Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EU Commission to Form Observatory to Measure Developmental Progress of EU Union's Bioeconomy

The European Commission will establish an observatory to map progress and measure the impact of the development of the European Union's bioeconomy, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced today. The observatory will gather data to follow the evolution of markets, to map EU, national and regional bioeconomy policies, research and innovation capacities, and the scale of related public and private investments. The observatory will be coordinated by the Joint Research Centre, the Commission's in-house science service.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: "It's now one year since we launched our bioeconomy strategy. We are now seeing Member States seize the opportunity offered by the transition to a post-petroleum economy based on smart use of resources from land and sea. It's essential that they do because it will be good for our environment, our food and energy security, and for Europe's competitiveness in the future. This observatory will help keep the momentum going."
The observatory, which is a three year project, will start in March 2013 with the aim of making the data it will collect publicly available through a dedicated web portal in 2014. In this way, the observatory will support the regional and national bioeconomy strategies now being developed by EU Member States.
As well as providing data on the size of the bioeconomy and its constituent sectors the observatory should track a number of performance measures, including economic and employment indicators, innovation indicators, and measures of productivity, social wellbeing and environmental quality. It will also provide a "technology watch" and "policy watch", to follow the development of science and technology as well of policies related to the bioeconomy.
Already the bioeconomy in Europe is worth an estimated €2 trillion and 22 million jobs. The Commission is considering a new public-private partnership on bio-based industries to accelerate the development of the sector. A decision is expected in June 2013.
The commissioner made the announcement at a bioeconomy conference in Dublin organized by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


The term "Bioeconomy" means an economy based on a smart use of biological and renewable resources from the land and sea, as inputs to food and feed, industrial and energy production. It also covers the use of bio waste, and of bio-based processes for sustainable industries.
The EU Bioeconomy Strategy, adopted on 13 February 2012, has three main pillars:
  1. Investment in research, innovation and skills for the bioeconomy. This should include EU funding, national funding, private investment and enhancing synergies with other policy initiatives.
  2. Development of markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors by a sustainable intensification of primary production, conversion of waste streams into value-added products, as well as mutual learning mechanisms for improved production and resource efficiency. As an example, food waste costs the European taxpayer between €55 and €90 per ton to dispose of, and produces 170 million tons of CO. This waste could be transformed into bio-energy or other bio-based products, creating jobs and growth.
  3. Reinforced policy coordination and stakeholder engagement, through the creation of a Bioeconomy Panel, a Bioeconomy Observatory and regular Stakeholder Conferences.
The strategy seeks synergies and complementarities with other policy areas, instruments and funding sources which share and address the same objectives, such as the Cohesion Funds, the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies (CAP and CFP), the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), environmental, industrial, employment, energy and health policies.
The strategy is one of the operational proposals under the Innovation Union and Resource-efficient Europe flagships of the Europe 2020 strategy. The need to increase public funding for bioeconomy research and innovation has been recognized under the Commission's future research program Horizon 2020: €4.7 billion has been proposed for the Challenge "Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bioeconomy", with complementary funding in other areas of Horizon 2020.

Source: EUROPA

Lubrizol, Sekisui Jointly Invest in CPVC Resin Capacity Expansion to Support Construction Mkt

The Lubrizol Corporation announced recently its plans to increase its chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resin capacity through a joint investment in a manufacturing facility with Sekisui Chemical Company, Ltd. The new facility, which is part of the company's Phase I capacity expansion, will be located in Thailand and will enable Lubrizol to meet its global customer demands, particularly in Asia Pacific. Initial resin capacity during this first phase will be 30,000 metric tons with a total investment of approximately $50 million over a two-year period and with full operation planned by the end of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.

Phase I will be designed to allow for a future expansion as part of Phase II that will double the size of the plant to 60,000 metric tons with an additional investment of $50 million. The Phase II expansion is expected be operational by the end of 2016.

Lubrizol recognizes the global growth potential for CPVC products and is committed to ensuring product availability. CPVC resin manufactured at this site will be designed to meet Lubrizol's and Sekisui's required performance specifications and quality standards. Both companies will continue to independently market and sell CPVC resins and manufacture their own CPVC compounds for their respective customers.

"This is a significant step in expanding our CPVC business and we are pleased to be partnering with Sekisui on this effort," notes Eric Schnur, President of Lubrizol Advanced Materials. "We are committed to providing our customers with high quality CPVC products to support the global building and construction market. And with the construction of this new manufacturing facility, we are better positioned to support their future business growth."

