Calysta Energy and NatureWorks collaborate to transform methane into the lactic acid building block for bioplastics






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Multi-year research and development project is aimed at feedstock diversification, innovatively utilizing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.


Edited by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 6/25/2013 4:52:11 PM





Calysta Energy and NatureWorks have entered into an exclusive, multi-year collaboration to research and develop a practical, world-scale production process for fermenting methane-a potent greenhouse gas-to lactic acid, the building block for Ingeo, lactide intermediates and polymers made from renewable materials. If the collaboration results in the successful commercialization of this first-of-its-kind technology, the cost to produce Ingeo would be structurally lowered, and the wide range of Ingeo based consumer and industrial products could be produced from an even broader set of carbon-based feedstocks, complementary to what is already in use by NatureWorks.

 

A greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society’s organic wastes and is produced from such activities as waste-water treatment, decomposition within landfills and anaerobic digestion. If successful, the technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources. Determining the feasibility of methane as a commercially viable feedstock for lactic acid may take up to five years, according to NatureWorks.

 

Calysta EnergyFeedstock diversification for Ingeo

“If proven through this R&D collaboration, the new technology could be revolutionary because it will provide alternatives to the current reliance on agricultural feedstocks, and with the direct conversion of methane, it will greatly simplify the number of steps and operations needed to convert carbon into performance consumer products,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “This could structurally lower the cost of producing Ingeo.”

 

Currently, Ingeo relies on carbon from CO2 feedstock that has been fixed or sequestered through photosynthesis into simple plant sugars, known as “first generation materials.” NatureWorks’ flagship facility in Blair, Neb., uses industrially sourced corn starch, while its second facility currently in planning for a location in Southeast Asia will use cane sugar. In parallel with the collaboration, NatureWorks is continuing its broad technology assessment of “second generation” cellulosic sources of carbon. In the case of Southeast Asia, opportunities exist for harvesting cellulosic sugars from bagasse, an abundant lignocellulosic byproduct of sugarcane processing.

 

The research and development collaboration with Calysta Energy relates to NatureWorks strategic interests in feedstock diversification and a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform. Calysta Energy is developing its BioGTCT (biological gas-to-chemicals) platform for biological conversion of methane to high value chemicals. For NatureWorks, methane could be an additional feedstock several generations removed from simple plant sugars. The project will wrap up with an evaluation of potential sources of a methane feedstock for commercial scale production of lactic acid.

 

The evaluation will include criteria such as purity, availability, price, location to customers, GHG sequestration potential and environmental and energy impacts. Feedstock diversification supports the organization’s goal of utilizing the most abundant, available and appropriate sources of carbon to produce Ingeo for the local geographic region served by a NatureWorks’ production facility.

 

We are pleased to be partnering with NatureWorks, an industry leader in renewable technology and biopolymer business development,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Calysta Energy. “Calysta’s proprietary technology enables a novel route from a significant greenhouse gas to high-value industrial chemicals such as lactic acid. This approach demonstrates the power of biology compared to chemical transformation. Specific products, such as lactic acid, would be extremely difficult to make economically from methane using traditional catalysts.

 

“Calysta technology offers NatureWorks a competitive advantage through excellent product performance at a lower cost, and we look forward to a productive collaboration. This exclusive project validates our value proposition of converting existing, proven biological pathways to advantaged feedstocks.”
The companies will share commercialization rights for select products developed under the agreement.

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PureCircle announces ambitious 2020 sustainability goals






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 6/12/2013 9:23:32 AM





PureCircle, a leading producer and marketer of high puC - daily - PureCircle_logo.jpegrity stevia products, announced today that it has expanded its Sustainability program and set an ambitious 2020 goal to reduce carbon, water, waste and energy use across its supply chain from farm to sweetener.

These goals mark a significant commitment to making a positive impact on the food and beverage industry’s environmental footprint and helping to tackle the global obesity challenge. PureCircle’s efforts will enable a cumulative reduction of the food & beverage industries’:

       • Carbon emissions by one million metric tons by 2020
       • Water consumption by two trillion liters by 2020
       • Calories in global diets by 13 trillion by 2020

 

When setting these ambitious commitments, PureCircle drew from the industry leading work it has undertaken to measure its carbon and water footprint. PureCircle was the first in the stevia industry to measure and publish results of the carbon and water footprint from farm to sweetener.

