PHB is the most abundant member of the PHA family. It is a crystalline biopolyester with thermoplastic properties. Biomer has developed a number of PHB formulations for technical applications. However their fogging behavior and volatile emissions prevent their use in the car interior.
In the joint EU project ECOplast comprising car suppliers, research institutes, compounders and raw material suppliers, the components that lead to fogging or volalites were identified and replaced by others. As a result a new formulation, called Biomer®P304, is available for car interior parts. Biomer®P304 matches most of the mechanical properties of Biomer®P226 that is widely used in technical parts, especially in pyrotechnics. Biomer®P304 is available in pilot scale quantities.
Biomer®P304 is the base to further develop within the project a procedure to produce on a commercial scale long natural fiber composites with excellent impact strength. These composites can be thermoformed without loosing the strength. Biomer focuses on producing PHB for technical parts.
ECOplast is financed by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme.