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Trifilon heralds the next generation of biocomposites

If you’re reading this publication then you may have encountered the term biocomposite, which designates a large family of materials composed of something bio and something not. What you may not know or fully understand is what a wide net the term casts both in terms of materials and their performance. And the fact that those technologies have evolved and exist on a spectrum of performance greatly impacts something you may already know or guess about biocomposites – that they promise sustainability merits simply because they have plant-based feedstocks.

If a first generation of biocomposites is described as accepting limited mechanical properties because they involved plant-based material in their recipes for other reasons than performance, then we’d like to tell you about the second generation. By beginning with performance in mind, the Nyköping-based Trifilon has created and made commercially viable new biocomposite technologies that match or enhance mechanical qualities of conventional materials and mark the advent of that second generation. And with its business set up to develop and market new green technologies, the young company has already begun exploring what a commercially viable third generation might be. And they can show you a prototype if you’re at Plastteknik Nordic in Malmö this year.

First generation technologies often repurpose byproducts from other production streams – as for example sawdust, wood chips or fibers – and use them as inexpensive fillers in a plastic matrix. That recipe greatly delimits mechanical properties in part because the cellulosic components fall short mechanically and are not optimally bound to other components in the composite. Those were great materials for their era considering cost, the upcycling of a waste stream, and the impact on CO2 footprint. Just think of the technology’s prevalence in WPC decking. But those biocomposites are generally plagued by low strength, high brittleness, and increased weight. And so because these biocomposites have limited applications, their eco-merits aren’t scalable. CO2 reduction is limited to the material used for decking or other applications where decreased mechanicals can pass.

But because it can be used in a wider variety of applications, a second generation “functional biocomposite” stands to have a much larger immediate influence on sustainability.

Functional biocomposites are characterized by the cellulosic fiber component acting as a true reinforcement, improving the overall performance of the compounded matrix. A pivotal point for Trifilon was the molecular analysis of key elements in its compound and tracing how these materials interact with each other. The insights from this process can lead the way for where biocomposites can be applied in the near future.

“We can now do things with biocomposites that were previously impossible, and the queue of new grades from our material laboratory is stacking up,” says David Sandquist, the company’s new Chief Research Officer.

Trifilon itself represents a new generation of material companies that has performance and sustainability as its business model. Trifilon describes its approach to technology development as holistic. It critically considers all components of its biocomposite compounds and can do so because the company is independent from single-source commodities. Trifilon is not owned by any agricultural or forestry industry, for example. That freedom means the best possible components are considered for any raw material categories. And the company sees that as essential for its brand.

The promise of the company’s technology has attracted talented new personnel, such as David Sandquist who comes from the VTT Research Centre in Finland. It has also attracted capital investment, which the company has used to build a unique production system. This system benefits from a number of innovations from fiber chemistry and bio-refining to compounding technology with its complex periphery upstream and downstream systems.

The focus of the company on functional composites has helped it attract collaborative partners like RenCom whose technology produces thermal plastics from lignin, a byproduct of the forestry industry. Christopher Carrick, CEO of RenCom, said the collaboration may result in a new generation of commercial biocomposites in which all ingredients are derived from bio-based feedstocks. 

“In the last ten years the market realized it doesn’t want petro-based polymers. So companies like Trifilon were able, economically, to develop performance-based compounds as a way to satisfy that demand. What we intend to do is fully, incrementally replace all fossil ingredients, but still make a performance-based compound. That’s the next generation, for the next ten years,”said Carrick. Trifilon will show the fruits of their collaboration with RenCom – a hemp-fiber biocomposite that uses lignin-derived thermal plastics – at Plastteknik Nordic in Malmö.

At Trifilon’s new Nyköping factory, which has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes annually, the client list and order stock increase daily. The company was pleased to announce recently that it had begun supplying materials at a competitive industrial scale. 

“Now we can fine-tune materials, not only for mechanical needs and production requirements, but also for aesthetics, colors and haptics. Our clients appreciate that flexibility,” says Jeremiah Dutton, Chief Sales Officer.

Last year the World Wildlife Fund highlighted Trifilon’s materials as one of the top 10 climate-solving technologies in Europe. The recognition verified and quantified the sustainability benefits achievable with the new biocomposite technology. 

“All of us at Trifilon are happy to be a leader in this emerging product category and proud that Sweden leads the way for next generation bio-materials,” says Martin Lidstrand, Trifilon’s CEO.

Questions? 

Please contact Vincent Cavalier:

vince@trifilon.com

+46 70 293 95 78

Erteco signs distribution deal with Trifilon for BioLite®

Erteco has signed an agreement with Trifilon regarding the sale and distribution of the company's bio-composite material BioLite® in the Nordic market and the Baltic countries. BioLite® is a so-called functional biocomposite, i.e. it contributes to both better strength than ordinary unfilled PP through fiber re-inforcement, and less climate impact with a lower CO2 footprint than similar re-inforced materials.