Lubrizol is recognized as a global leader in reliability, quality and providing innovative solutions for its customers' high-performance application needs and remains committed to ongoing investment in its CPVC capabilities that support future growth. Lubrizol's advanced CPVC technology, sold under the FlowGuard®, BlazeMaster®, Corzan® and TempRite® brands, delivers exceptional performance for the plumbing, fire sprinkler, industrial and other building and construction related applications.

Source: The Lubrizol Corporation

Monday, February 18, 2013

Genomatica & DT&L's 1st Commercial-scale Production of BDO Completes Using Bio-based Process

Genomatica and DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company, LLC (DT&L) recently announced the first successful commercial-scale production of 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) using a bio-based manufacturing process. BDO is an intermediate chemical used in a wide variety of applications including athletic apparel, electronics and automotive applications. This campaign, which spanned five weeks in late 2012, produced more than five million pounds (over 2,000 metric tons) of BDO by direct fermentation using conventional sugars as feedstock. This marks the first time that BDO- with an existing worldwide market of billions of pounds per year — has been produced biologically on this scale and at this rate. This campaign was completed less than five years from when Genomatica first demonstrated the ability for a microorganism to produce BDO in 2008.

"This was a sizable commercial-scale production campaign," said Christophe Schilling, Genomatica's Chief Executive Officer. "Partnering with DuPont Tate & Lyle brought us biochemical process know-how at significant scale to make the leap from demonstration to commercial volumes. The success of this campaign is a significant milestone for our technology and for the biochemical industry."

DuPont Tate & Lyle has been running its leading-edge biochemical plant in Tennessee since 2006, producing 1,3-propanediol (PDO) at commercial volumes. The collaboration with Genomatica utilized DuPont Tate & Lyle's commercial-scale batch fermentation operation to feed the plant's continuous downstream processing.

"Utilizing Genomatica's developments we demonstrated the flexibility of our bioprocessing capability," said Todd Sutton, President, DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products. "We congratulate the Genomatica team on the development of their BDO technology and look forward to continued collaboration."

The accomplishments of the campaign achieved through this collaboration built on the successful demonstration-scale production of BDO previously confirmed in Decatur, IL by the teams at Genomatica and Tate & Lyle using Genomatica's proprietary BDO process.

Source: Genomatica

Friday, February 15, 2013

SABIC at MD&M West: Revealed Antimicrobial Resin Grades for Medical Equipment Manufacturers

The Netherlands -- According to a 2011 report by the World Health Organization, in 2002 in the United States alone approximately 99,000 deaths were linked to healthcare associated infections (HCAIs). At MD&M West 2013 [12-14 February], SABIC's Innovative Plastics business introduced powerful new tools to help medical device manufacturers reduce HCAIs among patients and clinicians. SABIC's nine new antimicrobial resin grades featuring silver technology have been tested for log reduction values — the level of microbes eliminated from a surface — according to the ISO 22196-2007 protocol. They comprise one of the broadest antimicrobial portfolios in the industry and offer distinct advantages over off-the-shelf antimicrobial concentrates combined with third-party resins.

