Following its recent announcement that CJ Bio’s new PHA facility in Pasuruan, Indonesia has come on stream and has started producing amorphous PHAs, the company has now revealed that these new PHA products are to be marketed under the brand name PHACT. PHACT, a contraction of PHA + Act, is currently the only amorphous PHA on the market. The first product in the new line is PHACT A1000P - a softer, more rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance characteristics than the crystalline or semi-crystalline forms that currently dominate the PHA market.
For its initial applications, PHACT A1000P will be used as a modifier to other compostable polymers and biopolymers to improve functional and processing characteristics. For example, blending amorphous PHA in PLA leads to significant improvements in mechanical properties, such as toughness, and ductility, while maintaining clarity, said Max Senechal, Chief Commercial Officer of the CJ Biomaterials business.
In addition to PLA, PHACT can be used as a modifier with many polymers including PBS, PBAT, TPS, cellulose, and natural fibres, he explained in an email response to a request for more details.
“Our amorphous PHA, PHACT A1000P is a perfect impact modifier for PLA. Impact modification and flexibility benefits for PLA are achieved without loss in bio-based carbon content while simultaneously accelerating the rate of composting of PLA products when incorporated at appropriate levels. Additionally, when amorphous PHA is combined with PLA in films, you do not sacrifice the transparency of the films,” he said. “PHACT A1000P is also a very good modifier or replacement for PBAT when there is a desired value to increase bio content as well as better biodegradability.”
Blending amorphous PHA with PLA can also enable these products to achieve faster rates of biodegradation or composting, he added.
“We know that the rate of composting of PLA will, in most instances, be faster when blended with amorphous PHA at appropriate levels. However, it is difficult to quantify this because there are many other variables that impact the rate of composting including moisture content, microbial activity, shape, and thickness of the article. We have several studies under development or in process.”