Sid Carson Justin Schmader Charlie Hanecek Jesse Gadley
The chemical basis of most every commercial type of plastic used in industry currently is petrochemical. Fossil fuels such as oil are the primary source in the development and manufacturing of these materials, and as of recent years there have been a growing number of concerns over the use of and dependence on oil in everyday life. Many of today‟s modern conveniences would not be possible if not for the drilling, refining, and manufacturing of petroleum and other fossil fuels, but these fuels are not unlimited resources. They will all eventually run out. Not only this, but environmental concerns over all aspects of using fossil fuels for energy and production are also raised and need to be addressed. All of these concerns are tied in with the concept of Sustainability. In a basic sense, for civilization to live in a sustainable nature, the resources that it consumes must be used at a rate by which they can also be restored by the planet‟s natural cycles. The accepted definition of Sustainability today is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This encompasses many environmental concerns, such as producing waste, drying up sources of natural resources, etc . A movement in the plastics industry towards sustainability is the research and development of biopolymers. By definition, a biopolymer is an organic strain of polymer that is produced naturally by living things. This includes plants of many types, such as corn and soybeans, but can also come from different types of trees and even some bacteria . However, there are a few different classifications of biopolymers. Strictly speaking, a biopolymer is only the building block of the different types of bioplastics . A biopolymer can be used for more than just the formation of a processable plastic resin, but the plastics industry is mainly concerned with using these biopolymers to form more sustainable materials for mass plastic production. These naturally occurring structures are either produced by living organisms or are polymerized through the manipulation of renewable sources. Either is an effective, sustainable, and renewable method of creating plastic resins. One major advantage of these bioplastics is that they are also fully capable of biodegradation at accelerated rates, because of their naturally occurring structure. This means that parts and goods made out of these bioplastic materials can be produced from natural, renewable biopolymers, reducing the strain on the supply of fossil fuels; and at the end of the part‟s life cycle, it can be composted or disposed of in a manner that it will degrade back into water and carbon dioxide, reducing the waste produced from these commercial goods. However, an important distinction should be made between strict biopolymers and biodegradable polymers; a biopolymer is biodegradable in large part because of its chemical makeup, but a biodegradable polymer can be made up of a petroleum base and still be biodegradable to some degree. Therefore, a biopolymer is classified by how it is constructed or obtained, with biodegradability being a welcome effect of its structure, while a biodegradable polymer is classified as such because of its biodegradability, not its structure  . There are a multitude of bioplastics currently being researched and attempting to be commercialized, but only a few are actually being used for large scale production. Among these successful ones are Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polyamide (Nylon) 11, and Polycaprolactone (PCL).
Names, Structures, and Polymerizations Polylactic Acid (also known as Polylactide) is the most common biopolymer currently on the market. As such, it has a variety of brand names associated with it, such as Bio-Flex, Biomax, Cereplast, and NatureWorks .
org/wiki/File:Pla_synthesis. This applies to the rest of the biopolymers discussed as well. in the rest of the world. causing a very low molecular weight throughout the produced polymer. The method of polymerization is also unique in that it is usually conducted in more than one step. allowing it to obtain high molecular weights. which releases a water molecule in the process. Therefore. In the United States. two lactic acid molecules must be dehydrated. such as piping. This reaction does not produce water. Its tacticity. beets. boilers. with a methyl group and double carbon to oxygen bond. it is primarily taken from corn starch. Lactide is derived from sources such as starches in corn. is difficult to specify because of the multitude of different manufacturers and grades.Its chemical name is derived from the lactide molecule that it is polymerized from. pumps. with over 20 different grades of PLA available in pellets or powders. The polymer chain of PLA is made up of these molecules :
http://en. therefore. lactic acid cannot be directly polymerized in a long chain. as the water molecule formed when dehydrating the lactic acid breaks down the chains that would form. the lactic acid is formed into the lactide ring.wikipedia.png
The structure of the molecule is relatively unique. NatureWorks provides for a large share of the market and breakthroughs for PLA. and condensers.wikipedia. There has been research into copolymerizing PLA with Cysteine in order to form a scale inhibitor for applications that use hard water. potatoes. and other plants. To obtain a lactide ring molecule. The advantage of using
These lactide molecules are then processed through a ring-opening polymerization (addition reaction that involves the joining and breaking of rings through heat) to form a chain like this :
http://en.org/wiki/File:Pla_synthesis. What this copolymerized chemical would do is be added to water in small amounts to reduce or stop the scale buildup in the water handling processes because the chemical would eliminate or carry the chemicals that cause the scale buildup through the channel. sugar cane starches are used. For this reason. which then undergoes the ring-opening process and formed into long chains.