Because SABIC scientists possess compounding expertise and a deep understanding of base resin and antimicrobial additive chemistries, they can optimize properties and performance to meet specific requirements. This new portfolio demonstrates SABIC's expertise and continued investment in developing healthcare materials that can empower customers globally to meet the ongoing challenges of infection prevention.
SABIC's Antimicrobial Compounds Used for Healthcare Scanners
SABIC's New Portfolio of Antimicrobial Compounds Can be Used for Medical Equipment Like Healthcare Scanners
"We are proud of our vertically integrated approach, which delivers turnkey antimicrobial compounds containing low or high concentrations of silver and based on the four SABIC resins most commonly used in medical devices," said David Wildgoose, General Manager, Engineering Resins, Innovative Plastics. "Our solutions are backed by a robust healthcare product policy that provides a 'formula lock' and management of change provision to help OEMs avoid requalification delays of up to 12 months. Our comprehensive solution delivers multiple benefits to customers — consistency, cost-out, choice and proven performance according ISO methodology. We are confident these materials will make it easier for customers to create next-generation healthcare products while staying ahead of regulatory requirements."
Wide Selection of Antimicrobial Compounds
SABIC's portfolio comprises nine different antimicrobial grades across four product families: LEXAN™ EXL copolymer, LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) resin, XENOY™ PC/polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin and polypropylene (PP) resins with and without fiberglass reinforcement. Five grades have a high antimicrobial effect (log reduction value above 4, representing a 99.99 percent reduction in pathogens) and four grades have a low antimicrobial effect (log reduction value below 4, representing a 99.0-99.99 percent reduction in pathogens). These options allow customers to select the appropriate formulation depending on whether the end product is a high- or low-touch application.
These resins leverage silver-based antimicrobial technology because silver is a proven performer, well suited to diverse applications and widely accepted as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial, with activity against many pathogens including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mold and fungus. Because they are formulated to be effective at the lowest concentration of silver, SABIC resins may also be more cost-effective than competitive products.
Healthcare Product Policy for Added Confidence SABIC's antimicrobial resin grades are supported by its healthcare product policy, which gives customers confidence that these materials meet global standards for safety, are available in a consistently formulated supply and have been pre-assessed for biocompatibility.
The SABIC Healthcare Product Policy provides:
  • Easily identifiable product nomenclature ("H" or "PCG" series resins)
  • Biocompatibility assessment according to ISO 10993 or USP Class VI
  • Food contact compliance for most healthcare products
  • FDA Drug Master File and/or Device Master File listing (letter of authorization provided as needed)
  • A formula lock and stringent management of change process
Compounding Surpasses Concentrates
Instead of mixing a third-party base resin with off-the-shelf concentrates, which can lead to inconsistent performance, SABIC performs its own compounding using proven, high-performance resins and additive chemistries. The benefits of SABIC compounding over concentrates include uniform distribution of the additive for better performance and less manufacturing waste.
By leveraging multiple material characteristics — such as impact resistance, chemical resistance, custom colors and processability — and their interactions with the additive while controlling the compounding process, SABIC can deliver highly specialized performance properties, such as the duration and strength of the antimicrobial. Of particular importance is SABIC's expertise in color and effects, which allows precise control over clarity, a property that can be impacted by antimicrobials. Potential applications include fluid and drug delivery applications, surgical instruments, monitoring and imaging devices and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and operating tables. Other potential applications outside of healthcare include consumer electronics, automobile interiors, business equipment such as copiers or ATMs, or any other surface where there is a desire to reduce the potential transference of pathogens.
Potential applications include fluid and drug delivery applications, surgical instruments, monitoring and imaging devices and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and operating tables. Other potential applications outside of healthcare include consumer electronics, automobile interiors, business equipment such as copiers or ATMs, or any other surface where there is a desire to reduce the potential transference of pathogens.
SABIC's new antimicrobial resins are manufactured in the United States.

Source: SABIC

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ENGEL's e-mac Injection Molding Machine Sets Benchmark in Producing Tech & Electronic Modules

It's powerful, highly accurate, economical and compact — and the all-electric ENGEL e-mac injection molding machine is poised to set new benchmarks in the production of technical parts and electronic components. Starting on 12th February and extending into the summer, the ENGEL e-mac will be touring Europe, spreading the word through innovative applications, specialist lectures and windows for personal expert dialogue.

Once again, ENGEL will truly live up to its motto by getting 'close to the customer' with a roadshow. From north to south and east to west, the tour will traverse the continent. The event gets under way in the French town of Wissous on 12th and 13th February; from there it will move on to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany as a start.

Using two applications as examples, the full potential of the machine series will be demonstrated live at ENGEL subsidiaries. Most impressively, connector housings will be produced from fiberglass-filled PBT/ASA using an ENGEL e-mac 310/100 with integrated ENGEL viper 6 linear robots. This will show how ultimate precision can be combined with maximum cost-effectiveness. Since the connector contacts are only inserted after injection molding, competitiveness is determined by dimensional stability in this application.

Maximum output from a small footprint:

From injecting and metering to mold and ejector movements, all drives in the ENGEL e-mac are servo-electric. This guarantees the best possible precision and process stability while maximizing the effectiveness of the machine as a whole. The drives are operated by a modern axis system solution with stabilized intermediate circuit; braking energy is recovered and fed back into the grid, thereby achieving very high energy efficiency. The synchronous movements of the drive axes ensure fast cycle times. With acceleration of more than 20 m/s2, the injection axis of the ENGEL e-mac is setting new standards around the world.

Full modularity and integration capacity:

The series has four machine sizes with clamping force of 50, 75, 100 and 180 tons. Thanks to the established CC 200 control unit in ENGEL injection molding machines, the ENGEL e-mac offers full modularity and automation technology integration. The highly compact design of the machine saves space in the production hall and cuts operating costs at the same time.

The ENGEL e-mac is coming!

