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BioFoam: The first CO2 neutral foam in the world

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Beleggingsadvies 10/02/2017 09:55
Netherlands-based Synbra Technology bv invented and patented the first 100% bio-based foam that, says the company, is both environmentally friendly and CO2 neutral. CO2 Neutral certification is currently pending.

BioFoam is a PLA-based particle foam developed in 2006 by Synbra Technology bv, a Dutch manufacturer of EPS, or Airpop, as this is now called. BioFoam is similar in structure and has more or less the same properties as Airpop, but is derived from 100% renewable resources. It will therefore not ‘add’ CO2 to the atmosphere when composted or during biodegradation. Hence, while the ‘green’ credentials of BioFoam have long been established, Synbra Technology is now also pursuing BioFoam’s certification for CO2 neutrality according to the PAS 2060 standard, the standard for carbon neutrality launched in 2010 by the British Standards Institution.

Earlier, in 2009, as the first foam to do so BioFoam already received Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certification, as well as a material health certificate stating that it is free of CMR substances (substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) from Michael Braungart’s Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA). According to a statement from the company, the foam’s CO2 neutral certification is now being ‘finalized’, which will make it the world’s first particle foam to receive Carbon Neutrality verification in compliance with the PAS 2060 standard.

While biodegradable and industrially compostable at high temperatures, BioFoam is a durable product that is suitable for long-term use in virtually all technical and packaging applications. Without addition of a flame retardant it meets the Euro class E fire standard. Unlike any other particle foam on the market, only CO2 (taken from the atmosphere) is used as a blowing agent. No VOC’s are emitted during production. BioFoam is a certified food contact approved material.

Synbra Technology is a member of the Synbra Group, a group to which a number of converting companies also belong. Through these companies, Synbra Group wants to become the leading supplier of sustainable and biodegradable particle foam. Synbra Group companies, such as IsoBouw, Synprodo, Plastimar and Styropack, are already using the BioFoam material in series production for the white goods sector, ice cream packaging and the pharmaceutical sector, amongst others. Some recent applications are Alabastine (Akzo Nobel) trays for tubes (DIY market), Zandonella ice-cream box (Germany), Greeny ice-cream box (Italy), Cryostore (cold chain boxes), IsoBouw (Deco- Bio) and Termokomfort (BioFoam pearls).
In December 2016, BioFoam E-PLA was approved for use in the entire range of a large furniture retail chain. The foam has also been approved as filler protection in furniture products. In January 2017, it was also approved as a buffer protection material by several white goods producers.

Besides its own production facilities, Synbra is setting up a network of pioneering partner companies in the USA, the UK, Italy and in other European countries and is seeking coverage in strategic markets. The existing distribution and production network already offers BioFoam moulded products as a valuable and sustainable addition to the existing range of particle foam products.

Purac is de leverancier van de PLA.(red.)

Synterra PLA

In 2011 the first plant to use a new polymerization technology for PLA that was developed by Sulzer Chemtech and Purac Biochem and built by Synbra Technology in the Netherlands has started industrial production of Synterra® PLA grades. In this way Synbra Technology has secured an integrated raw material stream for the further development of BioFoam® E-PLA; a foamed product made from this PLA. The new plant has a capacity of 5.000 ton/year: it is using L & D Lactides from Purac, produced from GMO-free plant feedstock, 100% bio based.

To support the further development of BioFoam®, Synbra Technology will produce several commercial PLA grades for various applications as compounding, injection moulding, extrusion, etc. Synterra® PLA is called a 2nd generation PLA due to its High Temperature Resistance properties. With this move Synbra intends to take a leading position in Europe as supplier of sustainable and biologically degradable polymers from renewable sources.

Synbra has received the Cradle to Cradle Silver certification for the production of BioFoam® & Synterra®. This is the world's first Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) based product and world's first bio-based foamed product to receive this certification.

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