Award, Company initiatives, Products

Evonik’s bio-polyamides game

Evonik wants to give some insight into their VESTAMID® Terra polyamide applications and so the company is currently holding a riddle contest.

Evonik’s Bigfoot named ECO is looking for castor bean plant

Evonik said it will have a series of 6 riddles over the course of the next 3 months, with a chance to win prizes by participating. I already joined this month’s riddle so good luck to me and to those entering the contest!

Now on to the more important stuff. VESTAMID® Terra is Evonik’s line of bio-based polyamides (PA 6,10; PA 10,10; and PA10,12) where the monomers are obtained partly or entirely from castor oil. The products are typically applied in injection molding, fibers, powder, extrusion and films.

VESTAMID® Terra HS (PA 6,10) is based on 62% bio-renewables and can be an alternative to mass polyamides such as PA 6 or PA 6,6 and long-chain niche products. VESTAMID® Terra DS (PA 10,10) is based on 100% bio-renewables and can be an alternative to long-chain high-performance polyamides PA 12 and PA 12,12. VESTAMID® Terra DD (PA 10,12) is said to contain between 45% and 100% bio-renewables and can be an alternative to PA 12 and PA 12,12.

Evonik, in fact, has been expanding its VESTAMID® Terra capacity in Shanghai, China, since last year with a new compounding facility and expanded polymerization capacity.

The last time the blog posted about bio-polyamides was in February when DSM announced that its biobased PA 4,10 EcoPaXX Q-HGM24 is now being used in the engine cover of Mercedes Benz A-Class engine.

DSM said it introduced EcoPaXX in 2009 in order to meet increasing market demand for high performance durable bio-based engineering plastics. As like most other bio-based polyamides currently commercialized, the renewable feedstock that DSM uses is based on castor oil.

This month, DSM said its development partner MF-Folien GmbH successfully introduced a new polyamide film based on DSM’s EcoPaXX PA 4,10. Potential applications include flexible food packaging, building and construction, medical, aviation and shipping. According to MF_Follen, the EcoPaXX polyamide 4,10 films are strong, transparent with high puncture resistance, have reduced moisture transmission rate and comparable oxygen barrier compared to PA6 film.

Last month at the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers (AFPM) international annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, the blog has been able to talk to representatives of Radici Group about their Radilon D polyamide 6,10 range of products. The polyamide is made with 64% bio-based materials (sebacic acid from castor oil to be exact).

Other castor-based PA producers the blog recalls include Rhodia (Technyl eXten: PA 6,10); BASF (Ultramid Balance PA 6,10), Arkema (PA 11 under the RILSAN brand), DuPont (Zytel PA10 and PA 6,10).

Demand for renewably-sourced materials is said to have risen substantially in recent years, according to Evonik. The company also has a purely castor oil-based Nylon 10,10 powder under the trademark TEGOLON ECO 10,10, which it launched in late 2011. The polyamide particles are being used in cosmetic formulations.

By the way, for those who are unfamiliar with polyamides (like me), notice the common denominator in most of the biobased polyamides is PA10 – which is composed of 100% castor oil-based PA. Arkema is the only producer of PA11, also purely bio-based made from castor oil.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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