The term "biodegradable" has been used over the past few years, to describe plastics or packaging that could potentially be metabolized by microorganisms in nature, with complete breakdown to CO2/Methane, water and biomass. However, there is significant confusion and controversy surrounding biodegradable plastics since many suppliers have used the term to loosely describe their material/packaging without specifying the conditions under which the material would degrade in nature. For instance, some plastics (like PLA) will only degrade under industrial composting conditions, while some others (like PHA) can break down under a wider range of conditions and environments (industrial, backyard, marine). Given this widespread confusion and the misuse of the "biodegradable" term, many global government and industry organizations have issued guidelines to restrict or eliminate the unqualified use of biodegradable as a descriptor of plastics or packaging. These include the European Commission guidelines (European Plastics Strategy) and the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in the US.
In line with such guidelines, Ubuntoo's recommends that companies providing biodegradable materials, products or packaging:
1.Avoid unqualified use of the term "biodegradable" to describe their products
2.Any claim of biodegradability should be accompanied by a description of specific conditions and environments under which the material or product will undergo degradation in nature
3.It is strongly recommended that companies provide globally accepted certifications or testing for various biodegradability claims (such as the BPA certification for industrial composting)
Further in line with the position articulated by the European Commission as well as major CPG companies, Ubuntoo recommends that "biodegradable" plastics should not be considered a solution for littering (or worse a license to litter). Appropriate collection and end-of-life solutions (such as industrial composting or home composting) need to be put into place to avoid biodegradable plastics ending up as litter in the environment.
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Gevo is a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company dedicated to delivering low carbon sustainable fuels and chemicals.
CO2, The greenhouse gas is their renewable carbon source. They know it’s possible to replace the non-sustainable, greenhouse gas generating fossil carbon-based chemicals and fuels used all across the world today with renewable carbon alternatives and their technologies make it possible.
Gevo has developed its proprietary renewable esooctane: a low-carbon, drop-in blending component for gasoline and has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases by as much as 70%.
With this, the company has entered into a long term purchase and sale agreement with German specialty chemicals company HCS Group. This includes the expansion of Gevo’s isooctane production capabilities at its advanced biofuels production facility in Luverne.
According to Patrick R. Gruber, Gevo’s Chief Executive Officer, this agreement represents a significant milestone in Gevo’s crusade to help leading consumer brands reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decarbonizing transportation fuel. "Our technology and our renewable isooctane have proven themselves in highly demanding niche applications. We now want to scale substantially in order to enable rolling-out our renewable isooctane to a variety of high-end fuel and solvent applications".
Under its Haltermann Carless brand, HCS Group will be supplied exclusively for sales of Gevo’s renewable isooctane into high-end applications ranging from high purity solvents to specialty fuels, excluding use of isooctane for on-road transportation fuels.
The company is also working on these categories:
Flavors. Fragrances. Ingredients. Gevo see opportunities to use their proprietary technology to make natural flavors, fragrances, and ingredients for consumer and personal care products. These are under development.
Renewable Hydrogen and Propylene. The company developed a technology called ETO that converts alcohols to renewable hydrogen and propylene. Propylene is a building block that can be used to make plastics, or converted into renewable diesel fuel. Renewable hydrogen has potential to solve a problem for fuel cell companies, car companies, and refineries. They are looking for partners to develop this technology commercially.
Renewable carbon-based para-xylene: Gevo has developed a key ingredient to convert petro-based polyester for fibers and bottles to 100% renewable content. This development work, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company and Toray, proved the technology works. This market will matter in the future, once low carbon chemical products and materials are valued like low carbon fuels.