and the debris formed did not penetrate the bloodstream nor caused inflammation (inert particles).
Pilot clinical studies were conducted in New Zealand, with excellent five (5) years follow-up clinical results. MMATech plans to initiate large scale clinical studies with strategic partners in the beginning of 2012. Following extensive mechanical, pre-clinical and clinical tests, MMATech was accredited in October 2011 to the CE Mark certification for its MP1™ acetabular liner. The CE certificate enables MMATech to market its liner throughout Europe.