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

Pactiv selling building products unit to Ireland's Kingspan

August 19, 2014 3:54 pm ET

Irish building material manufacturer Kingspan Group plc is acquiring the insulation business of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv Building Products for...    More

Image

Flexible film waste-to-oil pilot project continuing in California

August 19, 2014 3:19 pm ET

A recent decision to discontinue operations at a plastics waste-to-oil site in Portland, Ore., is not impacting a pilot program aimed at hard-to-...    More

Image

ISO publishes international standard for measuring phthalates in toys

August 19, 2014 10:40 am ET

The Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published an international standard on phthalates used as plasticizers in...    More

Image

RTP expands very long fiber thermoplastic production to Mexico

August 19, 2014 9:47 am ET

RTP Co. has introduced very long fiber reinforced compounds at its Monterrey, Mexico, facility.    More

Image

Cardia Bioplastics opening bag manufacturing plant in Brazil

August 19, 2014 9:31 am ET

Australia's Cardia Bioplastics Ltd. says the high demand for environmentally friendly bags has prompted it to set up a film and bag plant in São Paulo...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

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

More Events