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conference report | Green polymer chemistry

Above left: Bayer Material- Science’s PCC

from CO2 plant at Leverkusen. Above right: Development of bio-based polyols in Ford’s US laboratory

furanoate (PEF). It could also be used as a feedstock in production of polyurethanes and polyamides. Avantium’s partners include Teijin, Coca-Cola,

Solvay, Rhodia and Danone. The PEF-based material is said to have been successfully tested on commercial blow moulding, fibre and film lines and is claimed to provide a higher gas barrier than PET. A pilot PEF plant is being constructed at Chemelot in the Netherlands with an annual capacity of 40 tonnes. Work underway at the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis

is focused on the development of catalysts for produc- tion of monomers from vegetable oils. Institute group leader Angela Köckritz said the German vegetable oil market comprises 5.16m tonnes of rape seed oil and 50,000 tonnes of sunflower oil, with imports of sunflow- er, linseed, soybean oil (from USA), castor oil (from India), palm and coconut oil (from Malaysia and Indonesia). These vegetable oils can be used in the synthesis of

polyurethane, polyester, polyamide, polyacrylate and epoxy resin, said Köckritz. Emery Oleochemicals has achieved ozonolysis of oleic acid, which can be used in polyamide 6,9. Evonik has chemical pathways for the production of ricinoleic acid to give polyamide 10,10 and 6,10. Arkema has a polyamide 11 produced from 11-undecanoic acid from castor oil. BASF has made a polyamide 6,10 and a variety of polyols from sources such as castor oil. Royal DSM is producing a polyamide 4,10, thermo-

plastic copolyester and unsaturated polyester resin from bio-sources. Director of sustainability Frederic Petit said DSM is also a partner in the Biosuccinium project with Roquette, which intends to produce succinic acid using a yeast-based process. The two companies hope to begin large scale

production in a 10,000 tonne/year unit in Italy this year. Plans are also in hand to make bio-based adipic acid,

54 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2012

which is a precursor for polyamide 66. There is also a great deal of interest in technologies

to synthesise polymers from carbon dioxide. Several companies worldwide are involved in the production of

polypropylene carbonate from CO2, including BASF and Bayer MaterialScience in Europe, Novomer in the USA, SK Innovation in Korea, and Mengxi in China. BASF is motivated by low monomer costs, reducing

CO2 emissions trading and the abundant feedstock from power plants. It is testing the polypropylene

carbonate materials in several applications, including using it in blends with PLA as an ABS replacement in electrical appliances, in agricultural films and in paper coatings. BASF research chemist Dr Anna Brym said one issue that must be dealt with is the low activity of catalysts, as well as the need to remove the catalyst after polymerisation. Bayer MaterialScience has generated polyether-

polycarbonate polyols from CO2 for use in polyurethane. The CO2 supply is scrubbed at the coal-fired power plant where it is captured from the flue gases and then

reacted with propylene oxide. It has taken the company time to reduce the by-products and improve catalyst use towards its “dream production” target level but some slab stock foam has been produced and tested, said Dr Christoph Gürtler, head of the company’s new catalytic processes competence centre.

Green Polymer Chemistry 2013 The first Green Polymer Chemistry conference provided a unique opportunity for agro-economic and bio-based polymer experts to gather and debate the key issues around this novel technology. The second event, Green Polymer Chemistry 2013, will be held in Cologne, Germany from 19-21 March 2013. For more information or to book your place contact Rebecca Utteridge: or visit

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