Two promising new biopolymers are finding some initial commercial applications.
Two promising new biopolymers are finding some initial commercial applications. Both are types of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), made by bacterial fermentation of plant starch. Compounder PolyOne Corp., Avon Lake, Ohio, has developed a compound based on PHBV (polyhydroxybutyrate-valerate copolymer, a type of PHA) for a new line of bathroom accessories from Design Ideas Ltd., Springfield, Ill. PolyOne uses PHBV from Tianan Biologic Material Co. in Ningbo, China (represented here by Jim Lunt & Associates LLC, Wayzata, Minn.). The toothbrush holder, bath box, pump dispensers, and other items are among the first durable uses of this family of biopolymers, says PolyOne. Heritage Bag Co., Carrollton, Texas, is making the first commercial blown film using Mirel PHA from Telles, a joint venture of Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and Archer Daniels Midland Co.,Decatur, Ill. The first commercial plant for Mirel is due this year with capacity of 110 million lb. Heritage Bag makes BioTuf compost bags from a proprietary PHA blend. It uses conventional equipment to extrude film with reportedly excellent puncture and tear resistance. (440) 930-1000 • www.polyone.com (617) 492-0505 • www.mirelplastics.com (952) 476-2987 • www.tianan-enmat.com