A few commercial types of this polymer are called Boltaron. What this reinforcing does is improve the heat resistance.. blown film extrusion. Its molecule looks like this. which includes PLA). seed. of plants” ). etc. sustainable resource that will also biodegrade at the end of its life cycle. as well as reinforced and conductive . The acid and amine act as the functional groups in the condensation reaction. A company at the front of PA 11 research and development is Arkema. and LACTEL (the latter is a general name of a line of biopolymers produced by DUCTEL Inc. extrusion blow molding or rotomolding. the polymer is “supplied in powder or pellet form. which is derived from crude oil. The main difference with PA11 is the source of the basic structure and the end structure of the monomer. In this case. displayed on the next page:
. using natural sources to enhance the properties of another natural material . PCL is primarily available in pellet form. and can be processed by injection molding. Another biopolymer being used for its sustainability initiatives is a variation of Polyamide. Normal grades of PLA are also being reinforced and enhanced through research to improve their strengths and advantages so that it will be able to compare with current thermoplastic materials. Their version of this polymer is named Rilsan PA11. and moldability of normal PLA grades.polymerprocessing.” It is also available in rigid. it is made from a renewable. as it falls under the category of polyamides. PA11 is polymerized much in the same way as the entire family of polyamides. extrusion. One such method is the research of reinforcing PLA grades with cellulose based plant fibers (“fibers obtained from the stem. Inc.PLA with this application is the same as any other biopolymer application. According to Arkema‟s Rilsan website. rigidity. and flexible grades. skin. PA 11 has very similar properties to that of PA6 or other materials in the Polyamide family. where it will degrade through the treatment procedures . It is produced from the ε-caprolactone ring molecule. It is also referred to as Nylon 11. known as Polyamide 11. A molecule with an acid group at both ends is reacted with two molecules that contain amine groups. Polycaprolactone is a biopolymer belonging to the polyester family. this can reduce molding cycles and increase the heat resistance of the molded material.com/polymers/PA11. semi-flexible. the chemical will mostly likely end up in some water treatment facility. Also. This is a particularly useful enhancement because of its sustainability angle. The monomer that makes up the PA11 chain is presented as such:
http://www. These molecules then react with of the acid and amine functional groups to produce the long chain of polymers. while the dashes outside of the brackets represent where one monomer ends and another starts.html
The (CH2)10 represents a CH2 group repeated ten times through the course of the monomer. Tone. the rate of crystallization within the polymer matrix can be greatly enhanced through the interaction of the polymer and the plant fiber.
polypropylene. polyethylene.org/wiki/File:Pcl_synthesis. it has been tested on most commercial polymers.png
PCL is also used as an additive for other polymers. there is even research into making traditional plastic materials take on properties of bioplastics. polyethylene
. This results in this monomer structure :
http://en.org/wiki/File:Pcl_synthesis. taking place as an addition reaction.wikipedia. Bio-Tec industries has a product available called Bio-Batch that is used as an additive in processing to make a traditional plastic material biodegradable in its end life in a landfill or a compost.http://en.
Biodegradable Additives Interestingly.wikipedia. specifically biodegradation.png
This is polymerized by a ring-opening process as well. which joins rings of the molecule together with heat to form the long polymer strands. Other bioplastics such as PLA use PCL as an additive to improve impact resistance and enhance biodegrading capability. It can also be used as a natural plasticizer for PVC . and specific ones include polystyrene.
While it is not biodegradable. it does not require the
. and polyvinyl chloride. so will the waste that is produced. some place where the plastic will be exposed microbes that will have attempted naturally to break down the polymer structure. it also will not degrade within the human body. petroleum based plastic bags are banned from being used in stores. scissoring the polymer chain and adding in nutrients and other organic compounds that weaken the polymer chain for microbial action to colonize in and around the plastic. However.
Overall Effects on Sustainibility PLA and other starch based biopolymers account for about 50% of the current market and usage of bioplastics. instead of form completely new and different polymer types.”
http://www. bioplastics and biodegradable materials are becoming more and more of a viable alternative to this because of the seeming unsuccessfulness of the recycling initiative (due to lack of participation or improper recycling procedures).html
The additive is not supposed to weaken the properties of the resin in any way. Bio-Batch will give you a biodegradable end product that will have indefinite shelf life until placed in an active microbial environment. as it is an FDA approved material for use on and in the human body. gradually replacing the traditional polyethylene bag. and the degradation process only begins and occurs in an environment like a landfill or a compost. this will in turn create less waste and pollution. The Recycling initiative was the route chosen for industry many years ago. what Bio-Tec is attempting to do is take the current industry standards and give them the beneficial properties of some biopolymers without adding much cost . it is classified as biopolymer because of its completely renewable origins. These microbes then secrete acids which break down the entire polymer chain. While it is derived from a petrochemical source. PCL has a large biomedical application range. Unrecycled material will be able to be composted when made from bioplastics. and will mesh well with the makeup and structure of the living organism it will be implanted in.biz/products. the process goes as follows: “… [our] technology expands the molecular structure of the plastic. It is currently in use for packaging and bags in supermarkets and stores. What this additive does is speed up this process.bio-tec. According to BioTec‟s explanation. One method of copolymerization of PCL involves the addition of a crosslinking agent to the polymer matrix in order to produce a safe scaffold for bone regeneration within the human body. One of the applications currently being researched and put into place is PCL as an implantable biomaterial. This is a different take on the biopolymer initiative. In the state of California. and when carried out properly and with the right equipment. it is completely biodegradable and therefore is classified as a bioplastic.  PCL‟s part in the sustainability platform is based off of its ease of biodegradability. a step that is being taken towards a more sustainable and renewable industry . the procedure is successful.terephthalate. such as a landfill. After the PCL copolymer is injected into the human body. It is used the same way as a colorant. As the production of plastic materials and goods continues to grow. PA11 is made from a vegetable oil derived from castor beans.
