Green updates: Avantium awarded grant for CO2 to polyester project; AkzoNobel launches BPA-free inner coating for cans

Avantium awarded grant for CO2 to polyester project

Dutch renewable materials company Avantium N.V. announced that it has been awarded a EUR1.5 million grant by the EU Horizon Europe programme for its participation in the R&D programme HICCUPS. This programme aims to demonstrate the utilisation of CO2 as a feedstock for the production of polyesters. The EUR1.5 million grant will be paid out in tranches to Avantium over a period of four years, starting in September 2023.

Under the HICCUPS programme, Avantium will convert CO2 from biogas produced at wastewater treatment plants into the sustainable plastic material PLGA (polylactic-co-glycolic acid). PLGA with 80% glycolic acid or more has an excellent barrier against oxygen and moisture and good mechanical properties. It is furthermore recyclable and both home compostable and marine degradable. PLGA can be used, for example, as coating material and in moulded plastic materials. This makes PLGA an excellent alternative for fossil-based PE.

The HICCUPS programme, which has received a EUR5 million EU Horizon Europe grant in total, will demonstrate the full value chain from biogenic CO2 to polyester end-use and is expected to be executed over four years.

Avantium will lead the HICCUPS consortium consisting of Avantium and 11 other industry and academic organisations: Funditec (Spain), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), INRAE (France), ACCIONA (Spain), Nova Institut (Germany), VTT (Finland), University of Ferrara (Italy), Tecnopackaging (Spain), Aqualung (Norway), SINTEF (Norway) and Walki (Finland).

Avantium is a frontrunner in developing and commercialising innovative technologies for the production of materials based on sustainable carbon feedstocks, i.e. carbon from biomass or carbon from the air (CO2). One of Avantium’s innovative technology platforms, called Volta Technology, uses electrochemistry to convert CO2 into high-value chemical building blocks and polyesters.

AkzoNobel launches BPA-free inner coating for cans

Meanwhile in other news, can makers and coil coaters ramping up their bisphenol-free transition have a ready alternative in a new BPA-NI (Bisphenol A non-intent) internal coating for beverage can ends, from French firm AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings.

As a BPA-NI coating, Accelshield 700 does not use BPA or bisphenol-based epoxies as part of its manufacturing process. It complies with both Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EU regulations.

The product will help meet the surge in demand for alternative coatings that’s expected after the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) recent opinion of BPA restrictions in metal packaging of food and beverage products. Bisphenols are currently ubiquitous throughout the manufacturing industry, a situation with growing urgency for change following EFSA’s opinion.

“With today’s technological advancements, bisphenols are no longer required to create safe coatings for state-of-the-art metal can packaging,” says Chris Bradford, Industrial Coatings Marketing Director, AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings. “BPA-NI coatings are a significant innovation, marking a critical turning point for the industry. Accelshield 700 will help can makers future-proof their selection.”

The new coating has been designed for challenging foods and liquids – including those that are very acidic or require high-temperature sterilization processes, such as yogurt drinks, milk and coffee – in addition to soft drinks and beer.

Integrating easily into customers’ existing manufacturing processes, Accelshield 700 also respects the need for can makers to mitigate disruption to their production lines.

AkzoNobel’s approach to the BPA and bisphenol transition prioritizes consumer safety and sustainability with responsible material substitutions, while taking care to limit disruption to the value chain. The company is working closely with customers to help accelerate the adoption of bisphenol alternatives.


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