Thursday, June 20, 2013

China's PHA industry enters new stage of development

Metabolix, a bioscience company focused on delivering sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, announced on March 26, 2013 that it has signed a distribution agreement with Tianjin GreenBio Materials Co., Ltd. (GreenBio). Under the terms of the agreement, Metabolix will distribute GreenBio's SoGreen™ heat shrink film in Europe and will be the exclusive distributor in America. In addition, they have also signed a supply agreement for PHA biopolymers, according to CCM’s latest monthly report, Biomaterials China News issued in June.

According to Bob Engle, the vice president of the business & commerce department of Metabolix, the distribution and PHA supply agreements will extend the range and availability of Metabolix's PHA products. Lu Weichuan, chairman and chief executive officer of GreenBio, said that working with Metabolix can gain greater exposure for GreenBio's products in America and Europe. The cooperation between GreenBio and Metabolix will be an encouragement for the domestic PHA industry, indicating that China's PHA industry enters a new stage of development.

Actually, China is a leader in the research and commercial production of PHA in the world. According to the secretary general of Shenzhen Plastics Industry Association, PHA is a general name of polyhydroxyalkanoates materials, and there have been four generations for industrial PHA products at present. A representative product of the first generation is PHB homopolymer, and the brittleness limits the large-scale use of this product. In order to improve the processing ability of PHA, other generations of PHA have been developed, such as PHBV, PHBHHX and P34HB.

At present, domestic major institutes involved in the development of PHA include Tsinghua University, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, CAS, and Shantou University. The major companies engaged in industrial production of PHA include GreenBio, TianAn Biologic Materials Co., Ltd. (TianAn Bio), Shandong Ecomann Technology Co., Ltd. (Ecomann) and Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Lukang Pharmaceutical). These institutes and companies have cooperated with each other in recent years to achieve significant improvement in the PHA industry. The above-mentioned companies have put several production lines into operation, but currently they are cautious toward the PHA capacity expansion.

It's believed that three factors may prompt the biodegradable PHA plastics to be gradually accepted by consumers. Firstly, the production cost of PHA plastics is close to that of petroleum-based plastics. Generally, the cost of bio-degradable plastics is several times higher than that of general plastics, but now the technological improvement helps cut the cost of bio-degradable plastics. Secondly, the properties of some PHA plastics are similar to those of the general PP and PE, such as Ecomann's P34HB plastics. Besides, there are more than 150 kinds of PHA monomers which can be used to produce various kinds of plastics, meeting special demands for elasticity and plasticity, so the application scope of PHA plastics is nearly as wide as that of general plastics. Thirdly, the people's awareness of environmental protection improves, helping increase domestic demand for biodegradable materials, such as agricultural film which can be degradable in the soil. It's reported that Ecomann's PHA agricultural film and pesticide packaging have been promoted in Jining, Shandong Province with the help of local government in the first half of 2013.

PHA is mainly used to produce tableware, lunch box, pharmaceutical packaging and agricultural film. Currently, domestic consumption volume of PHA is about 3,000t/a, while domestic PHA capacity is about 22,000t/a. In this context, the cooperation between domestic PHA producers and foreign companies will help promote the large-scale application of PHA products and accelerate the development of the domestic PHA industry.

Table of Contents of Biomaterials China News 1306:
China's PHA industry enters new stage of development
A breakthrough in China's bamboo fiber industry in May 2013
China's PAM industry faces disorder competition in 2012
Latest development of China's PLA industry in 2013
YFY Yangzhou's straw-based paper passes biodegradation test
Arkema successfully launches bio-based nylon 1010
Sichuan Vinylon launches PVA derivatives
The first phase of Jinhui Groups's PBS program enters pilot production
China's natural rubber price decreases sharply since Feb. 2013
Castor oil price may remain low in the next three months
China's import volume of fresh cassava decreases sharply in April 2013
China's PLA foreign trade improves in April 2013
A bio-based materials lab founded in Qingdao
Junxiu Biotech develops biodegradable artificial nerve material
CHINAPLAS 2013 held in Guangzhou from May 20 to May 23
Hainan and Guangdong jointly establish Bio-plastics Industry Alliance
Myriant achieves commercial production of bio-based succinic acid

Biomaterials China News, with 12 to 14 topics in one issue, published by CCM on 8th every month, will bring you the latest information on the market dynamics, company dynamics, new biomaterials products, new biomaterials technology development, new legislations as well as policies and raw material supply dynamics, which are shaping the significant market intelligence of the industry.

CCM is dedicated to market research in China, Asia-Pacific Rim and global market. With a staff of more than 150 dedicated highly-educated professionals, CCM offers Market Data, Analysis, Reports, Newsletters, Buyer-Trader Information, Import/Export Analysis, and consultancy service. 

For more information, please visit

Guangzhou CCM Information Science & Technology Co., Ltd.
17th Floor, Huihua Commercial & Trade Mansion, No.80 Xianlie Zhong Road, Guangzhou 510070, China
Tel: 86-20-37616606

No comments: