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An exotic attracts attention

Biopolymers are usually only of marginal interest at the Analytica tradeshow. Nevertheless, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH’s “Biopolymers/Biomaterials” booth aroused a great deal of attention. Many visitors - from small companies and big groups of company groups as well as scientists - were interested in information on biopolymers.

The experts of the “Biopolymers/Biomaterials” cluster had not expected such a huge response. “Analytica is mainly a platform for other technologies; so we were pleasantly surprised with the large number of people who were interested in our topic,” said Markus Götz of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg. The most frequent questions asked were: When will the first products be available? Where can biopolymers be used? Some examples were showcased at the booth, for example a loudspeaker box by the company Tecnaro, which is produced from lignin, and a moulding made from polyester urethane.

Broad interest

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The broad range of “biopolymers” can best be illustrated by looking at the many questions asked by representatives from a broad range of industries. A company that produces machines for the separation of waste is interested in the specific properties of biomaterials because tomorrow’s materials will have to be integrated into today’s processes. The technology group Sony, however, is most interested in factors such as sustainability and ecologically oriented production.

Food engineers are looking for new edible polymers, agricultural representatives are mainly interested in the production of raw materials for biopolymers and packaging experts are hoping that biopolymers will prove to be a cheap alternative to petrol-based plastics. Eco certificates awarded to biodegradable materials attract the attention of packaging companies. But it was not just companies that showed an interest in biopolymers. “Many scientists were surprised to learn of the existence of a cluster structure,” explained Götz.
The presence at the Analytica tradeshow revealed two things: a lot of people are interested in biopolymers and even a tradeshow as established as Analytica can be an excellent platform for an exotic topic.

chb – 15 April 2008
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