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New pact to pair PLA and PHA

Amorphous PHA is a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance characteristics than crystalline or semi-crystalline forms.

20th June 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  South Korea

Medical/Hygiene, Industrial, Clothing/​Footwear

CJ Bio, a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang and a leading producer of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) is planning a collaboration with NatureWorks to develop sustainable material solutions based on Phact marine biodegradable polymers and Ingeo biomaterials.

NatureWorks has developed many of the leading high-volume applications for PLA, which in recent years has experienced significant growth in a broad range of finished products, including nonwoven fabrics.

Both companies realise the potential to further enhance the performance and end-use solutions for biopolymers, and increase the level of adoption across many new applications.

CJ Bio is the world’s leading supplier of fermentation-based bioproducts for animal nutrition, human nutrition and biomaterials at its thirteen manufacturing facilities worldwide. The company recently announced commercial-scale production of PHA following the inauguration of a new production plant in Pasuruan, Indonesia. It is the only company in the world producing amorphous PHA (aPHA), including the first product under its new Phact brand, named Phact A1000P.

Amorphous PHA is a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance characteristics than crystalline or semi-crystalline forms of PHA. It is certified biodegradable under industrial compost, soil (ambient), and marine environments. Modifying PLA with amorphous PHA leads to improvements in mechanical properties such as toughness, and ductility, while maintaining clarity. It also allows adjustment in the biodegradability of PLA and can potentially lead to home compostable products.

“Plastic is an essential material that improves  lives, but its fossil sourcing and after-use impact present a major climate challenge that must be addressed,” said Seung Jin Lee, head of the biomaterials business at CJ BIO. “NatureWorks and its Ingeo technology have already helped by bringing to market new material functionality and after-use options. It has extensive product and applications development capability, supporting, for example flexible and rigid packaging, that we believe can benefit from our Phact amorphous PHA technology.”

“The demand for sustainable products continues to grow around the world,” added NatureWorks CEO Rich Altice. “For more than 30 years, NatureWorks has participated in the circular economy, developing advanced biomaterials that contribute to a more sustainable future. We want to amplify the impact of our Ingeo technology with promising, new bio-based solutions, and with its Phact aPHA technology, CJ Bio is an ideal partner to achieve our goal.”

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