These three particular biopolymers are only three of a very wide range of different types. they are still dependent on oil and petrochemicals within the production chain . and the given values are from the ranges of 3000/sec to 5000/sec. toughness. however. The information for PCL was derived from datasheets that tested Solway PCL and Lactel PCL  . The combination of all of these properties gives a general insight into how the plastic will perform. The viscosities and degradation temperatures were found on the Moldflow database. The viscosity for PCL could not be obtained from any of the mentioned sources. possibly because proper testing has not yet been documented. heat capacity. which is in the processing range . This is useful because PCL and its copolymer are not harmful to tissue in the human body. Each one of them has a very wide and different range of properties and applications. Research into alternative fuels and replacing petrochemicals in other areas will ultimately determine how effective bioplastics and other sustainability initiatives end up being. The mold shrinkage value and flexural modulus for PCL was taken from Dow Pellethane 2102-90AR. There is. The information for Nylon 11 was referenced from a datasheet in which unreinforced Nylon 11 was tested  .presence of an external. however. The properties of these three biopolymers are a good indication on how bioplatics are being looked at today. Currently. These properties dictate if a polymer is suitable for specific application based off how the polymer performs in numerous standardized tests. They were chosen. as safer. when processing these materials. it also has to be pointed out that bioplastics are only one part of the sustainability initiative.5 million . to exemplify the disparities between materials and polymers within the biopolymer family.
Resin Properties The resin properties of a material are very important. yield point. more environmentally conscious alternatives to traditional resins and materials. This information is extremely valuable to designers and processers because it gives a basic understanding of how the polymer will function. and dielectric strength for each of the following resins were referenced from CES Edupack 2008 using the properties of the unfilled material . The information in the following chart corresponding to PLA was taken from Natureworks PLA polymer 3001D. Bioplastics. by 2012. They are the material of the future and must also be tested to give designers and processers a guideline to follow. impact strength. toxic crosslinking agent to harden and build within the body. The market for these types of polymers is projected to grow greatly over the next few years as well. PCL. If a specific value for a particular property could not be obtained. The following chart was constructed to demonstrate the properties of Nylon 11. which is a Polyester Polycaprolactone based material . that is projected to grow to numbers upwards of 1. which is a general purpose injection molding grade material . however. debate on how effective the current methods of producing bioplastics are in terms of sustainability. Biopolymers are no exception. it is estimated that approximately 85 thousand tons of bioplastics are commercially developed and used. The service temperatures.
. and PLA. however. are a single step towards this goal. A major point of bioplastics is that they are from renewable resources instead of petrochemicals. While this seems counterproductive. while the external crosslinking agent used for this process traditionally sometimes can be . while also providing a basis of comparison between different types of materials. and various other properties possessed by a certain material. These tests determine the modulus. then a general range of values were used. thermal conductivity.
stiffness. Bioplastics It is not enough to understand the properties of just a single resin or even one group of resins. It is crucial to understand the properties of a wide range of different polymer resins so comparisons between different resins can be made. A part will require that the resin it is constructed from meets certain specifications such as. and PLA compare to these commodity polymers? In the
. and hardness. With the current push in the plastics community to move towards using more biodegradable polymers. Designers look at a wide range of polymers to find one that will meet all of these specifications while remaining as inexpensive as possible. PCL. Other factors such as density need to be factored in when purchasing a resin to determine the final price of the quantity of plastic required. impact strength. So how do Nylon 11.Resin Comparisons: Commodity Thermoplastics vs. toughness. basically these are the plastics that biopolymers are going to the most beneficial in replacing. Plastics such as polyethylene. it is extremely important to draw comparisons between biopolymers and the commodity polymers most commonly used today. but not limited to. polypropylene. such as biopolymers. and polystyrene are used frequently in the plastic industry to create many disposable products. These comparisons are very important during the design process of a product. This means these are they materials ending up in landfills and on the side of the road. It is also important for mold designers to know the mold shrinkage of the material quoted to construct the part to design mold cavities and runner systems. It is important to make these comparisons early in the design process to avoid costly mistakes.
