ONWIN/C&M will develop compatible capsules based on green PBS that can be used by the packaging and the food industry. It will respond to the increasing consumers concern on environmental issues and answer their demand for safe food products.
Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is expected to become an important source of bio-based material for food packaging in the coming years. PBS is produced with monomers obtained by bacterial fermentation: succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol that can be synthesized from succinic acid.
Main characteristics of PBS
PBS is a rubbery (soft) semi crystalline polymer with a glass transition temperature (Tg) around -30°C. These characteristics locate PBS between Polyethylene (Tg -120°C) and polypropylene (Tg -10°C). With a melting point at 110°C, PBS can be considered as a standard thermoplastic which can be used in a large range of applications between -20 and 100°C. The cristallinity and the semi polar structure confer a good rigidity to this soft polyester. The high crystallisation rate allows high speed industrial processes, as it is the case for polypropylene. From a thermomechanical point of vue PBS is close to polyolefins and very far from PLA.
PBS oxygen transmission rate is close to the one of PLA. PBS is considered as a middle oxygen barrier, and a middle/poor water barrier. Compared to polyolefins, which show bad oxygen barrier and good water barrier, PBS is drastically different; it can be globally considered close to PLA.
Sensitivity to hydrolysis
Degradable soft polyesters such as fossil based PBS have been primarily designed for biocompostability or natural biodegradation at end of life. In that scope, the sensitivity of polyesters to hydrolysis was not an issue. In the situation of soft polyester introduction in packaging market the case is obviously different and adapted solutions of polymer stabilization must be developed.
A sustainable packaging material
A sustainable packaging is a packaging with reduced impact on the environment due to its low carbon footprint.
The production of succinic acid has a reduced impact on the environment for two main reasons:
(1) It is obtained from glucose fermentation originating from bio sources such as wheat, maize and beets. Its environmental performance will improve in the coming years with the introduction of second generation glucose from lignocellulosic resources.
(2) The environmental performance is improved compared to lactic acid by the fact that its synthesis involves the consumption of atmospheric CO2: the production of succinic acid has a lower carbon footprint than lactic acid.
New packaging material needs to guarantee food safety and quality: it should contribute to the microbiological stability of the food, maintain organoleptic and nutritional qualities of the food and prevent migrations from the packaging materials to the food.
SUCCIPACK will address these requirements by:
(1) Developing materials with controlled barrier and permeation properties,
(2) Evaluating its aroma scalping behaviour,
(3) Investigating PBS migration behaviour with the adaption of predictive tools to PBS transfer modelling and,
(4) Monitoring microbiological and quality indicators in different foods produced packaged with the PBS materials.
ONWIN/C&M will soon develop new production line for all our compatible capsules including:
CM02 nespresso compatible capsules;
CM11 nespresso compatible capsules;
CM08 dolce gusto compatible capsules;
CM13 Dolce Gusto compatible capsules;