 

In Fiscal 2012, it completed its second carbon footprint, which together with the 2011 study formed the basis for the 2020 goals. These goals show that PureCircle stevia has a significantly lower environmental footprint than other natural mainstream sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), beet and cane sugar) based on publically available benchmarks.

 

Building on the progress the company has already made to reduce its carbon emissions and water use, the 2020 goals layout PureCircle’s commitments to have zero untreated waste to landfill and support 100,000 farmers by 2020. PureCircle‘s own vertically integrated supply chain, allows for innovation and traceability from farm to final stevia ingredient.

 

Ajay Chandran, Global Marketing and Sustainability Director said: “It is PureCircle’s vision to lead the global expansion of stevia as the next mass volume natural sweetener that is grown, processed and delivered in a way that respects people and the planet. Our 2020 goals, published today, demonstrate this vision in action. Our customers and consumers can be assured of our long-term commitment to further embedding sustainability principles and practices across our integrated supply chain, which will result in improved products with a reduced impact.

 

“As the world’s largest stevia producer and supplier, we recognize the unique role we can play in helping the food and beverage industry to reduce its impact on the environment and tackle the global obesity challenge, with our goals articulating the significant role we can play in this respect.”

The 2020 goals serve as an important next step in PureCircle’s sustainability journey, following the company’s publication of its Sustainability Commitment in 2011 and first Carbon and Water Footprint in 2012.

 

To learn more about PureCircle’s 2020 Sustainability Goals, visit: http://purecircle.com/company/corporate-social-responsibility/our-2020-sustainability-goals







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Additive improves clarity and performance in PET packaging






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 6/4/2013 3:52:30 PM





ColorMatrix, a subsidiary of PolyOne Corp. and a global leader inB - Additive improves  - Amosorb .jpg liquid color and additives for plastics, today launched AmosorbTM Plus, a high-performance oxygen scavenging solution for PET packaging. Amosorb Plus offers enhanced container clarity to help customers achieve aesthetic and recyclability goals.
PolyOne is featuring Amosorb Plus and additional ColorMatrix specialty solutions at Chinaplas 2013 this week in booth 11.2E21.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to satisfy marketplace needs, we developed the next generation of improved clarity oxygen scavenging technologies,” explained Steve Chai, managing director for Asia Pacific, ColorMatrix. “Amosorb Plus offers customers the proven protection they have come to expect from AmosorbTM, with improved aesthetics, superior optical clarity and reduced haze for enhanced recyclability.”

Because it is based on a previously approved technology, Amosorb Plus does not require the complex regulatory approval procedures of a completely new material, allowing customers to improve speed to market while also enhancing performance.

Amosorb Plus is a crystallized PET-based concentrate with a built-in catalyst to promote oxidation. It offers product protection for non-carbonated foods and beverages for up to six months or longer, depending on the container design. With Amosorb Plus, customers can tailor shelf life while reducing container weight for raw material and transportation savings.

“Our customers are looking for materials that deliver added value in addition to first-class product protection. This solution accomplishes both objectives. It helps improve container clarity, a growing requirement for products like teas and fresh fruit juices, while maximizing recyclability with reduced haze characteristics that are in line with global requirements for sustainable packaging solutions,” added Chai.







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Sustainability  credentialing program






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations editor — Packaging Digest, 5/28/2013 4:04:01 PM





The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) InstituC - AIChE Inst. for Sust.- rrr.jpgte for Sustainability is offering specialized credentials for sustainability professionals. IfS is responding to the growing demand for specialized knowledge in aspects of sustainable industrial practice.

 

According to Deb Grubbe, chair of IfS and president of Safety Solutions, LLC, the credentialing effort has brought together an advisory council of industry executives, academics, and government and NGO leaders to shape a program built on existing curricula and real-world lessons from companies.

 

AIChE’s Institute for Sustainability is reasonably well positioned to establish a baseline definition of what Sustainability entails, as well as to establish a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the field of sustainability. The body of knowledge at the heart of the new sustainability credential is based on AIChE’s Sustainability Index.

 

The Sustainability Index focuses on seven areas critical to a world class sustainability effort: strategic commitment, innovation, environmental performance, safety performance, product stewardship, social responsibility and value chain management.

 

The Institute has also conducted a market analysis, and our results say that younger engineers, in particular, are very interested in such a credential.