0.02 0.following graphs of density.04 0.045 0.015 0.05 0. tensile strength at yield.035 0.01 0.005 0 HDPE PP GPPS Nylon 11 PCL PLA
. fossil fuel based plastic based off several common material properties.025 0. This shows that there is a green plastic that could replace a commonly used. and glass transition temperature. it can be seen that the biopolymers compare well to the listed commodity plastics.
Nebraska is capable of producing 300 million pounds of PLA per year and the lactic acid plant there can produce 400 million pounds of lactic acid yearly.
. material can be purchased in everything from individual bags to a pallet level. Nebraska and has corporate offices in both the Netherlands and Japan. The company is considered one of the leading producers of biopolymers consisting of 100% renewable resources.Manufacturers Several of the major manufacturers of polymers are involved in the biopolymer frontier. The main goal of Natureworks is to provide all of their services to satisfy the customer while leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible. The manufacturers and compounders of biopolymers are on the cutting edge in a fierce competition to improve the renewability of plastics while retaining or increasing material properties. The company is supported just over 80 distributers that distribute to the United States. some companies have formed specifically as a biopolymer manufacturer. Natureworks LLC also has a manufacturing facility in Blair. As a general average the Ingeo biopolymers sell for around $1 per pound but this is a rough estimate for average because the price is heavily dependent upon the grade of the material. They also have additional distributors that operate all over the world. Companies such as Natureworks LLC. Minnesota. The facility located in Blair. Annual income of Natureworks LLC is not released due to the private ownership status of the company. Also.
Natureworks Natureworks LLC headquarters is located in Minnetonka. Companies such as Dupont and Bayer are involved in biopolymers. Focusing on the manufacturing of PLA Natureworks LLC offers a plethora of options in the biopolymer world in the form of Ingeo. dedicate their efforts toward the production and research of biopolymers. Depending on the supplier. Ingeo is Natureworks‟ patented line of biopolymers.
storing instructions.98 billion. In speaking to the project manager of the biopolymer department. This configuration allows for the much easier management due to the presence of subdivisions. and information dealing with specific material properties. Delaware along with a technology center. Ohio and Lamont. The additives are specifically tailored for use with PLA as well as the other materials offered such as the thermoplastic starches (TPS). handling instructions. The Biomax PTT sells for around $1.” Their office headquarters in the United States is located in Wilmington. processing guides. Services Dupont offers a full range of technical help and support depending on the amount and price of the material that was purchased. and specifications. disposal procedures.000 worldwide patents and over 14. storage. Illinois.50 and up depending on the grade and amount purchased. material property charts. “DuPont owns over 20.
Dupont Dupont is a worldwide corporation that exists in 70 plus countries. and material safety charts. The company formed from a collaboration of Cargill and Teijin Limited of Japan. The structure then becomes a vertical structure within the regional divisions.00 per pound depending on the grade. sales information is available from individual distributors. These materials are sold as the Biomax and BioStrong line of products which are Dupont‟s patented lines of biopolymer materials. uses. The most common materials that Dupont sells are injection molding grades of the materials.6 billion in revenue which created a net income of $2. Once formed. Grades for higher end applications can be very pricy . Services Technical services are available to aid in product selection. This partnership resulted in the formation of a vertical business structure that is owned partially by each of the groups mentioned above. These are primarily performed by phone consultation. Natureworks LLC acts as a standalone company yet is considered privately owned.000 worldwide patent applications. However.50 to $3. While Natureworks LLC itself offers technical resources. uses. process suggestions. Natureworks LLC offers a very useful technical resource database on their website. This database provides information specific to the Ingeo biopolymers including technical data. specific information on these products was obtained. Specifically. Services available to consumers include product testing. In 2007 Dupont gained $30.Structure Natureworks is a limited liability company (LLC).75 and is sold in 55lb bags as well as gaylords.. The Biomax TPS is only available in 55lb bags and ranges from $1. Local sales are dependent upon the region and the distributor. Biomax PTT and Biomax TPS are popular materials. Structure The corporation is headed by a board of directors and is comprised of a horizontal structure that has subdivisions due to regions. The company has resin distributors located in both Columbus. Although this takes
. These services are accomplished by Dupont‟s ability to perform a complete analysis by way of a full audit. The BioStrong products which include resins such as PLA are sold in all sizes from bags up and range anywhere from $1. handling.
The technology services strive to “weed out” all unrelated data and supply only the most pertinent information. This set up also allow for quick feedback to the upper tiers so that adjustments can be made. These groups are headed by a board of representatives which strings the divisions out in a horizontal business structure. The divisions themselves. Full technical services are available from material testing to guidelines on processing. A customer who purchases large volumes on a regular basis will be qualified for the highest level of full service including testing services from a full range of testing procedures depending on the customer‟s needs. seminars. Services The services that are available are dependent upon the “level” of the customer.5
Headquarters for Bayer is located in Leverkusen. product performance evaluation. Overall Bayer wants to improve life for mankind while putting focus on biotechnology when dealing with high tech materials.281 1. and use.
