Eco-business / Social Venture

December 4, 2010


NEC Develops New Bioplastic with High Plant Composition, Durability and Stable Supply

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Manufacturing industry 

NEC Corporation, a major Japanese electronics manufacturer, announced on August 25, 2010, its success in the development of a new bioplastic made from non-edible plant resources that boasts a high plant component ratio, a strength durable enough for electronic devices, and a promise for stable supply. The new bioplastic is the first of its kind to satisfy all of these requirements.

Primary materials for the new bioplastic are cellulose, the main compound in plant stems, and cardanol, an oil-like material extracted from cashew nutshells and a byproduct in cashew nut processing. Use of these materials, which are otherwise discarded as agricultural waste, allows a stable production and supply of the new material. The use of cardanol as a plasticizer helps to achieve a high plant component ratio of more than 70 percent. Cellulose-based plastics usually include large amounts of petroleum-based additives to reinforce their plastic properties (e.g. strength and processability), resulting in a low ratio of plant components.

The molecular structure of cardanol is composed of the chemically stable benzene ring and a long flexible hydrophobic chain. After enhancing its reactivity, cardanol is chemically bonded with cellulose, producing a durable plastic that is thermofusible, tough (strong and extendable), heat resistant, water resistant, and has a non-crystallinity that reduces molding time.

NEC will continue developing this bioplastic, with the goal of improving its material properties and achieving mass production for use in electronic devices by the end of fiscal 2013.

NEC Develops Environmentally Friendly Flame-Retardant Bioplastic (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2010/12/04 06:00:15 AM