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Metabolix focusing on PVC

By: By Charlotte Eyre
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

October 18, 2013

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Cambridge, Mass.-based bioplastics firm Metabolix Inc. (Hall 8B/D38) has developed a new range of bio-based polymeric modifiers for PVC compounds.

The company decided to look at polyhydroxyalkanoate additives for PVC because it felt there was a gap in the market.

"Two years ago we looked at why customers were buying PHAs, and in particular looked at customers in repeat buying patterns," President and CEO Richard Eno said. "We looked at different polymers out there in terms of performance and realized we got good results with PVC. It's about what PHA does as a modifier."

The new modifiers can be used with semi-rigid and flexible PVC compounds and provide impact modification, plasticization and process modification, according to the company.

Metabolix recently launched I6003rp, an additive to improve recycled PVC.

"I6003rp is incorporated at the recycling level and it brings products almost back to virgin performance," Eno said.

The product is also very environmentally friendly because it involves recycled PVC — a typical waste product. It can be used in flexible packaging, for example for medical products, and in some wire and cable applications, he added.

At K 2013, Metabolix also is presenting its Mvera compostable films, which have a good melt strength and can be blown on a lot of various equipment. The new grade, Mvera B5010, is aimed at the compostable bag and film market, and is the first commercial product release following the company's announcement of its collaboration with Samsung Fine Chemicals.

Eno said that the K show is happening at the right time for Metabolix because it is interested in extending its PVC partnerships into Europe.

The company's core R&D is in the United States, but the bio industry is more mature in Europe.