Source: ENGEL

Monday, February 11, 2013

Solazyme, Mitsui Team up to Jointly Develop Suite of Customized Algal Oils for Plastic Applications

Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. announced recently that they have entered into a $20 million multi-year agreement to jointly develop a suite of triglyceride oils for use primarily in the oleochemical industry. The agreement includes further development of Solazyme's breakthrough high myristic algal oil, a valuable raw material in the oleochemical industry, as well as additional oils that Solazyme is developing for the oleochemical and industrial sectors.

Product development is expected to span a multi-year period, with periodic product introductions throughout the term of the joint development alliance. End use applications may include renewable, high-performance polymer additives for plastic applications, aviation lubricants, and toiletry and household products.

"Mitsui's extensive knowledge of the end use markets for the jointly-developed triglyceride products, including both the oleochemical industry and applications further downstream, makes Mitsui an ideal fit for Solazyme," said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. "We look forward to rapid progress on our research and development efforts, and to commercialize these novel products thereafter."

"Collaborating with Solazyme allows us to develop highly attractive products to penetrate the traditional oleochemicals industry, and expand beyond the supply limitations caused by both regional oil production and constraints in conventional oil profiles. Solazyme's flexible manufacturing process and oil tailoring capabilities helps to support long-term competitiveness, independent of price swings inherent to this industry, while allowing us to produce tailored oils that are in demand in the marketplace," said Mr. Daiji Kojima, General Manager of Specialty chemicals Division, Mitsui. "Mitsui looks forward to strengthening its position in the oleochemicals industry through the successful development and commercialization of these novel products as a potential source of new sustainable materials to oleochemical companies including Mitsui's subsidiary, Palm-Oleo Sdn.Bhd."

Solazyme®, the Solazyme logo and other trademarks or service names are the trademarks of Solazyme, Inc.

Source: Solazyme

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Evonik's VESTAKEEP® PEEK-based K7 LLC's Cervical Spacer Gains US FDA's 510(K) IBF Clearance

K7 LLC's K7C™ Cervical Spacer, a spinal implant device using Evonik's VESTAKEEP® PEEK (polyetheretherketone), has received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) 510(k) approval for use as an Intervertebral Body Fusion (IBF) device.
This marks the first time a VESTAKEEP® PEEK-based spinal fusion medical device has gained 510(k) approval from the FDA. The K7C™ Cervical Spacer is one of several PEEK-based spinal implant devices being developed by K7 LLC.

Michael Smith, founder and CEO of K7 LLC attributed VESTAKEEP® PEEK's durability as a key component in gaining FDA 510(k) clearance. "We could not be more pleased with the test results and material durability of VESTAKEEP® PEEK", said Smith. "The inherent strength and added ductility have created new possibilities for our PEEK implant designs."
Evonik's customers can reference the VESTAKEEP® PEEK product line Masterfiles (MAF), documents containing comprehensive test data on the product's mechanical and biocompatible properties that meet FDA regulatory requirements, to help guide future registration processes for implant medical devices.
"Creating innovative solutions for our customers is a core component of Evonik," said Sanjeev Taneja, vice president of Evonik's High Temperature Polymers Business. "The FDA approval is a testament to the product quality of VESTAKEEP® PEEK and the strength of its MAF. It is also an example of the long-term commitment Evonik has in the medical device and orthopedic industries. This approval validates Evonik as a true player in the implant PEEK market."
VESTAKEEP® PEEK is known for its superior biocompatibility and biostability. Its excellent sterilization resistance and good combination of stiffness and ductility make it suitable for medical implant applications that must meet extremely high mechanical, thermal, and chemical requirements.
"Significant investments and thorough material testing have been completed on the VESTAKEEP® PEEK product line to ensure Masterfile strength and preparedness," said Kenneth Ross, Evonik's VESTAKEEP® medical business development manager in North & South America. "We know VESTAKEEP® PEEK will serve as an outstanding medical material driving innovation in new product ideas and metal replacement developments."
The VESTAKEEP® PEEK iGrade material also has regulatory clearance for spinal implants in Europe and Asia. With this 510(K) approval, customers will now have easier access to regulatory approvals in the United States market.
Evonik's VESTAKEEP® PEEK products will be exhibited at the Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West show in Anaheim, Calif., on February 12-14, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) show in Chicago, Ill., on March 20-22.

Source: Evonik

Monday, February 4, 2013

Renault-Nissan Sponsors Luxus, Milliken for VDI Conf; to Unveil Luxus' PP Compound for Car Interiors

Technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus and plastics additive manufacturer Milliken have been sponsored by the Renault-Nissan alliance to speak at the next international VDI conference, 'Plastics in Automotive Engineering', 13-14th March 2013, Mannheim, Germany.

