PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

PEF challenges PET to battle

ETH Zurich researchers have developed a method that could finally make the PEF bioplastics marketable

PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

“Education and an improved awareness of how to handle plastics will continue to be crucial in order to stop the increasing environmental pollution”, says ETH researcher Jan-Georg Rosenboom (Photograph: iStock) PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

PEF bioplastic could solve some of the problems caused by PET. The lengthy and energy-intensive production process has so far prevented mass production. ETH Zurich researchers have now developed a method that could finally make the PEF marketable.

The problem of plastic is on everyone’s lips. Every year, some 50 million tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) alone are produced, and the trend is rising. Since recycling is usually cost-intensive and technologically difficult to implement, a great deal of plastic waste ends up in the oceans or is incinerated, causing massive CO2 emissions. The use of crude oil in production is also problematic. However, none of us can do without plastic entirely. PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

“Polymers and plastics are very useful materials that make a wide range of everyday applications possible in the first place. Lighter cars, smartphones, modern clothes and many medical devices would not exist if we hadn’t invented polymers,” says Jan-Georg Rosenboom, a fresh PhD graduate in the research group of ETH professor Massimo Morbidelli at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences. “The question is how we can reduce the negative environmental impact of plastic while maintaining its benefits for our society.” PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

Better material properties

PEF bioplastics are indistinguishable from conventional PET on the outside. (Photograph: ETH Zurich / Jan-Georg Rosenboom)

One answer could be biobased polymers, so-called bioplastics. These have very similar properties to conventional plastics, but are made from plant-based raw materials instead of crude oil. Some bioplastics are also biodegradable and enable better composting.

Massimo Morbidelli’s group is investigating a promising bioplastic called polyethylene furanoate (PEF). PEF is chemically very similar to PET, but consists of 100% renewable raw materials such as forestry and agricultural wastes. PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

PEF bottles, for example, require less material, are lighter and more stable than their PET competitors and make beverages last longer. Although PEF is not biodegradable, it can be incinerated in an environmentally friendly manner besides recycling, as no additional CO2 emissions are produced. PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

The fact that PEF has not yet been able to establish itself on the market is primarily due to its time- and energy-intensive production. The ETH doctoral students Jan-Georg Rosenboom and Peter Fleckenstein, together with ETH professor Giuseppe Storti, have now developed a method that could enable the commercial breakthrough of PEF. Yesterday their research results were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Energy-efficient and fast production

“Our method reduces production time from several days to a few hours. In addition, discoloration in the end product can be avoided in contrast to previous processes,” says Jan-Georg Rosenboom and explains: “Instead of making the usual “rope-like” polymer chains with two end points react, we first tie rings from the latter, which thus have no ends anymore. PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

These rings can then be polymerized to PEF much more quickly and in a controlled manner. This is because no chemical by-products are produced and have to be removed, when the rings are opened and connected to form the final long “polymer rope”. The very fast reaction within minutes enables PEF products that are superior in material properties to PET and reduces energy requirements.”

In addition, the method of ring opening allows a precise adjustment of the product quality, which was not possible with the previous production process. Thus, the new method could also be interesting for the production of other types of plastics and bioplastics. Due to its good material properties, the PEF could possibly also replace multilayer materials that are difficult to recycle. PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate

Currently, the scientists are working with Sulzer to investigate how the new process could be implemented in industrial mass production. Despite the many advantages offered by PEF, it cannot solve all existing problems on its own, says Rosenboom, stressing: “Education and an improved awareness of how to handle plastics will continue to be crucial in order to stop the increasing environmental pollution. However, progress in manufacturing and recycling technologies will facilitate the transition towards a sustainable society”.  PEF bioplastic vs polyethylene terephthalate



Rosenboom JG, Hohl DK, Fleckenstein P, Storti G, Morbidelli M: Bottle-grade polyethylene furanoate from ring-opening polymerisation of cyclic oligomers. Nature Communications, 24 July 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05147-y

Source: ETH Zurich, press release, 2018-07-25.
Author: Anna Maltsev


TAIF plans to launch a bioplastic plant at Alabuga in 2021 

Please follow and like us:

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers 26-09-2019

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

China – Polyethylene Terephthalate

PET and its chain are steady,but weak.

Crude oil price is steady,but weak.

Polyamide 6 and its chain are steady.

Acrylonitrile is steady.

PET Bottle grade export 815/870 $/ton PET Bottle grade domestic market 6,750/6,850 yuan/ton PET Filament grade SD domestic market 6,600/6,700 yuan/ton – PET Filament grade BR domestic market 6,700/6,800 yuan/ton

PTA Taiwan 655/665 $/ton PTA domestic market 5,050/5,150 yuan/tonMEG  655/665 $/ton – MEG domestic market 5,100/5,200 yuan/tonPX Korea 770/785 $/ton

Polyester POY 150D/48F  domestic market 7,800/7,900  yuan/tonPolyester DTY 150D/48F  domestic market 9,200/9,300  yuan/tonPolyester Staple PSF domestic market 7,050/7,150 yuan/ton

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

Crude Oil Prices Trend

Crude Oil Prices Trend

-Film Recycling – Thinking Beyond the Bag & Working Together to Find Solutions

Commonly referred to as the number one recycling contaminant, plastic bags and other film products like paper towel wrap and overwrap on cans and bottles can be a real nuisance for many recycling programs.

Very few municipalities offer curbside collection programs that include these materials, and most communities’ websites include clear instructions to keep plastic film out, such as those depicted here.

