Japan-based Kaneka Corporation has set up a trial production system at the Takasago Plant for a new plant-oil-based polyester biopolymer product to be marketed as Kaneka Biopolymer AONILEX. AONILEX is biodegradable yet strongly resistant to heat and hydrolysis and can act as a barrier to water vapor. It is the first 100% plant-based biopolymer to offer both flexibility and heat resistance, the company says.
AONILEX exhibits a range of properties from hardness through to softness as well as a number of key characteristics of polyethylene and polypropylene materials.
The production system is now operational, with full-scale production due to commence by the end of the month. Annual production capacity will be approximately 1,000 tons.
Kaneka will use the trial production system to develop innovative production technology and processes for AONILEX products, in combination with new product applications and experimental sales programs. Kaneka plans to boost production capacity incrementally over several years in line with feedback from the market, with a view to achieving annual production of 10,000 tons and turnover of ¥10 billion (US$124 million) or more.