Sharing the stage at VDI will be Terry Burton, Technical Manager, Luxus, Adam Watson, Business Development Manager, Milliken and Mark Ellis, Manager Engineer Materials Design, Renault-Nissan. They will be discussing product trials of Luxus' next evolution in polymer development — a new highly sustainable material for auto car interiors known as Hycolene™.
This new lightweight Polypropylene compound will enable OEMs to significantly lower the weight of the average car, reduce CO2, deliver improved fuel economy and help meet EU emissions targets. Developed to replace standard talc filled grades for car interior components, it offers a reduced filler content of just 10% down from a typical 25%.
Hycolene will enable much lower weight vehicle components to be manufactured, without compromising on performance and design flexibility. But most importantly, it's made from up to a high 60 per cent recycled content so its offers manufacturers a highly sustainable choice too.
Renault-Nissan's, Mark Ellis explains: "Both Luxus' technical capabilities and its desire to push the boundaries of Polypropylene applications above and beyond that of virgin material by using a high recyclate is a major achievement and one that Renault-Nissan is keen to support."
Luxus', Terry Burton also comments: "We are very pleased to have been asked by the Renault-Nissan alliance to showcase our development work with Milliken at this key event in the automotive calendar.
"For the last ten years our thermoplastic materials have been revolutionizing auto interior design worldwide. But it has never before been more important than it is today to develop sustainable materials for car interiors that can deliver a competitive advantage for OEMs in what is a highly sophisticated and rapidly changing market.
"Eco materials can dramatically affect the final product and its impact on the environment, while consumers too are becoming more aware of the eco-friendly handling of materials and are thinking in material cycles. This is why sharing our development of Hycolene at VDI is so important at this time."

Source: Luxus

Friday, February 1, 2013

SPI Bioplastics Council Updates on 'Guidance on Marketing Claims for Biodegradation'

The Bioplastics Council, a special interest group of SPI: the Plastics Industry Trade Association, recently announced the release of a position paper addressing the issue of degradable additives. The new paper, an update to the Council's original 2010 paper, questions the scientific validity of biodegradability claims made by producers of degradable additives products. In addition, the Council has also made a presentation on this paper on Wednesday, January 30 at the U.S. Composting Council's annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

Since its inception in 2008, the SPI Bioplastics Council has placed consumer and industry education at the core of its mission. A key Council objective is emphasis on clarifying "bioplastics-related" marketing claims. In the position paper released, the Council outlines the issues and questions concerning degradable additives in order to support consumers, retailers and the plastics industry in identifying unsubstantiated and misleading product claims.
"We felt it was important to update our 2010 position paper because new terminology is now being used in the marketplace and new studies have become available," said Melissa Hockstad, SPI Vice President, science, technology and regulatory affairs. "The 2013 version also includes updated information about standards and certification programs, as well as a new section on 'Guidance on Marketing Claims for Biodegradation.'"
The SPI Bioplastics Council position stressed that any claim, especially claims for consumers, needs to be supported by third-party vetted scientific evidence based on well-established standard specifications. In the case of degradable additives the issue is one of claiming "biodegradation" where there is no evidence to support those claims or prove biodegradability as per accepted, third-party vetted specifications. As bioplastics products continue to grow, it is the duty of the industry to provide clear, substantiated scientific third-party certifications that will assure stakeholders that the products offered meet their requirements for end-of-life and offer real value in their intended use.
The SPI Bioplastics Council considers the use of terms without reference to existing acceptable standard specifications misleading, and as such are not reproducible and verifiable. Under these conditions the terms "degradable," "oxo-degradable," "oxo-biodegradable" and "oxo-green" "oxo-biodegradable," lack meaning and are not supported by any recognized industry certifications or third-party peer reviewed scientific data.
"Through its commitment to education, the Council has made a pointed decision to insist on bringing clarity to the bioplastics market," stated Hockstad. In addition she notes that "the Bioplastics Council supports legitimate scientific data as recommended by state and federal agencies and stresses the need for all companies, when making product claims, to work along guidelines defined by the Federal Trade Commission."
Launched in 2008, the Bioplastics Council was created to provide a forum for the full bioplastics value chain to promote the development and growth of the bioplastics industry. Currently, the members of the group are BASF Corporation, DuPont, Ecospan, Jamplast, Metabolix, NatureWorks LLC, Nypro Inc., PolyOne Corporation, Teknor Apex and UL.

Source: SPI