DuPont: Biopolymers must perform as well as petroleum-based equivalents

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

DuPont to talk about biopolymers at summit

Related tags: Polymer

DuPont is converting petro-based plastics ingredients to renewables where it's technically feasible and developing new polymers but said replacement materials must offer better performance than those they would replace.

Two DuPont business leaders will talk about high-performance materials in packaging and other markets at The European Biopolymer Summit 2015 this week (9-10 December) in London, UK.

Rick Bell, development manager for DuPont Performance Polymers, said biopolymers have quietly infiltrated many markets based on environmental and performance benefits.

“That combination will continue to drive higher-value consumer products. We want to familiarize people with the options and challenge them to think differently about how to get the greatest performance from the materials they have to work with.”

DuPont claims to offer the industry’s widest range of bio-based, engineering grade polymers with performance attributes from strong and stiff to flexible.

Bell said for it to bring the science to market the materials must offer better performance and cost position than those they would replace.

“We’re converting petro-based plastics ingredients to renewables where it's technically feasible and cost-effective and we’re developing entirely new polymers – with completely different performance characteristics – based on these bio-based ingredients.”

Bell will join Sabic, Innovia Films and BioAmber to discuss commercial developments and the business case for renewably sourced materials on December 10.

Materials must perform as well

Karlheinz Hausmann, sustainability technology leader of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, said biopolymers must perform at least as well as their petroleum-based equivalents or bring new, differentiated performance profiles.

“When you consider packaging from a holistic sustainability aspect, recycling and lightweighting are increasingly important and need to be compatible with the chosen biopolymer approach.

“As in all industries, the brand owners need to recognize and support the value proposition of biopolymers in context with sustainability goals for respective applications.”

Hausmann will join experts from Nestlé and consulting firm Smithers Pira to discuss brand and retailer perspectives on the growing role of bioplastics in products and packaging.

The two-day conference will address how the industry will evolve, current trends, how to respond to the changes of the market and the growing demand from end users.

Panellists include Henri Colens, public affairs manager, Braskem, Fabio Peyer, sustainability manager, Amcor, Gert-Jan Gruter, chief technology officer, Avantium, Lars Lundquist, packaging and environment expert, Nestlé and Andy Sweetman, marketing manager packaging and sustainability, Innovia Films.

During the European Bioplastics conference last month, Hasso von Pogrell, MD of EUBP, said the positive trend of the past ten years continues. 

“According to our latest market data, the global bioplastics production capacity is predicted to grow by more than 350% in the mid-term, from around 1.7 million tonnes in 2014 to approximately 7.8 million tonnes in 2019.” ​ 

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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