Turning CO2 into Plastic Packaging

by | Dec 15, 2009

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novomerA new technology from Novomer promises to use carbon dioxide as a feedstock for producing packaging and coating applications. Novomer says the the process uses half as much energy as traditional plastics manufacturing, reports Plastics Today.

Novomer, which along with Eastman Kodak intends to commercialize the process, received funding of $400,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, reports The Boston Globe.

The process could produce bottles and plastic shrink wrap that is used in numerous consumer packaged goods applications. The new plastic also offers an improved oxygen barrier, which will help preserve some sensitive perishable items.

The plastic also has improved impact resistance and stiffness, meaning that less plastic is needed. The resulting weight loss will have positive implications for energy and transportation costs throughout the supply chain, Novomer says.

The technology was developed at Cornell University.

In 2008, Novomer announced its first product, NB-180, a poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) sacrificial binder that the company says burns cleaner, more uniformly and at lower temperatures than other available products.

Novomer’s new product is not the only environmentally friendly plastic being developed.

In early December, Tetra Pak, known for its beverage and food containers, began working with a Brazilian petrochemical company to buy high-density polyethylene derived solely from renewable feedstock.

Also, Coca-Cola has begun the long-awaited global rollout of its PlantBottle and by the end of 2010 it expects to have sold more than 2 billion units.

The multi-brand bottler began testing the plant-based PET bottle earlier this year on the U.S. West Coast, under the Dasani water brand. The bottle is made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and as much as 30 percent plant-based materials in the U.S.

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