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Bio-on issues licences enabling the production of MINERV-PHA™ to produce:
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a linear polyester naturally occurring as a result of bacterial fermentation of sugar.
This family can bring together more than 100 differing monomers to produce materials whose properties vary very greatly.
Thermoplastic or elastomeric materials can be created with melting points ranging from 40 to more than 180°C. MINERV-PHA is a high-performance PHA biopolymer.
MINERV-PHA is endowed with optimal thermal properties. Production needs which range from -10°C to a +180°C can be met through characterization. This product is particularly suitable for injection and extrusion methods for the production of objects.
It takes the place of highly pollutant materials such as PET, PP, PE, HDPE and LDPE.
The MINERV PHA increases its biodegradability factor in bacteriologically impure water. This type of polymer biodegradation is the future of biodegradability. The natural dissolution of a biopolymer in bacteriologically impure water (e.g. river water) in a few days is a rare and very difficult result to obtain. MINERV-PHA is the first biopolymer obtained from sugar co-products to achieve this important result. In just 10 days in normal river water, MINERV-PHA turns into river water or sea water.
Natural and inexpensive methods such as biodegradation in water are the future of biodegradability. Biodegradation in natural water sources (e.g. river water) is the easiest way to destroy and then recover the elements. This permits maintenance-free materials (no handling, transport or distribution). Biodegradation in water is even more beneficial than biodegradation in soil (compost). The process remains the same: natural decomposition by bacteria. In room temperature water this decomposition happens without being forced in any way, allowing complete biopolymer biodegradation in just a few days. If we combine these features with the initial "performance" of the biopolymer (strength, flexibility, printability), it is easy to understand the final product quality. PHAs are also the only plastics biodegradable in the ocean.
PHAs produced by BIO-ON
Using MINERV PHAs (Polyhydroxyalkanoates developed using beets) Bio-on has identified the possibility of producing a new family of naturally biodegradable polyesters derived from sugar beets. The MINERV PHAs logo identifies the product that will in turn be marked and protected by their specific characterization and subsequently sold or licensed to third parties.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs is a linear polyester produced in nature by bacterial fermentation of sugar. More than 100 different monomers can be joined by this family to create materials with extremely different properties. Thermoplastic or elastomeric materials ca be created with melting points ranging from 40 to 180° C. MINERV-PHA is a high-performance PHAs biopolymer. MINERV "spheres" in white represent the MINERV-PHAs biopolymer obtained from sugar beets. These elements are the result of bacteria nourished by beet juices. Recovery is the next step in the process (recovery of PHAs) when Polyhydroxyalkanoates are recovered and separated from the rest of the organic material of the cell. All waste materials (small amounts) are put back into the production cycle to feed new bacterial colonies along with the intermediate beet juice (exclusive Bio-on patent).
Bio-on makes on demand degrees of characterization.
Our laboratories select common, well-known plastic products to be characterized on the basis of Bio-on technology useful for producing PHAs from by-products of sugar beet or cane sugar.
List of known product macro families* whose technical characteristics are replicable by PHAs:
- Low density polyethylene (LDPE)
- High density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyvinylchloride (PVC)
- Polystyrene (PS)
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
(*) after identifying PHAs corresponding to the macro family (e.g. Polypropylene PP) specific characterization is performed to identify a further field of use of the precise mechanical, physical and thermal properties.
"OK Biodegradable Water" certification was granted to Bio-on's MinervPHATM bioplastic in 2008. This important recognition was attributed to Bio-on by Belgian body Vinçotte, one of the world's most important and authoritative certifying bodies, thus confirming the complete biodegradability of MinervPHATM in water at ambient temperature.
The MinervPHATM biopolymer, made through technologies owned by Bio-on using agricultural and agro-industrial waste and by-products as raw materials, was the first in the world to obtain such certification. Products certified OK Biodegradable guarantee natural (unforced) biodegradation in a natural freshwater environment and thus make a substantial contribution towards reducing refuse in rivers, lakes and seas. Biodegradation occurs through the action of bacteria colonies naturally present in all environments: the microorganisms attack the material, breaking it down and leaving no trace in the environment. The bacteria colonies and their concentrations differ depending on where biodegradation takes place (specific temperature, humidity, pH, oxygen, etc.).
"BIOBASED PRODUCT" label and certification assigned in 2014 to Bio-on's MinervPHATM by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Bio-on's biopolymer was tested by an independent certified laboratory and was found to be a biobased material 100% originating from agricultural, forest or marine ingredients.
The USDA's BIOBASED PRODUCT certification verifies that the renewable and biobased ingredients meet or exceed the criteria laid down by the USDA itself. Based on the results obtained from these tests, consumers can be confident of the precise quantity of organic content in the product and can therefore make better-informed and more conscious purchasing decisions.
Through this voluntary labelling based on an initiative of the USDA's BioPreferred Programme, companies can request the certification of their products, the biobased origins of which are tested and verified according to ASTM standard D6866 by independent third parties using a transparent, efficient and analytical control method.
Material Connexion
"Certificate of Material Excellence" from Material ConneXion: Certificate of excellence for MinervPHATM issued by a jury nominated by Material ConneXion in the "Naturals" category.
In 2015, MinervPHATM bioplastic was carefully evaluated by an international and interdisciplinary technical jury. Based on the results achieved, the biopolymer received the "Certificate of Material Excellence" and was included in the prestigious virtual "Materials Library" and displayed at Material Connexion's New York headquarters. This database is the world's largest tool for collecting and consulting innovative and sustainable materials and processes. This great archive, with its library of samples and its online database of thousands of items, aims to collect only the most interesting materials in terms of innovation, technical characteristics and potential for application.
Starting in 2016, Minerv-PHA will also be available through representative product samples at Material ConneXion's other libraries around the world, in Bangkok, Bilbao, Daegu, Milan, Skövde and Tokyo.
Material ConneXion, part of SANDOW, is a consultancy firm for materials and innovation worldwide that helps clients create the products and services of the future through smart materials and Design Thinking. Material ConneXion is the trusted consultant for Fortune 500 companies, and for forward-thinking agencies and government bodies seeking a creative, competitive and sustainable margin. With premises in Bangkok, Bilbao, Daegu, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Skövde, Material ConneXion's international network of specialists provides a global and inter-sector perspective on materials, design and development of new products, sustainability and innovation.
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