San Diego — Cellulose, corncob fibers and rice and peanut hulls were among the petroleum-alternative sustainable resin materials discussed during the Bio-Based Live conference for the Americas.
Holli Alexander underscored the sustainability benefits of the Eastman Chemical Co.'s new Treva-brand cellulose-based engineering bioplastic.
Alexander is strategic initiatives manager for Eastman global sustainability.
Eastman is conducting multiple Treva field trials now under confidentiality agreements with current or potential downstream customers making rigid durable products.
"Bio-based is not enough," she said. "You need performance, and the product must work and be affordable for all."
Alexander noted manufacturing's historic "take-make-waste" model and suggested movement toward the "repair-remake-recycle" circular economy concept of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation of Cowes, England.
After discussing Treva development in 2016, Eastman launched the product at the Chinaplas trade show in May.
Free of bisphenol A and phthalates, Treva grade GC6021 has a bio-based content of 42 percent and Treva grade GC6011 has 45 percent as certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program. Traditional petrochemicals form the remainder.
Eastman sources the cellulose from suppliers certified for sustainable forest management practices.
The Kingsport, Tenn.-based advanced materials and specialty additives company has legacy capabilities for compounding cellulosic plastics going back to its 1924 development of cellulose acetate films.