NatureWorks drives biopolymer innovation

Open source strategy to spur adoption of biobased products

Low carbon footprint biopolymer specialist NatureWorks LLC is providing open source access to formulation and compounding procedures for its new high-heat, high-impact bioresin Ingeo 3801X in a bid to spur innovation and drive biopolymers more widely into injection moulding applications.

In a move that the company says borrows from the computer industry, full details of the patent pending recipes including impact modifier, crystallization accelerant and agents for reinforcement and nucleation are openly available to Ingeo customers.

"With the NatureWorks formulation in hand, independent speciality resin companies and brand owners with captive operations will be in a position to use Ingeo as the foundation for biobased injection moulded products and components," says Jed Randall, NatureWorks product manager. “Furthermore, the details of the formulation can serve as a basis for research and development in further tailoring biobased solutions for the semi-durable segment of the plastics market."

Ingeo 3801X bioresin is 80% biobased and can be used as a low carbon footprint injection moulding alternative material to oil-based plastic.

"Just in the last 18 months we saw a critical mass developing around Ingeo biopolymer from resin to retail," says Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks president and ceo. "Ingeo production capacity has doubled to 140 million metric tons of resin. Ingeo is within variable cost parity of oil-based plastics, and brand owners, retailers, and consumers are becoming genuinely focused on lowering overall carbon footprint, which is spurring product development."

Companies