An agreement has been signed between BASF and Red Avenue New Materials Group that licenses it to manufacture and sell biodegradable compostable aliphatic-aromatic co-polyester (PBAT- polybutylene adipate terephthalate) according to BASF quality standards.
As part of the agreement, Red Avenue New Materials Group will establish a 60.000 mt PBAT plant in Shanghai using BASF's process technology in return for access to this raw material, which BASF will sell as ecoflex®. Production at the new facility will begin in 2022 and the product will be supplied to the biopolymer market.
The global market for biopolymers is expected to grow by about 15 percent per year
Positive market development is expected to continue, with new laws and regulations mandating the use of compostable materials in packaging, mulch films and carry bags applications.
Olivier Ubrich, head of BASF's specialty polymers business division, said: “The bio-polyester ecoflex® and the innovative ecovio® are making important contributions to this long-growing market. We will strengthen our position significantly with additional PBAT capacities. We chose Red Avenue because of Red Avenue's desire to develop the Chinese market and our long-standing good relations. “This collaboration will enable us to meet our customers' needs more effectively and increase our delivery flexibility.”
The BASF biopolymer ecoflex® was introduced in 1998 and is certified as compostable according to DIN EN 13432 and ASTM D6400. It is used as a blend with other renewable raw materials to combine ecovio®, BASF's certified compostable biopolymer. The renewable raw material content means that ecovio® is partially bio-based. Typical applications for Ecovio® are organic waste bags, cling film, fruit and vegetable bags, agricultural mulch films and food packaging applications.
ecoflex ® is an ideal blending component for the production of plastics from renewable raw materials and enables many end applications in the first place. Thus, ecoflex ® provides the bio-based and compostable BASF polymer ecovio ® with special product properties such as flexibility and toughness.
In addition to PLA, it can also be used with other ingredients such as starch to achieve a specific characteristic profile for the final application. The high ecoflex ® content is particularly suitable for the production of flexible film products in the packaging industry. Mechanical properties such as hardness or puncture resistance can be changed and custom adjusted.