Bayer Material Science Net External Sales Gross Cash Flow Net Cash Flow
2006 2007 10. The totals services offered entail problem solving. consist of vertical business structures individual to that division. Germany and in the United States Bayer has a regional headquarters in Pittsburgh.435 1.7 +5. PA for material science as well as various locations throughout the country.228 1. By some sources. They are listed as a manufacture of PLA and are expanding research to improve on the environmental side of polymers. a sales representative and customer service is available at the Material Sciences regional headquarters in
Bayer Bayer is considered one of the largest suppliers of polymers in the market and is heavily researching biopolymers.
%Change +2. Dupont has been named the leading supplier of technical services on a global level. handling. The corporation is laid out into three subgroups one of which is high tech materials represented by the Material Science division. Structure Bayer is a global corporation. these divisions are broke down into regions that represent sites in specific areas. Furthermore.3 -10.some time the results are very thorough. The corporation deals with many venues and has a strong focus on material science and is a frontrunner in the global market.161 10. and other related services. such as Material Science. onsite services. If a customer is a lower level customer then they may only be offered consultation and problem solving services. The goal of this layout is to allow for centralized control that still allows the regions to be somewhat independent.147 Ref  Note: Values are in millions of Euros. Sales representatives and customer services are available nationwide in the United States depending on the service required and the region of both the customer and the facility.166 1. Locally.
the products made from degradable resins do see some degree of recycling. processing technology information. Any questions that are left unanswered will be referred to other branches if necessary. such as degradable bags and bottles. Even with some recourses complaining that the recycling of PLA can produce problems for the larger scale recycling of resins like PET and HDPE. the MRFs will have the ability to separate PLA so that it can mechanically or chemically be depolymerized into its monomer. though from limited resources. Then. the long-term motive of the plastics industry and environmentalist is to see the
. or municipal recycling facilities in strategic locations will separate the used PLA bottles into specific PLA bales meeting a preset specification. Especially ones that overlap products typically recycled. Recycling is an expensive and difficult process that turns used products into new ones. as the primary reason for the use of these materials is to dissipate to eliminate the need to recycle. Despite being more expensive. In addition. It is a suggestion to not include these materials in applications that do typically see a lot of recycling since they can augment to the economic burdens even in minimal amounts of contamination. for a predetermined price. Through their buy-back program. As it turns out. specific information on their products is available. some arbitrary independent studies have “verified” that PLA can subsist with negligible influence on the current recycling medium. It is inferred. everyday uses. Through these resources and a full online data base. and testing technology information that is obtainable to answer as many questions about the materials as possible. This NatureWorks program also makes possible an alternative “landfill waste division option” for the resin. the balance of the two seems to be heavily weighing toward the biopolymers and steering away from recycling. NatureWorks will purchase these bales and direct them to a suitable “end-of-life” purpose based on location of collection and popular market demands. 
Costs With the rise of technology and effort into naturally occurring plastics it is hopeful that the polymerization of these materials will continue to decrease in cost. This also denotes that one should take note when deciding applications for use of these materials. But as with any recycling process it is not cost effective to recycle. This means that when recycled bottles are received to again be recycled.  Despite the complexity in recycling. the other side of the sustainability platform is being researched. They can prove to hinder the performance of the primary material in bottles. NatureWorks has announced a plan for postconsumer PLA bottles that is designed to institute a large-volume "buy-back" system for the problematic resin. PLA can be sorted from other plastics using standard near-infrared equipment. that recycling these resins can produce yield loss from contamination and incompetent critical mass. Despite the primary reason for the initiative of biodegradable resins being introduced into common. The recyclability of biodegradable resins seems to be slightly odd. PET. ones that possess a degree of biodegradable material must be separated because of the losses associated with them. MRFs. As of late. This information includes case studies. Recycling of Biopolymers The two sides of the sustainability platform that happen to directly oppose one another are recycling and degrading of polymer materials. biopolymers offer even more levels of problematic scenarios while recycling.Pittsburgh. unless the critical mass can be achieved easily. It is said that through hydrolysis.
vegetable oil. it really depends initially how much those materials are that determines the end price of the synthetic plastic. they are much more expensive. 
