Materials and technologies – March 2024

09 April 2024

ASTM International revision of biobased testing standard
ASTM International has revised standard D6866 that gives test methods for assessing biobased carbon content. The standard is used by the US Department of Agriculture, among others, to certify products based on their biobased content.

Packaging from unconventional feedstocks
Continuous research is conducted on polymer manufacturing from unconventional sources.
Researchers at IIT Roorkee have developed structural colour-based sensors from sugarcane bagasse, offering solutions for intelligent packaging. An article about the research is published by APAC News Network and the study (abstract) is published in ACS Applied Nano Materials.
Researchers at South Dakota State University have repurposed banana peels to create biodegradable films, offering an alternative to petroleum-based plastics. The film properties, like high tensile strength, show that banana peels could be a viable material to create biodegradable films for packaging applications. The study (4.46 MB) is published in Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy.
Moreover, a study (4.53 MB) published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecus describes a method to extract chitin from seafood waste using food-derived chemicals, avoiding harsh acids and bases. This approach, developed by researchers at the University of Connecticut, produces high-quality chitin, adjustable in molecular weight, with potential applications in various industries, including agriculture and packaging.

Using CO2 as feedstock
Scientists at Osaka Metropolitan University have enhanced the production of fumaric acid from CO2, a key component in biodegradable plastics used for packaging. Their further advanced artificial photosynthesis technique doubles the yield of fumaric acid compared to conventional methods. The study (1.08 MB) is published in Dalton Transactions.
In an article (3.0 MB) published in Environmental Science & Technology, UvA researchers describe the production of renewable polyesters from CO2 and biobased feedstocks, showcasing excellent environmental degradation characteristics. Tuning the composition offers diverse applications, including packaging.

Number of EU patents for packaging material increased by 219 since March 2023
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that they received 199,275 patent applications in 2023, 2.9% more than in 2022. You can read more in the online EPO Patent Index 2023. The European patent register holds 3,091 patents with the search term ‘packaging material’ (search done by NVC on 19 March 2024). This is an increase of 219 in a years’ time. On 24 March 2023 NVC did the same search and that resulted in 2.872 patents.

NVC Report on biobased polymers
The NVC report ‘The Production, Carbon Footprint, and Critical Scale-up Factors of Biobased Polymers for Packaging Applications’ was published in the scope of the NVC PUMA project. In this report, fully biobased PE, PP, PET and PEF polymers are researched based on their manufacturing processes, global warming potentials and factors impeding commercialisation. As an NVC member, you can download the report here (4.07 MB).

NVC members receive this information with all the relevant links in the monthly NVC Members-only Update. If you have any questions, please contact us:, +31-(0)182-512411