Enso Plastics develops technology to spur degradation of rubber in landfills

Mike McNulty
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

Published: August 13, 2013 2:02 pm ET
Updated: August 13, 2013 2:04 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials, Materials Suppliers

FAIRLAWN, OHIO — Enso Plastics LLC is moving quickly to gain a foothold in the rubber industry with new technology that a company official said accelerates the natural biodegradation of synthetic rubber in landfills.

The producer of biodegradable and biobased products has come out with a new technology, Enso Restore RL, that issues in a new age for rubber, according to Teresa Clark, vice president of product development for the Mesa, Ariz.-based company.

Restore RL "is a unique material designed not only to attract specific naturally occurring microorganisms, but also to induce rapid microbial acclimatization to synthetic rubbers and resulting biodegradation," Clark said.

"The method of biodegradation caused is strictly enzymatic and is designed to utilize naturally occurring microorganisms within waste environments, including landfills."

Its new development opens the door for Enso to begin servicing the rubber industry, she said. Previously, it primarily served the plastics sector.

Basically, the company has transferred its knowledge of biodegradable plastics to the rubber industry and developed Enso Restore RL, Clark said. The rubber industry, she noted, has produced little technology regarding environmental remediation until Restore came along.

From plastics to rubber

"We were founded in 2007 to find solutions for plastic waste, and at the time we didn't have a product," she said. "We ended up forming a joint venture, and eventually the company came to market with a product for the plastics industry."

"We're a young company that's growing," said Clark, one of the firm's founders.

Clark discussed Enso and the new technology at the International Latex Conference, held July 23-24 in Fairlawn, a suburb of Akron. She also gave a presentation at the meeting, titled "Advancements in Rubber and Latex Disposal — Biodegradation and the Environment."

Restore RL is an additive used during the manufacturing of rubber products "in such a way as to disperse the additive throughout the matrix of the rubber," she said.

It does not "involve an initial abiotic breakdown as is seen with degradable products in other industries," according to Clark. "A novel aspect of this material is its inertness to the host rubber resin; it does not contribute directly to any degradation of the rubber, thus leaving the shelf life of the rubber article intact."

She said independent laboratory testing shows nitrile treated with Restore biodegrades about 17 percent in the first 20 days compared to nitrile showing no biodegradation during the same time frame.

Similar biodegradation test results were found in polychloroprene, polyurethane and other synthetic materials when treated with the product, the executive said.

According to Clark, the material increases the biodegradation of synthetic rubber within natural microbial and municipal landfill environments.

"Given the unique properties of rubber materials, the overall use of rubber for a large number of applications is constantly on the rise and becoming an ever increasing focus of concern … not only in industrialized countries but also in less developed nations," she said.

The Enso executive said testing shows significant increases in the rate of biodegradation in various synthetic rubbers when treated with Restore RL "and with the biodegradation being in anaerobic environments offers a unique waste disposal solution."

Restore's purpose is to impact biodegradability without affecting the physical characteristics or the shelf stability of treated rubber products, Clark said, which is in contrast to other methods, including degrading materials through oxygen or UV exposure, which risks the stability of rubber goods.


Comments

Enso Plastics develops technology to spur degradation of rubber in landfills

Mike McNulty
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

Published: August 13, 2013 2:02 pm ET
Updated: August 13, 2013 2:04 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

PetStar doubles capacity at Mexico recycling facility

July 24, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Mexican recycling giant PetStar SAPI de CV, owned by the System of Coca-Cola Bottlers in Mexico, has doubled the capacity of its facility to 130...    More

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Image

US Bioplastics receives funding to bring Gatoresin to the market

July 24, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Materials maker U.S. Bioplastics is hoping its Gatoresin product will take a bite out of the bioplastics market, thanks to funding from a state...    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC, a...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events