Kaneka Biopolymer AONILEX®
Kaneka Biopolymer AONILEX® is bio-based and biodegradable yet strongly resistant to heat and hydrolysis and can act as a barrier to water vapour. It is the first ever 100% plant-based biopolymer to offer both flexibility and heat resistance. It exhibits a range of properties from hardness through to softness as well as a number of key characteristics of polyethylene and polypropylene materials. In addition printability and dye-ability are very good.
Its raw materials are biomasses such as plant oils, which are renewable resources. Polymers are accumulated in the bodies of microorganisms through strain development and fermentation technology. Kaneka Biopolymer AONILEX® is produced in a clean process whereby the polymers are refined and extracted. There are also prospects for the establishment of manufacturing technology utilizing biomasses not used for food as the primary ingredients. Kaneka Biopolymer AONILEX® is stable under every day usage conditions. At the same time, it is biodegradable in either anaerobic, aerobic or marine conditions in the natural environment, ultimately being converted into carbon dioxide and water. Because it is completely bio-based, it produces less carbon dioxide than fossil-based polymers and can contribute to the prevention of global warming.
Kaneka is refining resin mixes and moulding processes in a bid to further improve the strength and tear resistance of packaging films, especially agricultural mulch films and composting bags. The Company is aggressively pursuing market opportunities in high-durability moulded products such as bottles and containers, auto interiors and electrical equipment.
Biopolymers are environmental friendly materials that effectively reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Installed capacity for biopolymer products was approximately 3,500 tons in 2011 and is estimated to grow at around 16% per annum worldwide for an estimated production capacity of 12,000 kilotons in 2020. The new 100% plant-based biopolymer in particular represents a breakthrough product that is expected to generate strong demand. As such, Kaneka has positioned plant biopolymers as a key strategic development priority for the future.