Pilot tests of a new bio-based plasticiser for soft PVC have reportedly shown better efficiency, processability and cost reduction than commercial counterparts.
Produced as part of the Placard
project, a 32-month long European eco-innovation initiative, the new
plasticiser has a focus on end-use applications in the construction sector.
It is produced by chemical
modification of cardanol, an industrial-grade, yellow oil obtained by vacuum
distillation of cashew nut shell liquid. By using a by-product such as cashew
nut shells, the Placard plasticiser does not create pressure on food resources.
Production of the Placard plasticiser on a pilot scale was carried out at
Italian R&D specialist, Serichim, whilst tests were conducted by Italy’s
University of Salento that compared properties from different high/low
molecular weight phthalates and non-phthalates plasticisers.
According to the results, Placard
showed better plasticising efficiency than DEHP and DOTP, enabling raw material
savings. Processability and energy cost reductions were other parameters that
demonstrated better performance compared to selected commercial plasticisers.
Remaining tested parameters were comparable with other selected plasticisers
and showed good stability of properties over time.
Additional results, such as
ability to facilitate recycling, will be further investigated and quantified.
They will be presented in internal meetings and at targeted conferences by the
trade association for European plastics converters, EuPC, which is in charge of
the dissemination activities as well as Kommi, the project leader.