After first concluding highly promising development work FKuR has started systematic tests with Synbra’s second generation PLA produced from non-genetically modified carbohydrates. The PLA polymerization takes place in Synbra’s new plant in Etten-Leur with a capacity of 5000 t/a. The lactide feedstock is produced in Purac’s fermentation process.
The development partners expect a further strong market push since many brand-owners and retailers in Western Europe are keen to use GMO-free materials. In addition, FKUR and Synbra are targeting at high temperature applications to date not accessible for bioplastics. By blending almost 100% pure PLLA with PDLA at high temperatures, a stereocomplex PLA (sc-PLA) can be formed with properties that excel the ones of the individual homopolymers. The melting temperature of the complex is around 220°C which is 50°C higher than that of conventional PLA. Consequently, FKUR in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT intends to develop a new generation of high performance bio compounds.
“FKUR Kunststoff GmbH has outstanding knowledge in modifying bio-based raw materials and developing unique PLA blends and we are pleased to supply FKUR as a launching customer with our sc-PLA grades” Jan Noordegraaf, Managing Director of Synbra, pointed out.
“Synbra’s GMO free resins pave the way to new markets and the technical capabilities of the stereo complex offer us incomparable opportunities to design high engineered bio-compounds.” Edmund Dolfen, Managing Director of FKUR Kunststoff GmbH, added.
In recognition of the purity and the feed stocks used, Synbra’s high purity PLA, as well as its BioFoam, has been Cradle to Cradle SM certified by EPEA in Hamburg, and is the world’s first and thus far only PLA to be certified.