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news Corbion and Total partner in PLA


Corbion began construction of a 75,000 tonnes/year polymerisation plant for polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics at Rayong, Thailand, last month and announced the formation of a new bioplastics joint venture with Total. The PLA production plant, which is due


for completion in 2018, will use proprietary polymerisation technology from Cor- bion and Sulzer Chemtech of Switzerland. Sulzer will also supply key equipment. It will be able to produce Corbion’s full range of Luminy branded PLA resins, including


J-Tec builds vinyl tile facility


J-Tec Material Handling has completed construction of a new plant for luxury vinyl tiles for an unnamed French manufacturer of flooring products. The new installation includes two compounding lines, weighing systems, hot and cold mixers, and automatic feeding for downstream equipment. Material is pneumati-


cally transported up 25m to the top level, where it is weighed and dosed in batches into mixers on the next level down. From the batch mixers, the dry blend material is transported by screw feeders and dosed into the compounding units. Additives are stored in


internal silos and are also added through a mixer, the company said. Nitrogen blanketing is employed to eliminate risk of explosion. ❙ www.j-tec.com


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its high heat-resistant grades. In addition to the polymerisation


investment, Corbion said it will also expand its existing lactide monomer plant in Thailand by 25,000 tonnes/year. This will enable it to meet demand and to produce a wider range of lactides. The 50-50 JV with Total will produce and


market PLA polymers from the site. The lactide unit will become part of this and Corbion will supply the lactic acid necessary for production of both the PLA and lactide. The joint venture will be headquartered


in the Netherlands and is expected to begin operations in Q1 2017, subject to necessary approvals. Bernard Pinatel, president of Total Refining & Chemicals, said: “This investment is consistent with our One Total ambition of expanding in biofuels and bioplastics, in addition to our more traditional oil- and gas-based products. Corbion’s unique position in the lactic acid and biopolymers value chain makes it a natural choice for Total.” ❙ www.corbion.com


Bioplastics to grow 50% by 2021


Global bioplastics production capacity is set to grow by 50% by 2021 to reach 6.1m tonnes, according to new data from sector trade association European Bioplastics and German research association Nova Institute. “The data illustrates an


important trend, driven by changing consumer demands, to make plastic products more resource efficient and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the dependency on fossil resources,” explains François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics and Senior Director Marketing Bioplastics at Corbion. The main driver of growth


in bioplastics production capacity is in durable and drop-in solutions such as polyurethanes and bio-based PE and PET. The study shows that durable bioplastics account for more than 75% of total production capacity today and that this share will increase to near 80% by 2021. However, production capaci-


COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2016 Global production capacities of bioplastics


ties of biodegradable plastics, such as PLA, PHA, and starch blends, are also growing steadily and are predicted to expand from around 900,000 tonnes in 2016 to almost 1.3m tonnes in 2021. Packaging remains the


largest field of application for bioplastics, according to the study, at almost 40% (around 1.6m tonnes) of total bioplastic polymer market consumption in 2016. Other key markets include consumer goods at 22%


(900,000 tonnes), automotive and transport at 14% (600,000 tonnes) and construction at 13% (500,000 tonnes). European Bioplastics said that Asia will further expand its role as major production hub over the next five years and, by 2021, more than 45% of all bioplastics will be produced in the region. Around one quarter of global bioplastics production capacity will be located in Europe ❙ www.european-bioplastics.org


www.compoundingworld.com


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