Metabolix is developing biopolymers as performance additives. Metabolix biopolymer resins are miscible with a broad range of biobased and petroleum-based materials and can improve a range of performance attributes such as impact strength, heat resistance, barrier properties, processability and plasticization.
Polymeric modifiers for PVC. In PVC, a compounded product is typically formulated with about 20-40% performance additives used to improve the processability and performance of PVC products. Metabolix is developing biobased, polymeric modifiers for semi-rigid and flexible PVC compounds. We have shown that our polymeric modifiers can provide a step change in impact modification, plasticization and process modification when added to PVC. We have shown that our bioplastic polymeric modifiers have the potential to improve PVC impact resistance beyond that achievable with leading polymeric modifiers and at the same time serve as a non-migrating, non-phthalate plasticizer.
Polymeric modifiers for polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is a biobased, compostable aliphatic polyester used in a broad range of compostable applications including: food packaging, food serviceware, and textiles, and features a high tensile modulus but low toughness. Modifiers used today to improve PLA toughness often affect its compostability and lower the biobased carbon content. Metabolix has shown success in using compostable PHA polymeric modifiers to increase the toughness of PLA without reducing the biobased content or affecting compostability of the product. The PHA modified PLA shows an excellent balance of properties with the toughness that can be achieved by the leading non-compostable modifiers.
At Innovation Takes Root 2014, we presented new data on amorphous PHA biopolymer additives for PLA. These additives improve ductility and flexibility of PLA, while preserving the natural clarity and compostability of PLA. For more information, our presentation from Innovation Takes Root is available for download below.