Bluepha officially launches 2 classes of natural PHA materials to achieve a fabulous blend with nature

BEIJING–( BUSINESS WIRE )–Bluepha, an advanced biotechnology company based in China, launched its first portfolio of marine degradable biopolymers, Bluepha™ PHA, on March 1, 2023.

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At this event, the founders of Bluepha and their two partners presented product properties, applications, production processes, biorefinery construction and the revolutionary Biohybrid technology. Mr. Ian Ravenstein, Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member of Global PHA Organization (GO!PHA) and Expert of Degradable Plastics Committee of China Plastics Recycling Industry Association also delivered congratulatory messages at the event.

For the past five years, Bluepha has always worked on sustainable solutions for human life. The following text provides an overview of this event.

Natural PHA, a gift from nature

Plastic pollution has received a lot of attention around the world, but it is not easy to tackle it at its root. Although most people have realized how serious the problem is, few can offer concrete and workable solutions. Therefore, people are trapped.plastic paradox」, where everyone is both a participant and a victim. Over the past 5 years, Bluepha has continued to research real solutions. They think outside the box, keep digging and finally find the answer. The answer is not to invent a new material, but to leverage nature’s gift and bring it into everyday life.

PHA is a naturally occurring polymer found in the cells of a wide range of microorganisms, where it serves as a carbon and energy store. This polymer has existed on Earth for billions of years as part of nature. What Bluepha did was to develop an industrial process for its mass production, which is commercially called Bluepha™ or 蓝晶™ in Chinese.

Unlike the other five groups of natural polymers: paper and wood, natural rubber, cotton and linen, leather, silk, Bluepha™ is produced by microorganisms, not plants or animals, using biomass as fermentation feedstock. The material can degrade in almost all typical environments without leaving a trace.

Therefore, Bluepha™ is a “a fabulous to merge with nature.’ They are like a shepherd, from nature to human lives, steadily bringing in a whole new world with countless possibilities, finally realizing: fabulous to merge with nature.’

They believe that Bluepha™ PHA has the potential to make a difference in the future as a new class of natural materials.

Bluepha™, the sustainable choice

Bluepha™ has the mechanical properties of a petrochemical plastic. It offers excellent performance in terms of strength, heat resistance and barrier properties. Therefore, it can be used to produce green packaging, cosmetics, fabrics and other advanced products.

Currently, Bluepha has developed 2 classes for commercial use. One is BP350, a flexible grade with high comonomer content, and the other is BP330, a rigid grade with low comonomer content. For customer convenience, Bluepha can supply resins in powder and pellet form. In addition, direct application of BP330 and BP350, as well as mixing in different proportions, can be adapted for different products.

The biggest difference from other biodegradable materials is that Bluepha™ can degrade in all typical artificial and natural environments. In 2022, both BP330 and BP350 completed degradation experiments in a variety of environments, including home composting and marine degradation, which are the most difficult for degradable materials. Test results from the leading OWS testing facility in Belgium show that:

In a home composting test, samples of both grades of Bluepha™ films completely decomposed in just 10 weeks.

In marine degradation tests, it took only 16 weeks for both grades to reach a biodegradation rate of about 90%, which is very close to that of cellulose.

Bluepha™ is not only biodegradable, but also bio-based, which can be produced from a variety of renewable biomass. Currently, Bluepha™ is made from sustainably sourced vegetable oil and both grades are certified 100% bio-carbon by TÜV Austria, a third-party body.

Green factory ensuring reliable supply

In 2022, they completed construction of the first industrial-scale facility, BioFAB1, in Yancheng for the production of Bluepha™. Bluepha overcame enormous challenges and uncertainties to achieve production in the same year. The first phase, BioFAB1, can produce 5,000 tons of Bluepha™ resins annually, providing a solid foundation for a sustainable supply of PHA.

Based on in-house developed proprietary technology, the entire facility and every step of the manufacturing process has been carefully designed and tested. The overall layout of the facility is U-shaped, which shortens the distance between each workshop and improves operational efficiency. In various workshops, they presented advanced technologies and approaches, such as magnetic levitation and reuse of recycled water, to minimize the energy and resources consumed. All these advanced features make BioFAB1 a “green factory”.

Designing a good production line is only the first step, achieving a “sustainable supply” also requires a modern operation management system. The key operational members of BioFAB1 have worked for years in Chinese, European, American and Japanese biomanufacturers, which brings a wealth of management experience.

Bluepha strives for excellence in every aspect, from personnel, equipment and raw materials to operating procedures, environmental safety and testing. Strict scientific process control protocols and standard operating procedures were written and implemented. BioFAB1 operates under process control principles with quality management in accordance with ISO9001. All this leads to a stable production process through strict control of the range of parameters and intermediate testing, which enables them to deliver reliably stable products to customers.

The construction of BioFAB2 is also on the agenda. Once completed, the new super facility will be able to produce a total of 25,000 tonnes of Bluepha™ resins per year.

Fundamental research offering a complete solution

This event also shared three important advances in basic PHA research.

In order to improve the processability, the rheological curves of different grades of Bluepha™ were studied and they understood the characteristic characteristics of their respective systems. In the future, Bluepha will be able to guide customers to adjust the temperature and cutting speed, improving processing efficiency by 50%.

Bluepha has a special melt memory effect that allows for a balance between temperature and crystallization rate. This allows engineers to speed up crystallization by 2 orders of magnitude, making the material 30% stiffer and 50% more transparent.

The mechanical properties of interest to customers are related to the state of aggregate, and Bluepha™ shows differences in crystal structure at different temperatures. Large crystals can provide strength and small ones can provide strength. Due to this property, the size and distribution of the crystals can be controlled so that strength and durability can be increased by 20% respectively.

Bluepha will not only supply raw materials but also a complete solution to meet the various requirements of customers. It includes not only evaluations tailored for specific applications, but also mature processing guidelines that have been tested in mass production, as well as experts with a wealth of practical experience to provide technical support.

Bluepha will continue to focus on helping customers to shorten the development cycle and efficiently deliver high performance products.

Biohybrid, the future of bioproduction

As an Easter egg of the event, Bluepha also introduced the revolutionary Biohybrid technology.

According to environmental benefits and technical challenges, all carbon sources for bioproduction can be divided into three generations. The first generation is traditional biomass such as starch and vegetable oil. The second generation is non-food biomass such as used cooking oil and agricultural straw. The third generation is greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and industrial waste. A production process using third generation carbon sources will bring the greatest environmental benefit. It can directly convert carbon dioxide into raw materials, making a major contribution to carbon neutrality. However, from a technological and engineering point of view, it is extremely difficult to use them effectively in modern art.

Bluepha chooses the third generation, which is the right path, but not easy. Using this technology, carbon dioxide from air and vegetable oil can be directly used as a mixed feedstock to synthesize Bluepha™. The combination of biomass and CO2 is why this technology is called “Biohybrid”.

To date, Bluepha has completed a pilot test of Bluepha™ production based on Biohybrid technology. Within the next 24 months, they will be able to supply Biohybrid-based Bluepha™ resins in bulk. Bluepha will continue to work on Biohybrid to gradually increase the proportion of carbon atoms in Bluepha™ derived from greenhouse gases. Their goal is to increase the proportion from 10% to 20% by 2027, and the ultimate goal is to reach 100%.

More importantly, as a foundational technology, Biohybrid can be applied to almost any biomanufacturing process. Therefore, in the future, it can be used for the production of various chemicals and materials that are needed by customers.

Bluepha is always open and willing to work with anyone for a fabulous fusion with nature.


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