 

The credentialing program will distinguish recipients as qualified experts in sustainability, and will be supportive to those engineers who aspire to the Professional Engineering License. The program is also planned as a way to help companies control training costs by pooling expertise and having resources that have been evaluated for quality readily available.

 

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Institute for Sustainability, chaired by Deborah Grubbe, president of Safety Solutions, LLC, is bringing together an advisory council to launch a program that offers engineers and other qualified professionals a specialized credential in sustainability. The advisory council is composed of industry executives, academics, and government and NGO leaders.

 

This assessment is the first step towards helping to develop your credential and enhancing your profile as sustainability professional.

 

 

Click here to go to the survey.







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Global market for advanced packaging is growing






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 5/28/2013 3:46:34 PM





The global market for advanced packaging solutions that includes active, controlled, intelligent packaging, and advanced packaging components was at $31.4 billion in 2011, according to a report from BCC Research entitled Active, Controlled, and Intelligent Packaging for Foods and Beverages — Focus on Active Packaging.

The market growth looks promising and the overall market value for 2017 is projected to be nearly $44.3 billion after increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8%. The market was dominated by controlled packaging, which had sales of nearly $12.4 billion in 2011. The expected CAGR for controlled packaging is 6% from 2012 through 2017, resulting in a projected market value of $17.6 billion in 2017. Active packaging was next in market sharB - Global- rrr.JPGe in 2011 with nearly $8.8 billion in sales; the anticipated CAGR for this segment of advanced packaging is 5.2%, leading to a market value of $11.9 billion in 2017. Advanced packaging components accounted for $6.5 billion of sales in 2011, and the market value for 2017 for this segment is expected to be at around $9.4 billion after rising at a 6.3% CAGR.

The intelligent packaging sales were nearly $3.8 billion in 2011 and could approach $5.3 billion in 2017 with a CAGR 5.6%. 

Consumer packaging is a vital component of contemporary living today, with food and beverage packaging making up the largest segment. Key megatrends, such as upgraded standard of living and demand for safety, convenience, health, well-being, and sustainability are creating long-term shifts affecting consumers’ lives, eating habits, and purchasing behaviors across many different markets, regions and demographics. These shifts, which started a decade or so ago, have forced a constant change of behavior in their manifestation. Globalization has had a tremendous effect as well on the regional markets; however, trends are to some extent also influenced by regional cultures, depending on the progress of the market in question. 

Companies engaged in manufacturing and selling food and beverage packaging must adhere as necessary to whatever regulations are in place or devised. Consumer acceptance is another key factor that manufacturers, retailers, and others involved in the industry should consider. For example, a sudden change in the regular packaging of a product such as meat or poultry might influence consumers’ purchasing of the product. Thus, the company that suddenly introduces a different packaging medium would have to provide detailed and relevant information to foster consumer acceptance of the new packaging. 

The increasing consumer demand for fresh and unaltered food has driven the integration of active packaging in the food and beverages industry. Active packaging uses a variety of techniques. Regional markets for active packaging of food and beverages have grown due to consumer preference for minimally processed foods that employ minimal or no preservatives. The convergence of global factors such as eating habits, health awareness, stress factors due to an overnight work culture, stricter regulations on food safety, and others have added to the transformation of food packaging. These factors have driven the growth of active packaging techniques in all regions.

Controlled packaging of food and beverages in the regional markets grew well during the examined period of 2010 to 2012. There is an expectation of sustained growth for controlled packaging in all regions, since the packaging techniques are focused primarily on retaining the freshness of everyday consumable products such as fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), dairy products, and other preprocessed foods for a particular segment of people.
The intelligent packaging market across all regions – North America, Europe, and emerging markets – increased substantially from 2010 to 2012 and is expected to sustain this growth for the next four to five years. A number of portentous activities, such as collaborative efforts and new product development in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the European and North American markets, were witnessed.

Global Markets for Active, Controlled and Intelligent Packaging for Foods and Beverages (FOD038C) covers the market for active, controlled, and intelligent packaging, including advanced packaging components. BCC’s analysis includes an evaluation of the market and market breakdowns (including by region and by application) for each advanced packaging type; a breakdown of the market into subcategories as the available data allows; market forecasting; and examination of regulatory aspects, innovations, challenges, patent details, market leaders, and market share of individual packaging types. In addition, the study discusses scientific advances, consumer behaviors, and market vibrancy. 