Pleasingly enough for the environment and the climate, sustainability questions are becoming increasingly prioritised on company  corporate agendas, including the choice of materials for new applications. Both Erteco and Trifilon see that the market for more sustainable materials is growing and that many companies are moving from words to action to to an increased extent.

Brenntag releases NYLAFORCE

Brenntag has introduced two PA6-based products for the substitution of PA66 to compensate for the lack of market access. NYLAFORCE has been specially developed for demanding technical applications and is a very good alternative to PA66 for applications and components in vehicles, construction and construction, E&E etc. Brenntag Nordic offers a wide range of polymers, additives, fillers etc.


“We cooperate with Brenntag Nordic, because we have good and innovative R&D discussions. In addition, Brenntag has a broad product portfolio, ”says Gitte Larsen, Aage Vestergaard Larsen

Bioextrax cuts production costs of bio-based PHA by half without compromising on quality

PHAs are microbiologically accumulated polyesters and are environmentally friendly substitutes to fossil based polymers. They have similar material properties as polypropylene (PP), one of the most widely used polymers in the plastics industry. Moreover, they are biocompatible and water resistant with broad applications in polymer industry and medicine. Further, they are carbon neutral, biodegradable and do not release any toxins while being degraded. For these reasons, PHAs are considered the most promising bioplastic. However, the current production of PHAs is small, as PHAs are up to 4 times more expensive to produce than their fossil-based equivalents using existing methods. Of the total production cost, more than one-fourth relates to the extraction of PHAs from the producing bacteria cells.

 

Bioextrax has a patented solution to carry out the extraction. The unique feature of

 

Bioextrax’ technology is that:

  1. It is completely biobased, free of chemicals and solvents
  2. It produces intact PHA granules, and
  3. It leaves a nutrient-rich solubilized non-PHA bacterial biomass as a co-product (20-50 wt% of cell biomass).

This means that we can reduce the production cost significantly, while producing a higher quality product in a more environmentally friendly way.

 

“The unique thing about our method is that the whole process from raw material to finished plastic is completely bio-based and carbon-neutral. The process will be cheaper than other solutions because the by-product from the process can be sold as animal feed, for example,” says Edvard Hall, CEO of Bioextrax.

Trifilon heralds the next generation of biocomposites

If you’re reading this publication then you may have encountered the term biocomposite, which designates a large family of materials composed of something bio and something not. What you may not know or fully understand is what a wide net the term casts both in terms of materials and their performance. And the fact that those technologies have evolved and exist on a spectrum of performance greatly impacts something you may already know or guess about biocomposites – that they promise sustainability merits simply because they have plant-based feedstocks.

If a first generation of biocomposites is described as accepting limited mechanical properties because they involved plant-based material in their recipes for other reasons than performance, then we’d like to tell you about the second generation. By beginning with performance in mind, the Nyköping-based Trifilon has created and made commercially viable new biocomposite technologies that match or enhance mechanical qualities of conventional materials and mark the advent of that second generation. And with its business set up to develop and market new green technologies, the young company has already begun exploring what a commercially viable third generation might be. And they can show you a prototype if you’re at Plastteknik Nordic in Malmö this year.

First generation technologies often repurpose byproducts from other production streams – as for example sawdust, wood chips or fibers – and use them as inexpensive fillers in a plastic matrix. That recipe greatly delimits mechanical properties in part because the cellulosic components fall short mechanically and are not optimally bound to other components in the composite. Those were great materials for their era considering cost, the upcycling of a waste stream, and the impact on CO2 footprint. Just think of the technology’s prevalence in WPC decking. But those biocomposites are generally plagued by low strength, high brittleness, and increased weight. And so because these biocomposites have limited applications, their eco-merits aren’t scalable. CO2 reduction is limited to the material used for decking or other applications where decreased mechanicals can pass.

But because it can be used in a wider variety of applications, a second generation “functional biocomposite” stands to have a much larger immediate influence on sustainability.

Functional biocomposites are characterized by the cellulosic fiber component acting as a true reinforcement, improving the overall performance of the compounded matrix. A pivotal point for Trifilon was the molecular analysis of key elements in its compound and tracing how these materials interact with each other. The insights from this process can lead the way for where biocomposites can be applied in the near future.

“We can now do things with biocomposites that were previously impossible, and the queue of new grades from our material laboratory is stacking up,” says David Sandquist, the company’s new Chief Research Officer.

