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dispatches from EU BIOPLASTICS CONFERENCE 2013

DuPont targets renewably sourced polymer increase

By Joe Whitworth+

13-Dec-2013

Dr Karlheinz Hausmann (left) spoke to FPD at the EU Bioplastics conference
Dr Karlheinz Hausmann (left) spoke to FPD at the EU Bioplastics conference

DuPont is targeting the increase of renewably sourced polymers in its product lines to meet end user demand.

Dr Karlheinz Hausmann, global sustainability technology leader, packaging and industrial polymers, said it is looking at the subject while keeping cost competitive at the same time, he told FoodProductionDaily.com at the European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin.            

In the past it had non-renewable sourced compostable polyesters and renewable sourced starch-based polymers but concerns about recycling enabled a focus on renewable sourced recyclable materials.

Recycling compatibility

Hausmann said they did this because materials that are recyclable in existing recycling streams are the focus of end users, such as consumer goods companies.

“This is the reason why we look at how we can base our current polymer portfolio on renewable sourced monomers on a cost competitive basis," he said. 

“As this is not possible from today to tomorrow, we have for example started a co-operation with Braskem to source renewable sourced polyethylene for our co-extrudable tie layer line…for creation of multilayer structures containing polyethylene, bio polyethylene ideally, and barrier materials like EVOH, polyamide or cellulosic barrier materials.

“That allows the customer basically to create today already, barrier multilayer structures for food packaging that are more than 90% renewable sourced.”

Renewably sourced coupling agents

He said DuPont has launched renewable sourced coupling agents based on polyethylene for wood-plastic composites for starch hybrid compounds which can be more than 95% renewably sourced.  

The firm is also looking at renewably sourced barrier materials that it can create and different renewably sourced monomers for its existing product packaging line.

Hausmann said partnerships are important from a supplier level to an end of use point of view.

“You want to have quick commercialisation to finished products, in the packaging industry or the consumer goods industry.”

Thomas Werner, DuPont business development manager, said it aims to enhance customers’ product performance, improve sustainability and reduce total downstream system cost, in a presentation at the conference.

Renewably sourced performance polymers include Zytel RS HTN, Sorona EP, Zytel RS and Hyrel TS across a range of markets, he said.  

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