Biopolymers are plastics that are either biobased or biodegradable in specific environments, such as soil, salt water or industrial composting. The North of The Netherlands is an area with highly efficient agriculture in which a lot of sugar beet and potatoes is grown.
Sugar beet and potatoes can be used for the manufacturing of sugars, alcohols-, organic acids and other chemical intermediates that can be used to produce biobased polymers. These intermediates are produced or developed by local chemical companies in Delfzijl and Emmen as well. This shows how agriculture and chemistry will increasingly merge for a more sustainable future.
At Chemport Europe biopolymers and products thereof are being developed and sometimes already produced today. DSM already produces a biobased nylon, EcoPaXX PA410, from castor oil in Emmen. This high-performance biopolymer is used in automotive applications for example. BioBTX develops monomers that can be used to produce biobased PET which is developed in cooperation with Cumapol out of glycerine coming from Sunoil Biodiesel.
Several products are already being produced from biopolymers in this region, such as:
- PLA 3d printing filaments by BASF 3D Printing Solutions BV
- PHA injection moulded parts by HP Moulding
- PLA yarns and ropes by Senbis Polymer Innovations
- Foamed biopolymer products by Foamplant
Senbis and SPIC offer the R&D and upscaling equipment to polymerize new biopolymers and develop applications.
The companies active in sustainable polymer development and production started an initiative called SPIC-Emmen, joining forces to develop, produce and market sustainable plastic solutions. These partners also offer their R&D facilities open to the market to accelerate polymer innovations together. SPIC Emmen is part ofthe Chemical Cluster in Emmen.
If you are interested in working with biopolymers or recycled plastics, please see the SPIC-Emmen website at. www.spic-emmen.com.