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

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Image

HRS adding more North American production for hot runners

April 22, 2014 12:57 pm ET

An Italian tooling component supplier is set to open a new production plant in Grand Rapids, Mich. The HRS Flow Division of San Polo di Piace-...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Europe's bag use still expected to climb despite possible bag restrictions

April 22, 2014 9:29 am ET

Ceresana, a Germany-based research company, has released a report forecasting that by 2020 the sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe will reach 9....    More

Image

Material Insights: Shell Chemical meets with residents

April 21, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Power outage at a PE plant and the return of a PVC feedstock plant after a fire on this week's Material Insights.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events