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Green Chemistry & Bio-based Additives: Innovative Weapons Introducing a Focus on Carbon Footprint

SpecialChem / Michel Biron – Mar 18, 2013

The total market for plastics additives is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% needing to anticipate the growing scarcity and the possible drying up of petroleum, and to satisfy an increased focus on sustainability. Bioindustry calls for new industrial ways including biotechnology and biorefinery leading to bio platforms and bioblocks. Among other sources, Researchers work very hard to value lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on Earth, which is particularly rich in aromatic rings and chemical functionalities. Some natural products and their derivatives have been used for a very long time and, thanks to continuous research efforts are always of essential interest, for example: Fatty acids, their salts, esters and amides used as lubricants, processing aids, PVC heat stabilizers, emulsifiers; Epoxidized vegetable oils; Starch used as filler, Liquid depolymerized natural rubber.

Plasticizers win the biggest slice of the cake leading to proprietary products such as ATBC, BIOFENE™, CITROFOL®, ECOLIBRIUM™, GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE, HALLGREEN®, IsDEH, LAPOL®, POLYSORB ID®, reFlex, UNIMOLL AGF… 'Bio-carbon content enhancers’ are developing to satisfy general requirements for a lighter carbon footprint. Of course, intensive research concerns protective agents derived from renewable resources, CESA-natur, Genox EP, Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), gum from Moringa oleifera, lignin, Vitamin E, natural tocopherols, natural keratin, catechin and epicatechin, extracts of tomato, grape seeds, rosemary, green tea, natural Diospyros peregrine… Polyols, glycerol, sorbitol, isosorbide and derivatives are promising platforms for zinc-free PVC formulations. Additive manufacturers develop many other additives and masterbatches as curing agents for epoxy resins, processing aids, strengtheners, tackifiers, antistatic agents, organic fillers, biocarbon content enhancers for fossil plastics. This paper excludes fibers, another exciting but different subject.

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