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More firms introduce bio-based materials

By: Frank Esposito

November 14, 2013

Sustainability and biopolymers were on the minds of Arkema Group, Croda Coatings & Polymers and Biotec GmbH & Co. KG at K 2013.

Colombes, France-based Arkema focused on several new products, including Rilsan T, a new 10/10 grade of its Rilsan-brand nylon, which is sourced from castor oil. Recently launched grades of Rilsan HT nylon are being aimed at replacing metal and rubber in under-hood automotive tubing.

Arkema “has turned eco-technologies into reality with increasingly efficient materials, [which are] the key to the competitiveness of its downstream markets,” officials said in a news release.

Other product spotlights for Arkema at the show included new grades of its Kynar-brand PVDF fluoropolymer for filaments, wire and cable jacketing and potable water equipment.

Arkema ranks as France’s largest chemicals maker and also makes a line of specialty plastics. The firm employs 14,000 worldwide and has annual sales of 6.4 billion euros ($8.3 billion).

Croda C&P — based in East Yorkshire, England — has extended its range of 100 percent bio-based Priplast-brand polyester polyols, which can serve as building blocks for polyurethane. The new material can meet requirements for demanding PU applications by offering hydrolytic stability as well as an improved environmental profile, officials said.

Croda C&P is a unit of Croda International plc, a specialty chemicals firm that posted sales of 1.05 billion British pounds ($1.7 billion) in 2012.

Biotec — based in Emmerich am Rhein, Germany — was at the show with its line of plant-based bioplastics. The firm’s materials, sold under the Bioplast trade name, are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable, officials said.

Bioplast materials are made from potato starch and other biologically sourced polymers and are designed to run on standard industrial equipment, including extrusion and injection molding machinery, they added.