An increased focus on sustainability is driving demand for Bioflex, a biodegradable PVC product marketed by Biotech Products LLC.
Bioflex uses Biochem, a nontoxic formula that enables landfill decomposition. Ultraflex Systems Inc. of Randolph, N.J., manufactures Bioflex using ingredients supplied by Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc., a specialty chemicals maker in Bayonne, N.J.
The material can be added to PVC products to help biodegrade PVC in as little as 30 days, said John Sulano, vice president of product and business development for Randolph-based Bio-tech. Both Biotech and Ultraflex a maker of fabrics used in signage, billboards, awnings and banners are owned by entrepreneur John Schleicher Jr.
Bioflex is based on highly pure PVC resin, fine-particle limestone, vegetable-based plasticizer and titanium pigment. The material has more than 80 percent non-petroleum content. It's 100 percent biodegradable under anaerobic conditions, is non-toxic and has no starch, heavy metals, pesticides or bleaching agents.
The important thing is that Bioflex degrades PVC into soluble chloride, which is a fertilizer, Sulano said. It doesn't sit there forever.
Sulano added that Bioflex has drawn a lot of interest from municipal landfills. Biotech also is negotiating with several large consumer and industrial products makers, he said. Bioflex currently is being licensed as a finished compound with an additive incorporated into it, but it also may be sold as an additive alone.
Work on Bioflex began in 2006 when Ultraflex officials contacted Kenrich and asked about biodegradable signage. At NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago, Kenrich featured the Bioflex product at its booth. Kenrich makes coupling and catalyzing agents, anti-static agents, plasticizers and other products. The 25-employee firm has been in business since 1945.
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