Next stage development of soy-based bioplastics

2012-02-14T10:51:00Z Next stage development of soy-based bioplastics Minnesota Farm Guide
February 14, 2012 10:51 am

Columbus, OH-The United Soybean Board (USB) has awarded Battelle funding specifically targeted to assist Biobent Polymers™, the Marysville, Ohio-based bioplastics company, in the commercialization of its revolutionary new bio-composite polymers made from soy. This new class of bioplastics is linked on the molecular level to maintain core characteristics of plastic which are missing in all other biopolymer-composites while dramatically reducing petroleum use in manufacturing. The new bioplastics can be used as a replacement for virtually all polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE).

The USB funding will allow Battelle and Biobent Polymers to continue pioneering work refining soy-based polymers in an effort to solidify Biobent's position as a leading innovator of bioplastics with the development and commercialization of the next generation of bioplastics. The joint announcement was made by Rick Heggs, Senior Market Manager for Battelle's Energy, Environment and Material Sciences Global Business and Keith J. Masavage, Chief of Strategy and Operations at Biobent Polymers.

"With USB support, we are continuing our alliance with Biobent Polymers taking the next step down the commercialization road for a critically important sustainable green technology," said Heggs.

This development effort will further the science and technology behind the award winning bio-composite resins derived from abundantly available soy-based agricultural co-products. While well into Biobent Polymers' commercialization phase, the company will leverage this funding to accelerate solutions to several key technical challenges, provide production capacity refinements and significantly expand the markets for this new class of bioplastics.

"We have had great success working with Battelle's break-through soy based resins - effectively removing as much as 40 percent of the petroleum used in the plastics production process," said Masavage. "These next steps will even further refine the quality and performance of our bioplastics and allow us to deliver a variety of grades of plastic resins for use in a myriad of applications. As a result, we will bring price and performance of competitive resins to a multi-billion dollar market eagerly awaiting the arrival of truly "green" bioplastics to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil."

"The soybean checkoff program has backed this effort from the beginning through the Ohio Soybean Council, funding Battelle's original research, and now through this United Soybean Board (USB) support," said USB New Uses Chair Russ Carpenter, a soybean farmer from Trumansburg, N.Y. "The USB support comes as a result of the project's potential, its ongoing successes, and the dividends we expect for both U.S. soybean farmers and the environment."

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