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Biodegradable additives supplier opens research lab in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

April 7, 2014

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — Plásticos Degradables SA de CV, the Mexican distributor of British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, has opened its own research laboratory at a cost of about $500,000.

The laboratory is in Cuernavaca, 50 miles south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos, which the federal government ranks as one of the country’s top two states in the field of scientific research.

Founded by two Mexican partners in Jiutepec, a suburb of state capital Cuernavaca, in 2006, Plásticos Degradables claims to have cornered 90 percent of the national market for oxo biodegradable additives.

It employs 25 and its customers include Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV of Mexico City, one of the world’s largest bakers.

The year-old laboratory employs five, including two with a doctoral degree and three chemical engineers, according to Mauricio Yáñez Lino, the company’s managing director.

Yáñez Lino said the laboratory, partly funded by Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), is conducting research into nano compounds, among other projects, along with the physics institute of Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM) and the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos.

“Morelos has a large population of scientific researchers” — running into the thousands — “and is probably number one in the research field in Mexico,” said Yáñez Lino.

The UNAM has five institutes in Morelos, which is also Mexico’s second smallest state, while the National Polytechnic Institute has several more.

Symphony Environmental Technologies plc of Borehamwood, England, has clients in 50-plus countries.