CJ BIO and NatureWorks to commercialize new biopolymer solutions
Image source: AIP.
CJ BIO and NatureWorks have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on advanced products based on NatureWorks’ Ingeo PLA and CJ BIO’s PHACT PHA technologies to meet the growing demand for sustainable materials in a wide range of markets.
The goal of the agreement is to develop high-performance biopolymers that will replace fossil fuel-based plastics in applications ranging from compostable food packaging and catering items, to personal care and beyond.
NatureWorks is a pioneer in developing bio-based materials that reduce carbon impact and enable new end-of-use options with its Ingeo technology. As a company, it has developed many of the leading high-volume applications for PLA. In recent years, PLA has experienced significant growth as a bio-based material in a wide range of end products.
Due to its unique functionality, it has been used to replace petrochemical plastics with 100% bio-based content and enables end-of-use recovery options including compostability and chemical or coated paper recycling.
Both companies realize the potential to further improve the performance and end-of-use solutions of biopolymers, and increase the level of adoption in many new applications. By combining their expertise and technology platforms, NatureWorks and CJ aim to deliver next-generation solutions.
Initial development and collaboration show very promising results when using CJ Bio’s unique amorphous PHA in combination with Ingeo biopolymer.
CJ BIO is a leading provider of fermentation-derived bioproducts for animal nutrition, human nutrition and biomaterials across its thirteen manufacturing sites worldwide. The company recently announced commercial scale production of PHA following the inauguration of a new production facility in Pasuruan, Indonesia.
CJ BIO is today the only company in the world to produce amorphous PHA (aPHA), including the first product under its new brand PHACT, 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 environment.
Modifying PLA with amorphous PHA leads to improvements in mechanical properties, such as toughness and ductility, while maintaining clarity. This also adjusts the biodegradability of the PLA and can potentially lead to a home compostable product.
“Plastics are an essential material that improves people’s lives, but their fossil supply and after-use impact present a major climate challenge that needs to be addressed,” said Seung Jin Lee, Head of CJ BIO, Biomaterials Business.
“NatureWorks and its Ingeo technology have already helped by bringing new hardware features and after-use options to market. They have extensive product and application development capability, supporting, for example, flexible and rigid packaging which we believe can benefit from our PHACT amorphous PHA technology. I’m excited to have the opportunity to create new solutions in tandem with NatureWorks that will have a real impact on the plastics challenge today, and help improve the environment for future generations.
According to NatureWorks CEO Rich Altice, the demand for sustainable products continues to grow worldwide.
“For more than 30 years, NatureWorks has been part of the circular economy, developing advanced biomaterials that contribute to a more sustainable future,” Altice said. “As we look to the future, we want to amplify the impact of our Ingeo technology with promising new bio-based solutions, and we believe that with its PHACT aPHA technology, CJ BIO is an ideal partner to achieve our goal.”
NatureWorks and CJ BIO will gather feedback from existing and potential customers across a range of applications and markets, including packaging, foodservice items and organics recycling management, to understand the growing need for functional products that also align with sustainability goals. These collaborations will inform the companies’ product and technology development roadmap.
The two companies say the letter of intent is the start of what should be a long-term relationship between NatureWorks and CJ BIO, and aim to sign a primary collaboration agreement in the near future.
For more information, visit www.cjbio.net/en/products/cjPha.do and www.natureworksllc.com.