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Metabolix Conducted Presentation on Biodegradable PHA Barrier Coatings at Papercon

Published on 2015-04-24. Author : SpecialChem

CAMBRIDGE, Mass – Metabolix an advanced biomaterials company focused on sustainable solutions for the plastics industry announced that data was presented highlighting research describing the properties of aqueous, biodegradable PHA barrier coatings in development for paper and cardboard applications. Metabolix Director of Extrusion Applications, Michael Andrews, Ph.D. presented the data at PaperCon held from April 19-22, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. PaperCon 2015 is organized by TAPPI, the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging and converting industries.

Through a joint research program with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center located in Natick, Mass., Metabolix has been focused on developing a biobased, Mirel® polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) based latex coating that can be used in paper coating processes to improve the moisture barrier and wet strength of paper articles used in the production of water resistant shipping containers and waste bags for naval vessels. The research shows that optimized drying and heating of the PHA coating results in significant moisture resistance, achieving 30 minute Cobb values less than 10 gsm. The results also show that the PHA coating produces good oil and grease resistance as determined using the Kit test. Furthermore, the use of optical and scanning electron microscopy showed that the aqueous coated samples closely resembled a melt-coated paper substrate with a continuous and homogenous coating. These results support further investigation of the potential to coat paper with the PHA latex on a continuous coating line to determine if similar moisture properties can be demonstrated.

"We believe there is significant need for innovative barrier coatings for paper and cardboard in packaging applications, and that the biobased nature and broad biodegradation profile of our Mirel PHA may represent a unique solution for this application space," said Max Senechal, Metabolix's vice president of strategy and commercial development. "Our research shows that our Mirel® PHA can provide moisture and grease resistance performance as a barrier coating. In addition, our PHA is compatible with composting or re-pulping to recycle paper and cardboard after use. We look forward to continue the advance development of our PHA technology and processes for barrier coatings."

Overview of Metabolix PaperCon 2015 Panel Presentation:

Title: "Properties of Aqueous PHA Barrier Coatings for Paper and Paperboard Applications"

Panel Session: Barrier Coatings

Michael Andrews, PhD., Director of Extrusion Applications of Metabolix presented data showing:

• An aqueous based latex coating material based on Metabolix PHA copolymer with D50 particle size of 1-3 microns and incorporating a non-ionic polymeric stabilizer

• Testing of samples with paper coat weights ranging from 10-30g/m² indicated significant improvement in moisture and grease resistance

• Microscopy investigations indicated that optimization of the drying conditions followed by heat treatment of the PHA latex coating resulted in a more uniform paper coating which produced better moisture resistance.

About Metabolix

Metabolix is an innovation-driven specialty material company focused on delivering high-performance biopolymer solutions to customers in the plastics industry. Metabolix's Mirel® biopolymers, which are derived from renewable resources, are a family of biobased performance additives and resins based on PHA (polyhodroxyalkanoates). Metabolix's proprietary biotechnology platform enables the creation of resins and compounds for use in a broad range of applications such as construction and packaging materials as well as industrial, consumer and personal care products.

Source: Metabolix 

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