. this base material would be roughly $18 to $24 per pound. starches.16 to $1.production of biomaterials as more economical and feasible than their oil-based contenders. As the fermentation and the generic engineering of plants as bioreactors becomes more and more studied to polymerize soy protein. the rising cost of agriculture products may hinder the ability of these materials to drop much in cost like hoped for. not all biomaterials cost as much as PCL. it can quickly be noticed that not only are these biomaterials more expensive. Sunshine Discount Crafts of Florida.  Taking a closer look at the cost of the biomaterials that are being studied in this paper. As showed in the graphs below. Glancing at PCL or Polymorph as it is often referred too. Since biomaterials are polymerized using many different materials such as corn and bacterial polyesters. The material called Friendly Plastic or Shapelock turns out to not have a very friendly price. the first thing observed is that these prices are measured in dollars per ounces rather than dollars per pound like most resins. and ShapeLock Plastics of California. To put this into perspective.50 per ounce. These values were found from The Compleat Sculptor Friendly Plastic in NYC. Some huge materials complexes have posted that PCL can range anywhere from $1. a steep decline in costs of these can be anticipatedly made possible. Despite being overly expensive. triglycerides and bacterial polyesters. cellulosics.
10 COST 5 0 PLA PCL GPPS HDPE PVC RESIN PET PA6/6 PHB PC
It is difficult to group the cost of all biopolymers into one because it is really a completely different process to polymerize each type of resin. However. the unstable price of crude oil continues to emphasize the growing need for renewable-resource-based substitutes. 
. fossil fuel based equivalents. biopolymers are 2 ½ to 7 1/2 times more expensive than traditional establishment resins.  Also. being a biopolymer. The cost of the Naturework‟s trademark Ingeo biopolymer (PLA) is analogous to other conventional plastics materials. as the preliminary stage of progress gets over and manufacturing plants conquer higher productivity. proving then downward spiral trend of bio-resin prices. biopolymers can cost anywhere from $4000/MT to as high as $15. Even if the biomaterials in general are more expensive than conventional resins of equal or better processability. the idea of the resin is to be easily depolymerized into the resin again and yet again made into a useful product. biopolymers were 35-100 times more expensive than existing non-renewable. Currently.85 to $1. Natureworks has even commented their prices competitive to that of PET and PS which happens to be in the range of $.However. which company executives estimate will save 800. As previously said.” as a quote from Smithsonian Magazine states. 
COST COMPARISON OF RESINS
25 COST PER POUND. Thus. from an overall price comparison standpoint. prices are projected to decline significantly. bio-resins will likely never peak the level of use of petroleum based polymers. it is other ways that the biomaterials pick up for the lack of price advantage. more commonly used biopolymers like PLA based polymer are at the lower end of the spectrum like Natureworks had noted.000 barrels of oil annually. Again. However. despite being the up and coming way of the plastics industry.00 per pound. to sum up the comparison in costs. biopolymers can have a huge drawback of higher pricing compared to conventional polymers. Yet. “Wal-Mart plans to use 114 million PLA containers a year.000/MT for material such as polyhydroxybutyrates (PHB). The Ingeo biopolymer has the potential to even become even more cost advantaged to standard resins. only five years ago. While the generally used polymers can be grouped to costing roughly around $1000 to $1500 per MT.
There is a very fine line between biobased and petroleum based resins.000 regular customers in 35 countries. South America. Not only local. and operational excellence. OEM. and solutions. addition of colorants and additives.Local Supplier/ Compounder The largest local supplier of Biopolymer resins is located in Avon Lake. 
Driving Force of Biopolymers In terms of what is driving Bio-Materials. commercial excellence. the corporation is taking a new chain of action in order to produce the materials. Impact Modification. and also a difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable resins. services. FR Technology. not all biomaterials are biodegradable or even all made utilizing biobased resins. Ohio. but PolyOne is the “world‟s premier provider of specialized polymer materials. however. This is how the material was polymerized. PolyOne emphasizes strategy in specialization.
. Europe. and Characterization. or consumer. and what PolyOne does is take the agricultural based polymer and uses downstreaming processing for the distribution. globalization. and Innovation & Image also contribute to the “need” for these resins. for the purposes of this report. The initiative is changing from a chemical industry to a bio chemical industry. In essence. PolyOne has greater than 10. the focus will be on PolyOne‟s Bio-Material Technologies. These outputs are then passed on to the processor. PolyOne uses a business model of the base polymer and the addition of additives and pigments to create custom compounding. the sustainability initiative plays a huge role. from oil or starches. and polymer distribution. including 51 manufacturing facilities and 13 warehouses in 20 countries.7 billion and have active operations in North America.” They boast yearly revenue of $2. “PolyOne connects raw material suppliers to market needs. PolyOne has many technological focus areas including Color Appearance & Sensory Technology. Offering more than 35. The base of the material is the beginning of life option of the polymer. and Asia.000 products. The price history of fuel cannot match a more stable alternative. The end of life option decides whether the resin can successfully be broken down into its harmless monomer or if it cannot “degrade. color and additive masterbatches. compounding. all are gaining momentum. and consulting to create the final component. etc.” The below charts thoroughly map out the possibilities of mixing and matching different beginning and ending of life options and what some example resins of each are.” 
