Biopolymer Processing Technologies by Pira International Ltd

By Pira International Ltd

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Polymers are preferred over metal or glass as long as the cost-performance balance remains favorable. Polymers provide performance attributes such as light-weight parts, impact strength and durability, corrosion resistance, transparency and many other attributes across many markets including packaging, automotive parts, furniture, construction, coatings, and many other markets. The current global production level of all polymers is about 240 million tons. Although the current recessions in North America and Europe have impacted economic growth, overall polymer growth will continue robust on a global basis, exceeding 5% CAGR.

Can biopolymers be converted back to feedstock for recycling the raw materials? • Clean Air Act/Clean Water Act may need new supporting data; what is the impact? g. g. ‘Biopolymer’ or ‘Biodegradable’? • How will the use of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) to change crop strains or fermentation organisms affect status of biopolymers? • BioPreferred – USDA; under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, Legislation goals: • To increase the government’s purchase and use of biobased products.

Despite advances in biopolymer research, biopolymers are still in the early stages of development and will only be considered as an alternative if cost, performance or legislated regulations allow it. Today, biopolymers represent less than 3% of all polymer production worldwide. However, as fossil-fuel costs increase relative to bio-based materials, and as biorenewable materials become a more important aspect of improving environmental sustainability, there will be an ever-increasing need for biopolymers.

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