Market data is presented to show global market trends and growth. Data are statistically validated for present and future predictions. 

Source and publisher: BCC Research LLC, 49 Walnut Park, Building 2, Wellesley, MA 02481, Telephone: 866-285-7215; Email: editor@bccresearch.com.

Active, Controlled, and Intelligent Packaging for Foods and Beverages( FOD038C)

Target Date: May 2013 Price: $5450.00







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Bio-Board project promotes packaging recyclability






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 5/23/2013 4:11:34 PM





A EuroA - Bio-Board - rrr.jpgpean project called the Bio-Board project has been

instituted to develop sustainable protein-based paper and paperboard coating systems to increase the recyclability of food and beverage packaging materials. The BIO-BOARD project will build on past research that has revealed that whey protein coating can provide bio-degradable plastic layers that can replace existing plastic coatings in multilayer packaging and enhance their recyclability by separating the individual fractions of the multilayer packaging.

 

To this end, a tailored coating system based on the renewable raw material derived from agro waste and its technological application will be developed for extrusion coating paper, paperboard and cardboard to produce packaging materials. The base material for the coating will be innovative formulations based on proteins such as whey and residues from potato. Currently, half of the 50 million tons of whey produced annually in Europe from cheese production is discarded, while about 65,000 tons of dried fruit juice protein and 140,000 tons of dried potato pulp are produced during starch production annually within the EU that could be available for utilization.

The Bio-Board project coordinator Dr. Elodie Bugnicourt, from Barcelona-based IRIS (http://www.iris.cat), highlights that, “Bio-Board stands in response to the current demand from producers of coated paper, paperboard and cardboard manufacturers for a bioplastic that will enable them to substitute much of the currently used synthetic coating without compromising the barrier properties of the resulting packaging laminates and overcoming the current challenge to the recycling of such packaging. Bio-Board is based a holistic integrated environmental approach to increase the sustainability of materials and processes throughout their life cycle”.

The three-year project, which is composed by 14 partners from 10 European countries, has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) managed by REA Research Executive Agency under grant agreement n°315313.







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Excellence in Reusable Packaging award






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 5/7/2013 1:59:57 PM





The Reusable Packaging Assoc. is accepting submissions for its second annual Excellence in RA - RPA - ReusableAwardLogo- rrr.jpgeusable Packaging Award. The award is designed to recognize companies that have developed, supported, or implemented measurable and innovative reusable solutions in a business-to-business supply chain. Non-members as well as members of the RPA are encouraged to enter. Submissions will be reviewed by an independent committee of judges who are not members of the RPA.

“The award gives us another opportunity to highlight the measurable economic and environmental benefits of reusables,” said Jerry Welcome, President of the RPA. “Last year, we had a nice array of submissions from different markets and also from companies outside the US. We strongly encourage end users and suppliers from all industries to enter the competition.”

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 21, 2013. Eligible companies must have participated in the reusable packaging industry as of September 1, 2012. Companies will be judged on the quantifiable environmental and economic benefits of their reusable packaging solutions and services. Herman Miller Inc. won the award in 2012 for its reusable packaging initiative that is saving the company $46,000 annually in material and labor.

Submission forms are available at the RPA website http://reusables.org/2865/general/rpa-accepting-submissions-for-second-annual-excellence-in-reusable-packaging-award

The award is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Reusable Packaging Machinery Institute (PMMI) and StopWaste.Org. The winner of the award will be announced during PACK EXPO 2013 in Las Vegas.







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Green packaging material made from starch and clay






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 5/1/2013 10:24:50 AM





dA - Green packaging materialrrrr.jpg

A team of scientists at the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) led by Dr. Blessie A. Basilia has come up with a biodegradable food packaging material that protects food and extends its shelf while being kind to the environment. This is made possible, according to Dr. Basilia, via the science called nanotechnology in which things are structured at the atomic and molecular levels.

 

Clay comes in layers tightly held together, so it is processed first so that it can blend effectively with starch. In Basilia’s work, clay is treated with ions in a process called ion exchange which results in wider spaces between the layers of the clay. This treated clay is called organoclay or nanoclay, its commercial name. Nanoclay is blended with thermoplastic starch made from cornstarch to help increase the latter’s strength.