Life Cycle As previously touched on.
Property of PolyOne. There has been and continues to be advancements in the addition of additives to make the materials useful and not just desired because of sustainability. Next. there are still very apparent market challenges presented to the inspiration. Property of PolyOne. 
Market Challenges Although the progression of biopolymers continues to grow. There is limited application of biomaterials for many reasons beginning with the simple fact of limited availability as most of the common resins are in a state of short supply for the actual demand of the resins. Problem resins also introduce difficulties during processing. the performance of the virgin material without the influence of additives is deemed as subpar. it is critical for the producer to understand exactly the consumer‟s specific needs and objectives of the desired biomaterial in terms of biodegradability and origin. the goal of
. putting all negatives aside.-Obtained from PolyOne PowerPoint from presentation at February 2009 SPE meeting.
As one might infer. However. poor intellectual properties.
-Obtained from PolyOne PowerPoint from presentation at February 2009 SPE meeting. and another significant disadvantage of these polymers is their cost which will be discussed later.
challenges present opportunities. where biomaterials could someday make a vital contribution into products such as computer housings. crystallization kinetics.
Technical Challenges/ Opportunities (Local Tech Services) PolyOne explains that the same properties of the biopolymers that present challenges are also the greatest areas for opportunity.”  Like the old cliché annunciates. sticking to metal. blister packs. density. It clearly shows that the initiative will likely progress to durables over time as advances in properties take place. What understandably possesses the greatest potential for opportunity is the product line of durables. Courtesy of Natureworks LLC. and any other package that is likely to be tossed along the roadside. cost. essentially throw-away. 
. and the simple “natural” appearance of the materials. degradation. The chart on the next page gives ideas that PolyOne would consider to implement the base resins to generate more useful properties out of them. low melt viscosity. The current and most likely application of the materials is integrated into short term. and vehicles components. bottles. The model below shows the relationship of where the materials are applicable to a designated timeline. Some of these areas include but are not limited to poor impact.PolyOne and others alike is to change the “material solutions from „neat‟ biopolymer resins toward complex compounds with extended functionality. disposable products such as food containers. cell phones. 
-From PolyOne presentation. coloration. odor.
-Obtained from PolyOne PowerPoint from presentation at February 2009 SPE meeting. Property of PolyOne. Property of PolyOne. and using crystallization. With that said. filler/fiber reinforcement. They explained that current approaches include stereocomplex formation of the polymer.-Obtained from PolyOne PowerPoint from presentation at February 2009 SPE meeting. and polymer blends. the objective was to improve the heat performance of PLA. However.
. The alternative solutions offered are crosslinking.
Case Studies One study that had presented particular interest to PolyOne was the PLA Heat Resistance Enhancement opportunity. the necessary PDLA isomer is not presently commercially available at a viable cost for the stereocomplex formation method. and efficient nucleants still do not provide required performances.
-Obtained from PolyOne PowerPoint from presentation at February 2009 SPE meeting. Property of PolyOne.Above shows the improvements in HDT which directly correlates to the Heat Resistance of PLA.
or railcars of material for any application. The only drawback is that the blends sometimes consist of a large portion of additives to biomaterial ratio. biopolymer solutions will continue to penetrate the existing market. 
. and economics. It can be seen that PolyOne has developed biopolymer blends with parallel performances to engineering polymers like polycarbonate.  Availability and Contacts The majority of the data for the local sales of biopolymers was obtained from PolyOne‟s presentation at the February 2009 SPE meeting. They produce masterbatches and can ship out gaylords. processability.The Performance Comparison graph displays the ranges of HDT and Notched Impact Izod Test to show the performance of the “solution” blends to the Heat Resistance problem of PLA. performance. The presenters and local sales persons that could be contacted are Roger Avakian and Jason Zhu. trucks. The services of PolyOne have been discussed in detail as they can mix the blends and send out material to the consumer. bags. it can be said that despite the growth being slowed by availability. Lastly. hence the link between raw material and the market needs.
