Wageningen UR launches development of durable bio-PBS compounds

By Wageningen UR | May 26, 2016

A joint development program on biobased PBS (polybutylene succinate) compounds for injection molding has been launched by Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research in cooperation with Reverdia, Teamplast and RPC Promens. Research focusses on applications like reusable horticultural crates and rigid food packaging with hinges. The new bio-PBS compounds will be durable and based on Reverdia’s bio-based succinic acid.

To date PBS is a fossil based plastic that is predominantly used in applications where biodegradability is desired.  Introducing Reverdia’s biobased succinic acid, durable bio-PBS with an improved carbon footprint can be produced without compromising the properties of the material.  


Broader application for bio-PBS

Aim of this applied research project is to develop bio-based alternatives for polymers like polypropylene in ‘demanding’ applications. Development will focus on longevity, appearance and processing characteristics. Plastic product manufacturers RPC Promens and Teamplast collaborate to validate the compounds in applications like reusable horticultural crates and rigid food packaging with hinges. The final compounds are expected to have an improved carbon footprint in comparison to polypropylene, which is typically used for these applications.

“Raw material producers and manufacturers of the final products will test these new materials, ensuring that consumers will soon have these new bio-based and durable plastics in their hands,” said Lawrence Theunissen from Reverdia. “The whole value chain is involved in developing these materials.”

“An important objective of the project is to develop plastics from renewable raw materials with a much wider scope for application, and thus a larger market potential,” added Karin Molenveld of Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research.


BPM R&D programme and symposium June 16th

The project is part of the Biobased Performance Materials research program.  On June 16, the fifth annual BPM symposium was held to address current biobased performance materials research and innovation developments.

The goal of the BPM program is to develop high-performance materials based on biomass; materials that are increasingly applied in commercial applications. The research focuses on two types of polymer materials: polymers produced by plants and polymers derived from biobased building blocks produced via biotechnology or chemical catalysis. The BPM program is partly financed by the Dutch government of Economic Affairs via the Top Sector Chemistry.