Trifilon itself represents a new generation of material companies that has performance and sustainability as its business model. Trifilon describes its approach to technology development as holistic. It critically considers all components of its biocomposite compounds and can do so because the company is independent from single-source commodities. Trifilon is not owned by any agricultural or forestry industry, for example. That freedom means the best possible components are considered for any raw material categories. And the company sees that as essential for its brand.

The promise of the company’s technology has attracted talented new personnel, such as David Sandquist who comes from the VTT Research Centre in Finland. It has also attracted capital investment, which the company has used to build a unique production system. This system benefits from a number of innovations from fiber chemistry and bio-refining to compounding technology with its complex periphery upstream and downstream systems.

The focus of the company on functional composites has helped it attract collaborative partners like RenCom whose technology produces thermal plastics from lignin, a byproduct of the forestry industry. Christopher Carrick, CEO of RenCom, said the collaboration may result in a new generation of commercial biocomposites in which all ingredients are derived from bio-based feedstocks. 

“In the last ten years the market realized it doesn’t want petro-based polymers. So companies like Trifilon were able, economically, to develop performance-based compounds as a way to satisfy that demand. What we intend to do is fully, incrementally replace all fossil ingredients, but still make a performance-based compound. That’s the next generation, for the next ten years,”said Carrick. Trifilon will show the fruits of their collaboration with RenCom – a hemp-fiber biocomposite that uses lignin-derived thermal plastics – at Plastteknik Nordic in Malmö.

At Trifilon’s new Nyköping factory, which has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes annually, the client list and order stock increase daily. The company was pleased to announce recently that it had begun supplying materials at a competitive industrial scale. 

“Now we can fine-tune materials, not only for mechanical needs and production requirements, but also for aesthetics, colors and haptics. Our clients appreciate that flexibility,” says Jeremiah Dutton, Chief Sales Officer.

Last year the World Wildlife Fund highlighted Trifilon’s materials as one of the top 10 climate-solving technologies in Europe. The recognition verified and quantified the sustainability benefits achievable with the new biocomposite technology. 

“All of us at Trifilon are happy to be a leader in this emerging product category and proud that Sweden leads the way for next generation bio-materials,” says Martin Lidstrand, Trifilon’s CEO.

Questions? 

Please contact Vincent Cavalier:

vince@trifilon.com

+46 70 293 95 78

Erteco signs distribution deal with Trifilon for BioLite®

Erteco has signed an agreement with Trifilon regarding the sale and distribution of the company's bio-composite material BioLite® in the Nordic market and the Baltic countries. BioLite® is a so-called functional biocomposite, i.e. it contributes to both better strength than ordinary unfilled PP through fiber re-inforcement, and less climate impact with a lower CO2 footprint than similar re-inforced materials.

Pleasingly enough for the environment and the climate, sustainability questions are becoming increasingly prioritised on company  corporate agendas, including the choice of materials for new applications. Both Erteco and Trifilon see that the market for more sustainable materials is growing and that many companies are moving from words to action to to an increased extent.

Brenntag releases NYLAFORCE

Brenntag has introduced two PA6-based products for the substitution of PA66 to compensate for the lack of market access. NYLAFORCE has been specially developed for demanding technical applications and is a very good alternative to PA66 for applications and components in vehicles, construction and construction, E&E etc. Brenntag Nordic offers a wide range of polymers, additives, fillers etc.


“We cooperate with Brenntag Nordic, because we have good and innovative R&D discussions. In addition, Brenntag has a broad product portfolio, ”says Gitte Larsen, Aage Vestergaard Larsen

Bioextrax cuts production costs of bio-based PHA by half without compromising on quality

PHAs are microbiologically accumulated polyesters and are environmentally friendly substitutes to fossil based polymers. They have similar material properties as polypropylene (PP), one of the most widely used polymers in the plastics industry. Moreover, they are biocompatible and water resistant with broad applications in polymer industry and medicine. Further, they are carbon neutral, biodegradable and do not release any toxins while being degraded. For these reasons, PHAs are considered the most promising bioplastic. However, the current production of PHAs is small, as PHAs are up to 4 times more expensive to produce than their fossil-based equivalents using existing methods. Of the total production cost, more than one-fourth relates to the extraction of PHAs from the producing bacteria cells.

Bioextrax has a patented solution to carry out the extraction. The unique feature of 
Bioextrax’ technology is that:

1.It is completely biobased, free of chemicals and solvents

2.It produces intact PHA granules, and

3. It leaves a nutrient-rich solubilized non-PHA bacterial biomass as a co-product (20-50 wt% of cell biomass).

This means that we can reduce the production cost significantly, while producing a higher quality product in a more environmentally friendly way.

“The unique thing about our method is that the whole process from raw material to finished plastic is completely bio-based and carbon-neutral. The process will be cheaper than other solutions because the by-product from the process can be sold as animal feed, for example,” says Edvard Hall, CEO of Bioextrax.