how off spec is it. PA11) on sustainability 2) Available grades – replaced with explanation of plant fiber reinforcement and explanation of biodegradable additive 3) Volume Discount Schedule – replaced with technical challenges 4) 5 year price history – market challenges 5) Real price vs. published price – driving force of biopolymers 6) Price Negotiations – life cycle routes of biopolymers 7) Is off-spec material available at a discount.MATERIAL CONTENT REPLACED: 1) Domestic and Import Markets – replaced with overall effects of different materials (PLA. and cost for recycled material – case studies and different blends
com/search/datasheet.biz/products.html  Polycaprolactone o http://www.absorbables.asp?x=790  o http://en.wikipedia.ntnu.wikipedia.ca/english/View.cfm?pag=109  o http://www.html  o CES Edupack 2008 
“Copolymerization of PolyLactic Acid with Cysteine and the Potential Use of the Copolymer as a Scale Inhibitor in Hard Water” o www.ides.com/news/pla/nr070517.com/generics/pla.gc.org/wiki/Biopolymer  o http://en.pdf  Polylactic acid o http://en.wikipedia.com/generics/PCL.ides.aspx?MatGUID=ec7ea4063a2a4c7 09e89177103059919  o http://www.goodfellow.com/search/DataSheet.ppt 
Development of Plant Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid (PLA) Plastic
o http://www.wikipedia.htm  o http://en.htm  o http://www.matweb.org/wiki/Bioplastic  o http://en.worldcentric.aspx?MatGUID=c1d8836d69fc4cd c953f91040cd29425  General Information o http://www.org/wiki/Polycaprolactone  o http://www.bio-tec.htm  o http://www.natureworksllc.biobasics.com/product-and-applications/ingeobiopolymer/technicalresources/~/media/Product%20and%20Applications/Ingeo%20Biopolymer/Te chnical%20Resources/Technical%20Data%20Sheets/TechnicalDataSheet_30 01D_pdf.wikipedia.ashx  PA 11 o http://www.com/E/Polyamide-nylon11.arkema-inc.org/wiki/Sustainability  o http://en.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid  o http://www.no/users/skoge/prost/proceedings/aiche2004/pdffiles/papers/089e.toray.html  o http://www.html  Material Properties and Biocompatibility of Self-Crosslinkable Poly(caprolactone fumarate) copolymer as a Scaffold for Guided Tissue Regeneration o http://www.org/wiki/Ring-opening_polymerization  o http://www.com/properties.org/biocompostables/bioplastics  o http://www.net/bioplastic.matweb.wikipedia.
bayermaterialsciencenafta.dupont.php?p_faqid=64&p_created=10596 62994&p_sid=csndSZrj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9 zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfcm93X2NudD0yMjEs MjIxJnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHl wZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topview =1  Dupont o http://www2.com/upload/Literature/Biopolymerhasagoodgrowthpro spects.com/Plastics/en_US/Knowledge_Center/index.bayermaterialscience.plastemart.annualreport2007.htm  o http://www.dupont.pdfx  Nature Works o http://www.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.custhelp.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.aspx  o http://www.nsf/id/Tech nical_Support_en  o http://www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com/products/index.bayer.com/en/bayer_annualreport_2007.org/profiles/dupont/dupont4.bayermaterialscience.com/Biomax/en_US/  o Phone Interview 2/12/09 3:10 PM: Suzan Homan in management of Biopolymer development.dupont.  o http://www2.custhelp.cfm  o http://natureworks.com/businesses/OurLocations.html  o http://archive.com/Biomax/en_US/assets/downloads/biomax_strong.com/cgibin/natureworks.html  o http://www2.com/cgibin/natureworks.o Moldflow material database 
Bayer o http://www.corporatewatch.pd f  o http://nyjobsource.nsf/id/testin g_technology_en  o http://www.com/internet/global_portal_cms.com/internet/global_portal_cms.com/About-NatureWorks-LLC.htm#food_chain 
.com/dupont.php?p_faqid=271&p_created=1072 207417&p_sid=BJ1XHYrj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=&p_sp=c F9zcmNoPSZwX3NvcnRfYnk9JnBfZ3JpZHNvcnQ9JnBfcm93X2NudD0yM jEsMjIxJnBfcHJvZHM9JnBfY2F0cz0mcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfd HlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MQ**&p_li=&p_topvi ew=1  o http://natureworks.natureworksllc.asp  o http://www.
com/content/h861m8705632h010/  How Plastics Work o http://science.-
Poly One o http://www.com/enus/products/bioproducts/Pages/OnCapBIOAdditiv es.com/plastic6.html  NatureWorks o www.natureworksllc.org/bin/view/Main/Polymorph&usg=__n96Y Lvnxm4AfbH3XAnchJWwkMTA=&h=427&w=800&sz=132&hl=en&start= 12&um=1&tbnid=jhaY0ZsAyx9H2M:&tbnh=76&tbnw=143&prev=/images %3Fq%3Dprice%2Bhistory%2Bof%2BPolycaprolactone%26um%3D1%26hl %3Den  Corn Plastic to the Rescue –smithsonian mag o http://www.asp  *SPE February 2009 PolyOne presentation 
.jpg&imgrefurl=http://reprap.aspx  Biopolymers in the Existing Postconsumer Plastics Recycling Stream o http://www.com  Biopolymer has good global growth prospects-plastemart.polyone.htm  Polymorph o cap-polymorphftir.com/science-nature/plastic.smithsonianmag.springerlink.com o http://www.com/upload/Literature/Biopolymerhasagoodgrowthpro spects.plastemart.howstuffworks.