Industry News

Compostable Bioplastics Can Be More Colorful Thanks to New Masterbatches from Clariant

Published on 2010-06-25. Author : SpecialChem

SANT ANDREU DE LA BARCA, Spain -- New masterbatches from Clariant have been formulated for use in biopolymer applications requiring compliance with European and U.S. standards governing compostability and ecotoxicity, including the harmonised EN 13432:2000 standard. Because they incorporate conventional (non-natural) additives and pigments, the new masterbatches are more economical and more process- and lightstable than "natural" products, and they bring a broader choice of colors and additive functionality to bioplastic products and packaging.

Over 80 pigments are expected to be available, which will allow a large number color masterbatches to be offered under the Clariant RENOL®-compostable brand name. CESA®-compostable additive masterbatches will include UV-stabilizer and antioxidant packages, with more additives currently pending review.

Testing of the ingredients in the Clariant masterbatches was completed in the independent laboratories of OWS nv (Gent, Belgium). There, it was determined the materials comply with the EN 13432:2000 standard for heavy-metal content and plant-toxicity. Clariant also is in the final stages of product evaluation for the highly desirable "OK compost" certification issued by AIB Vinçotte International (Vilvoorde, Belgium). The compostable products made at the Clariant facility in Sant Andreu de la Barca, Spain (near Barcelona) are expected to be certified in July. A plant in Pogliano Milanese, Italy, which already holds an "OK compost" certificate for a black masterbatch used mainly in agricultural film, will soon obtain the Vinçotte approval stamp for the whole range of new eco-friendly masterbatches it manufactures.

Vinçotte is an independent testing organization that has developed certification programs for compostable and bio-based products.

Any product featuring the "OK compost" logo can be assumed to comply with the requirements of the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EEC), which seeks to limit packaging waste. The "OK compost" certificate indicates conformity with approved production procedures and guarantees that only colorants and additives that pass strict testing for ecotoxicity are added to the biopolymer carrier resin.

"As interest in biopolymers grows, there is increasing demand for colors and additives with better environmental profiles," explains Hendrik Kammler, Head of Global Marketing - Additives, Clariant Masterbatches. "These new masterbatches incorporate conventional ingredients, while remaining compostable. They offer more color, processing and application options than available 'natural' components."

In 2007, Clariant introduced the first commercial line of all-natural color and additive masterbatches, featuring active ingredients made entirely from renewable resources. Colors included red, orange yellow and green, derived mainly from plants, but choices continue to be limited and light and process stability can be an issue in certain applications. The new RENOL-compostable and CESA-compostable masterbatches, on the other hand, give users an attractive middle ground: the performance and cost benefits conventional colorants and additives in a formulation that does not change the compostability of products made of the bio-based resins.

Clariant Masterbatches has been producing masterbatches for Novamont's Mater-Bi since 1995, with significant volumes used not only in black agricultural films, but also in shopping and garbage bags made from the material. Other application targets include packaging and single- or limited-use products like plastic utensils, drink cups and pens, where bio-based resins, such as PLA, currently are being specified.

Clariant Masterbatches products are marketed under the following global brand names: REMAFIN® olefinic masterbatches and compounds; RENOL® masterbatches and compounds based on engineering resins, styrenics and PVC; CESA® additive masterbatches; HYDROCEROL® chemical foaming and nucleating agents; OMNICOLOR® universal color masterbatches. These brand names are all registered trademarks of Clariant.

About Clariant:

Clariant is a global leader in the field of specialty chemicals. Strong business relationships, commitment to outstanding service and wideranging application know-how make Clariant a preferred partner for its customers.

Clariant is represented globally by more than100 group companies and employs about 17,500 people. Headquartered in Muttenz near Basel, Switzerland, it generated sales of CHF 6.6 billion in 2009. Clariant is organized into ten Business Units: Additives; Detergents & Intermediates; Emulsions; Industrial & Consumer Specialties; Leather Services; Masterbatches; Oil & Mining Services; Paper Specialties; Pigments; and Textile Chemicals. Clariant is committed to sustainable growth, which is derived from its own innovative strength. Clariant's world-class products and services play a key role in its customers' manufacturing processes or by adding value to their end products. The company's success is based on the know-how of its people and their ability to identify new customer needs at an early stage and develop innovative, efficient solutions.

Source: Clariant

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