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Bio & Beyond is the strategy API has embraced since the development of the first biodegradable APINAT to the complete range of polymers and compounds with a high content of renewable sources. In response to the growing market and consumer needs for sustainable products, API is focused on the development of a wide range of biomaterials designed to reproduce its current products with a biobased version. These products are based on raw materials from renewable natural sources and will contribute to a reduction in CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions as well as in fossil fuels usage, to a better agriculture resources efficiency and finally to the development of the depressed rural areas no longer suitable for foodstuff cultivation.
Bio-based Bioplastics are all plastic materials that are created containing a certain percentage of renewable sources. In other words, being Bio-based means that the material is either partially or totally derived from biomass (plant derived), such as corn, sugar cane, sugar beet, cellulose or vegetable oils. Bio-based bioplastics offer two great advantages that make them stand out above traditional products derived from fossil fuels:
These benefits are measured by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), in accordance with the international ISO 14040 series. It is a methodology for evaluating the combination of interactions that a product has with the environment considering its entire life cycle from the production of raw materials required, to its final disposal.
As is shown in this graph of an LCA of APILON 52 BIO (TPU bio-based) compared against a Standard TPU, savings of 25% may be achieved in the consumption of non-renewable resources (ADP) with a decrease of emissions contributing to a 36% of global warming potential (GWP).
The process of biodegradability is defined as the degradation of plastic (in aerobic or anaerobic conditions) in carbon dioxide, water (or methane), mineral salts and biomass, or by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus and seaweed.
According to European standards EN 13432 and EN 14995 a material is considered to be biodegradable if it degrades by at least 90% within 6 months (180 days). UNI EN 14046 and ISO 14855-1 standards regulate testing for ultimate aerobic biodegradability under controlled composting conditions.
In these tests fine particles of APINAT BIO were placed in compost (a mixture of organic materials which promotes the development of microorganisms) and kept at constant temperature (58 °C) and humidity (40%) in the presence of oxygen.
The graph below shows an example of the biodegradability of APINAT BIO (APINAT BIO is shown in green; cellulose, used as a reference as it is 100% biodegradable, is shown in yellow).