Biopolymer Processing Technologies by Pira International Ltd

By Pira International Ltd

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C5 wood sugars xylose or arabinose converted to sugar alcohols xylitol and arabinitol, then converted to glycols, lactic acid or glycerol. However the limited availability and multiple conversion steps makes these wood sugars compared to dextrose economically prohibitive. 19 Source: J. g. g. housings/enclosures, wind vanes, overhead luggage bins, etc. g. 1 Polymer development timeline Source: IntertechPira RETURN TO PAGE Note: biopolymers began as natural rubber and later cellulose-derived polymers before petropolymers were invented.

Again, these applications are driven by disposable packaging and food service markets and new trends for future conversion development. COM biomaterials > e-book > biopolymer processing technologies Applications for Biopolymers costs and increased efficiency; this will drive wider film width, larger capacity needs and faster output • Improved energy savings by using flexible twin-screw extrusion with direct drive or advanced heat-recovery systems (exhaust heat recycle) •M  ore accurate systems for optimizing raw material mixing • Improved die technology for better layer distribution and consistency in film quality; optimized film-cutting for reduced scrap • L ower maintenance costs using gear-less direct drives • F ully automated resin handling and production control systems for lower costs and more accurate reproducibility of converted products •N  ew simultaneous conversion technologies for higher speed extrusion, slitting, cutting and take-up •H  igher output of blown-film by improving bubble stability, using more efficient melt cooling as the bubble exits the die.

Biopolymers tend to be more sensitive to variation in heat cycling, dissipation, cooling and overall heat history than traditional petropolymers. Therefore these parameters need to be more tightly controlled and understood relative to the biopolymer grade in order to maintain performance properties of the biopolymer. Also for similar reasons, previous heat history needs to be considered before virgin biopolymer resin is recycled or blended with scrap. Conversion speed (run time) needs to be more closely monitored, as the above issues will impact conversion performance and final product quality For thermoformed parts, an extruded sheet is the beginning polymer form, which is heated and then forced to conform to the part-mold shape using pressure or a vacuum.

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