TECNARO Selects Telles’ Mirel Bioplastic for Arboblend Line of Biobased Thermoplastics

Temperature Resistance and Mechanical Properties of Mirel Expands Opportunity for Household and Sporting Goods Applications

Telles, a joint venture between Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX) and Archer Daniels Midland Company, and TECNARO GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of sustainable thermoplastics, today announced that TECNARO is incorporating Mirel™ bioplastic into its Arboblend line of thermoplastic compounds that are biodegradable in certain environments, including industrial composting and anaerobic digestion systems. The companies are working together on thermoplastic formulations using Mirel F1005 and P1003 injection molding grades. The specific terms of the supply agreement have not been disclosed.

Mirel P1003 is a general purpose injection molding grade with high modulus. Mirel F1005 is FDA cleared for use in non-alcoholic food contact applications, including frozen food storage, microwave reheating and boiling water up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Mirel is suitable for a wide range of injection-molded food service and packaging applications, including caps and closures, as well as disposable items such as cutlery, tubs, trays, jars and other consumer products.

TECNARO customers are currently using Arboblend for a variety of products in the household and sporting goods markets. The new offering will combine Mirel with other biopolymers, including lignin, starch, cellulose, organic additives, natural resins or waxes, and natural reinforcing fibers. It will then be processed with injection molding, extrusion, deep drawing/thermoforming or pressing into molded parts, sheets or films.

“Mirel has several qualities that make it particularly suitable for our Arboblend compound, such as its high temperature resistance and its mechanical properties,” said Helmut Nägele, managing director, TECNARO. “It is also biobased and biodegradable which presents us with a variety of end-of-life options, including industrial composting and anaerobic digestion. These features are particularly appealing to our customers.”

TECNARO GmbH was established by Helmut Nägele from Karlsruhe and Jürgen Pfitzer from Ellwangen after their development of “ARBOFORM” at the Fraunhofer Institute. This biopolymer material offers the same processing qualities and features as plastic. ARBOFORM, however, is based on lignin (a major component of wood), various natural fibers such as hemp, flax, and natural additives. The mixture of renewable resources is processed further through special procedures to form granules which can be used for various products manufactured by conventional plastic fabrication techniques.

This thermoplastic material offers not only technical and economical advantages but also ecological benefits. With ARBOFORM, industry gains independence from petroleum as a raw material. It can easily be recycled and even composted or burnt without releasing additional carbon dioxide. Companies involved in the packaging business as well as manufacturers of furniture, toys, shoes and music instruments have become established users of the material.

The demand for ARBOFORM and TECNARO’s other products ARBOBLEND and ARBOFILL is growing continuously because the products are renewably sourced and competitively priced. For more information, please visit www.tecnaro.de or its distribution partner ALBIS Plastics GmbH at www.albis.com.

About Mirel Bioplastics
Mirel is a family of bioplastic materials that have physical properties comparable to petroleum-based resins, yet are biobased and biodegradable in natural soil and water environments, in home composting systems, and in industrial composting facilities where such facilities are available. The rate and extent of Mirel’s biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it. However, like nearly all bioplastics and organic matter, Mirel is not designed to biodegrade in conventional landfills.

Commercial grades of Mirel are available for injection molding, thermoforming, sheet extrusion and film applications.

About Metabolix
Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on providing sustainable solutions for the world’s needs for plastics, chemicals and energy. The Company is taking a systems approach, from gene to end product, integrating sophisticated biotechnology with advanced industrial practice. Metabolix is now developing and commercializing Mirel™, a family of high performance bioplastics which are biobased and biodegradable alternatives to many petroleum-based plastics, through Telles, a joint venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Metabolix is also developing a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy, from crops such as switchgrass, oilseeds and sugarcane.

“Working with partners such as TECNARO enables us to explore new formulations for bioplastics while expanding the market for Mirel,” explained Bob Engle, general manager of Telles. “Mirel is suited to many consumer applications and enables organizations to expand their product lines with more biobased options without sacrificing the properties of traditional petroleum-based plastics.”

Schwartz Communications
Keith Giannini or Jen Barlow,
phone: 781-684-0770
email: metabolix@schwartzcomm.com

Benjamin Porter or Tanja Wagner,
phone: +49 (0) 70 62 91 78 90 2
email: info@tecnaro.de


Metabolix, Inc., press release, 2011-03-08.


Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)
Telles (Mirel)


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