 

The clay-plastic blend goes through the same process and equipment in making petroleum-based plastics. The resulting product passed the migration test required for packaging films which means that the materials in the product will not contaminate the food it is in contact with.

 

Plastic food packaging protects and extends shelf life of food and offers convenience to consumers. However, plastics are not biodegradable and pose harm to the environment. When disposed of indiscriminately, plastics clog waterways and contribute to flooding. Plastics that find their way to oceans cause serious harm to marine wildlife which mistake them for food

 

Thus this DOST-developed green packaging technology will not only help address the disposal of food packaging wastes but will also benefit the packaging and plastic industries in the country.

Nanotechnology is one of DOST’s priority among emerging technologies through its sectoral council Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development which funded and monitored the project.

 







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WorldStar Packaging Awards 2014






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/23/2013 4:53:14 PM





WPO (World Packaging Organization) announced that the entries for WorldStar Packaging Awards 201C - Worldstar.jpgWorldStar Packaging Awards 2014 are based on the judges’ consensus that a pack is superior in its own right and better in its class, in execution, or innovation by comparison. 4 are open and will close on September 27, 2013. Considered the most important global packaging award, the WorldStar is based on the judges’ consensus that a pack is superior in its own right and better in its class, in execution, or innovation by comparison.

 

The judges consider the following criteria: protection and preservation of contents; ease of handling, filling, opening and closing; adequacy of information; sales appeal; graphic design; quality of production; economy of material and cost reduction; environment; ingenuity of construction; and adaption to local conditions (production, materials, market etc).

 

Winners of a Worldstar are also eligible to participate in three special categories: Sustainable Packaging Award, Marketing Award and President´s Award. According to Thomas Schneider, President of WPO, the award “illustrates the continuous advancement of the state of packaging and creates a continuously evolving standard of international packaging excellence from which others may learn”.

 

WorldStar Awards are presented only for packages that have already won recognition in a peer-reviewed competition in 2012 or 2013, normally organized by a regional or national association. Membership in WPO is not required but prior approval of the competition by WPO is necessary. Details about how to qualify competitions to enter can be found at www.worldstar.org.

 

The entry fee is €650 for the first entry; the fee for any additional packs is €500 each. The judging process of WorldStar Packaging Awards 2014 will be held in November 4, 2013, in Barcelona (Spain), during the second annual WPO Board meeting. “The expert panel of judges will compare all the projects and will select the ones that show to be superior in their category and market”, adds Schneider. The 2014 WorldStar Awards ceremony will be held in May 2014, during Interpack, in Düsseldorf (Germany).

 

For further information on entries and rules contact Rachel Brooks at rachel.brooks@iom3.org.

 







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Patent on algae bio-content polymers






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Posted by Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/23/2013 4:39:49 PM





Cereplast, Inc. , a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable bioplastics, hasCompany filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and TradeB - Cereplast.jpgTechnology transforms a range of low-cost algae into high-value bioplastic resins mark Office for algae bio-content polymers. Cereplast’s new patent filing falls in line with their overall intellectual property strategy and specifically protects its innovations on Algae related material.

 

This patent application is the result of several years of formulation and process development by the Cereplast research and development team. The Company first introduced the concept of bioplastics made with algae in 2009, commercialized Biopropylene® 109D in late 2012 and incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary, AlgaeplastTM, Inc., in early 2013.

Algaeplast will take over the development and manufacture of algae-based bioplastics to transform a range of low-cost algae into high-value bioplastic resins and renewable biofuels. The patent application was filed by Cereplast, but the use of the patent will be assigned to Algaeplast.

Cereplast Chairman and CEO, Mr. Frederic Scheer, stated, “This patent is one of many steps on our journey of developing this new category of plastic. We see a significant future ahead for the estimated over $100 billion algae biofuels and bioplastics industry, and we are firmly committed to protecting the intellectual property of the Company as we further our work. Considering there is a lack of algae bioplastic patents today, we strongly believe that our experience and research and development capability has allowed us to foresee the future of renewable plastics and carry out this valuable technology. 

 

“We also believe that our vision is starting to take shape with algae being on the verge of large commercial production for biofuels and bioplastic applications. Large companies in the airline industry and others are following the progress of numerous companies ready to commercially offer algae as a viable alternative to petroleum, both for fuel and chemicals. Algaeplast wants to be at the forefront of this new fuel and chemical revolution.”







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