Utrecht researchers make plastic from biomass

Anthony Clark

Published: February 21, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability

UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS (Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m. ET) — It is now possible to economically produce plastics from biomass, thanks to a new type of catalyst developed by chemists at Utrecht University.

“The products are exactly the same [as petroleum-based ones], only they are made of pruning waste instead,” said Krijn de Jong, the head researcher on the project, according to a news release from the Utrecht-based school.

The invention has already sparked the interest of the chemical industry, he added. De Jong is a professor of inorganic chemistry and catalysts.

“Until recently, there were too many steps involved in the [biomass] process, so the technology was not efficient or economical enough to be used on a large scale,” added de Jong.

“Industry will be able to utilize this technology to make bioplastics, biopaints and even biopharmaceuticals. The properties of these products are the same, despite the fact that the raw material is biomass instead of petroleum. The bioplastics are totally identical to regular plastics.

“In light of the imminent oil shortage, using sustainable raw materials is an extremely attractive option for industry,” de Jong said in the news release. “One major advantage of the method is that the raw materials are sustainable, but do not compete with the food supply, because they consist of wood-like biomass, such as branches, plant stalks and pruning waste.”

The petroleum-free products are made using a catalyst consisting of iron nanoparticles measuring 0.00002 millimeters. The technology was developed in cooperation with Dow Benelux and Delft University of Technology.


Comments

Utrecht researchers make plastic from biomass

Anthony Clark

Published: February 21, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Smithers Group relocating some jobs to Ohio

December 19, 2014 10:05 am ET

Smithers Group will relocate its North American Information business unit from Portland, Maine, to Akron, Ohio, and as a result will move more than...    More

Image

Patel named LyondellBasell CEO

December 19, 2014 9:56 am ET

Bhavesh V. “Bob” Patel has been named CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, effective Jan. 12.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events