Italian firm CDA de Novamont SpA has developed bioplastics with both monomers based on renewable resources.
The Novara, Italy, firm uses azelaic acid and other acids derived from vegetable oils to combine with 1,4 butanediol derived from sugar fermentation. The butanediol is made by a process developed by Genomatica Inc. of San Diego, Calif.
Novamont said it plans to build a dedicated plant to make the butanediol monomer through its MaterBiotech subsidiary.
Novamont claims its new polymers can be used to make flexible and rigid films, coatings, extruded parts and thermoformed goods. The products' reliance on renewable resources cuts down on dependence of fossil fuels.
Novamont has invested about Euros 300 million in the new technology since it first revealed its road map in 2009 to develop it.
Novamont is partnering with Italian firm ENI Versalis for the azeleic acid process.
“I am convinced that integrated biorefineries that focus on a number of value-added products represent a virtuous way of interpreting the concept of bioeconomy and a real opportunity for our country and Europe,” explains Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli in a news release.
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