Yet consumers continue to place bags and film in their recycling bins, causing equipment shutdowns at material recovery facilities (MRFs) and preventing these items from being recycled through the correct outlets.

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-US Shale Won’t Go Bankrupt

Despite a wave of financial adversity that has tormented US onshore E&P companies lately, Rystad Energy does not view this as a harbinger of doom for the shale industry going forward.Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers 

“In a nutshell, we do not believe the recent bankruptcies that have beset a number of shale players are indicative of an industry-wide epidemic,” says Alisa Lukash, a senior analyst on Rystad Energy’s North American Shale team.

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-New Opportunities to Fuel the Expansion of Bio Based Paraxylene Market

In recent years, the global market has shown a strong acceptance for bio-based chemicals and materials in the light of growing considerations over sustainability.

Paraxylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon compound, derived from benzene, and is colorless, toxic, highly flammable and hazardous in nature.Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers 

Owing to its pernicious properties, various government and environmental organizations have enforced regulations for the development of bio-based paraxylene (Bio-PX).

Bio based paraxylene is made of renewable raw materials, such as glucose, starch, cellulose and vegetable oils. The advantage of utilizing these raw material is that they can be processed in an existing recycling process and can be re-used.

Bio based paraxylene is increasingly being used in bio based plastic PET bottles (Bio-PET) and other bio based plastic applications.

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-The 4 Truths of PLA Straws

Whether it be part of legislation or conservation efforts, many brands are switching from plastic to a sustainable alternative, often PLA, without knowing the real truth about the dangers of a PLA straw.Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers 

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, with statistics showing there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish, by volume, by 2050. Restaurants, venues and establishments worldwide are working to combat plastic pollution by eliminating plastic straws.Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers 

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-Why is clarification needed on bioplastic recycling?

Regarding FEAD’s (European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services) latest position paper Biodegradable and Bio-Based Plastics, European Bioplastics (EUBP) believes that FEAD displays an incomplete perception on how a circular economy can be achieved.

Unfortunately, the association exclusively focuses on mechanical recycling while at the same time refusing biodegradable plastic solutions.

Scepticism of stakeholders towards the relevance of biodegradable certified compostable plastics in a circular economy usually stems from a vague notion about what these materials and corresponding products can actually contribute to efficient waste management.Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

Why is clarification needed on bioplastic recycling?

-Sulzer’s range of innovative technologies at K 2019

The plastic processing and manufacturing sectors are looking for innovative technologies and solutions to reduce environmental footprints. At K 2019, Sulzer will show its commitment to sustainable manufacturing and recycling with its wide range of technologies.

These not only make polymer production more efficient, but also back the development of green plastic materials, as well as give a new life to materials that are currently non-recyclable.

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-Venator to launch ultra-low moisture TiO2 pigment at K 2019

At K 2019, Venator will launch a new titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment to the global plastics industry.

TIOXIDE TR29 is Venator’s highest performing white pigment for low moisture applications and demanding processing conditions.

Combining ultra-low moisture content, with excellent dispersion properties and a high packing fraction, TIOXIDE TR29 is designed for use in the manufacture of highly technical thin films, and in engineering polymers where moisture sensitivity is a consideration.

Venator to launch ultra-low moisture TiO2 pigment at K 2019

-UK government moves to end “vague and misleading” bioplastic terminology

The UK government has called for experts to help it develop standards for bioplastics and biodegradable plastics, amid rising concern over greenwashing.

The government has published a document seeking evidence on potential “demand, benefits, and implications of standards for bio-based and biodegradable plastics”.

The call is set out in a paper, called Standards for bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics: call for evidence, which was published earlier this summer.

UK government moves to end "vague and misleading" bioplastic terminology

-Revised AATCC TM100 improves antibacterial testing

A collaborative effort of members of AATCC RA31 committee, antimicrobial activity, resulted in revision of AATCC TM100, test method for Antibacterial Finishes on Textile Materials: Assessment of. The committee spent lot of time to understand issues of the test method and how it affected variability of test results from multiple laboratories around the world. Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

AATCC TM100 is one of the most commonly used test methods to measure antimicrobial activity on treated textiles. RA31 committee members reviewed the history, common practices within laboratories, and how the test method is used to measure antimicrobial performance.

Petrochemicals Automotive Technopolymers

-Award for recycled PET liner

Avery Dennison won the Environmental and Sustainability Award for its recycled PET (rPET) liner at the 2019 Label Industry Global Awards ceremony in Brussels.

This is the second consecutive year Avery Dennison has been recognised with this prestigious award for its advances in sustainable labelling products and services.

The Environmental and Sustainability Award, part of the Global Label Industry Awards programme, is one of the label industry’s highest accolades, presented during the Labelexpo Europe show in recognition of a specific sustainable label product or process introduced to the industry in 2018.

Award for recycled PET liner

-Sustainable Technology for SAP in Development

Archer Daniels Midland Company and LG Chem partner to develop biobased acrylic acid

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and LG Chem announced a joint development agreement to create biobased acrylic acid, a foundational element required in the manufacture of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) used in a range of hygiene products, including diapers.

Under the terms of this agreement, ADM and LG Chem, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of acrylic acid, will work jointly towards economically viable commercial production of a 100% biobased acrylic acid using ingredients from ADM corn processing. Although there is growing industry demand for products developed from renewable materials, acrylic acid is currently produced almost exclusively from petrochemicals.

Please follow and like us: