Perstorp ups investments for bioplastics development

Sweden-headquartered specialty chemicals firm, Perstorp, adds in new investments for the development of bioplastics and bioproducts, as well as increase its competitiveness in the segment.

The investments include a pilot plant, which is already up and running at Warrington, UK; increased technical resources; and a new laboratory at Perstorp, Sweden, which will be in place from January 2015. According to Perstorp, these developments from their end are aimed at helping customers to develop their business faster, reduce time-to-market, as well as develop new products and formulations towards emerging bioplastic applications.

A leading specialist in ε-polycaprolactones (PCL) technology, marketed under the Capa brand, Perstorp has a track record of investing in sustainability and spends more than 85% of its R&D resources on finding environmentally sound solutions.

The pilot plant will help to produce new Capa grades for existing customers and support the continued expansion of the Capa Thermoplastics product line, while the new lab will become a caprolactone innovation centre for application development. This will ensure that new formulations are developed and tested to meet the challenges of emerging applications where Capa can play a decisive role in increasing competiveness, says Linda Zellner, Perstorp Project Bioplastics Manager, adding further that these investments will likewise increase the firm’s competitiveness in bioplastics, which is a core focus area for the Perstorp Group.

Capa is a perfect performance enhancer and processing aid for renewable biopolymers whether it is used for short-life, long-life or end-of-life solutions, says Perstorp. In particular Perstorp’s primary focus today is on three key bioplastic growth segments – paper coatings, bags & films, and packaging. The current investments are designed to support rapid development of all three, but also to ensure the infrastructure is in place to meet the challenges of new emerging applications.

Capa in particular is said to provide new opportunities for bioplastics such as PLA, PHA and starch by improving their functional properties, especially toughness and flexibility enabling them to be competitive in film and packaging applications. The superior compostability of Capa also improves the products useful end-of-life making bioplastic packaging, bags and film environmentally attractive, says Perstorp, which will be exhibiting at the upcoming 9th European Bioplastics Conference to be held in Brussels on 2-3 December.


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