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Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Biobased polymers on the rise

Thursday, 12 April 2012 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

Somehow it’s all about biobased polymers these days. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but I have lately come across several novel developments that are also highly interesting for the coatings industry. Two of them I would like to share with you.

The latest news I received is about plastics from nature that can be used to coat beverage cartons. Several materials are combined to a composite for this high performance packaging, which is mostly made of paper and cardboard, but also includes plastic film in order to seal the carton. Scientists of two Fraunhofer institutes are currently working on a substitute using renewable raw materials for the polymeric material so far based on crude oil.

Then I heard about novel polymers based on orange peels that researchers from the University of Freiburg managed to develop. The scientists combined the natural product limonene with oxygen and carbon dioxide without using any solvents. The resulting biobased polymers could be used for coating systems and adhesives.

It seems to me that the industry is working at full steam on alternative raw material sources in order to become more independent from crude oil. But how long will it take until these materials will be commercially available? Please share your views with me.

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Kirsten Wrede
European Coatings Journal
Kirsten Wrede
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