Method to improve natural rubber (hevea/guayule)-toughened poly-(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)(PHBV) for food packaging applications

The Need:

In today's world, the environmental impact of non-biodegradable petroleum-based polymers has become a growing concern. Industries that heavily rely on such polymers, like packaging, personal care, and pharmaceuticals, are seeking sustainable alternatives that minimize environmental harm while maintaining performance standards. To meet this pressing commercial need, a groundbreaking technology has emerged: a novel polymeric composition that combines the benefits of biodegradability and biocompatibility with enhanced material properties, offering a "green" alternative to traditional synthetic polymers.

The Technology:

The cutting-edge technology presented here is a polymeric composition comprising a blend of a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymer and a crosslinked rubber polymer. This biphasic mixture consists of a first phase comprising the PHA polymer, with a second phase dispersing the crosslinked rubber polymer. The result is a versatile and sustainable thermoplastic with characteristics comparable to classical polyolefins, which have been widely used in various applications. By integrating the crosslinked rubber polymer, this technology overcomes the limitations of PHAs, such as brittleness and thermal instability, providing an eco-friendly alternative suitable for a broad range of commercial applications.

Commercial Applications:

  1. Eco-Friendly Packaging: The polymeric composition is ideal for manufacturing sustainable packaging and containers for food and beverage products, personal care items, cosmetics, cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, and more. Businesses can demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility while maintaining the necessary performance and durability for their products.

  2. Biodegradable Single-Use Items: Industries reliant on single-use items, such as disposable cutlery, plates, and cups, can transition to this technology to significantly reduce plastic waste, as the polymeric composition is compostable according to ASTM D6400-19 standards.

  3. Biomedical Applications: The biocompatible nature of the PHA polymer in the blend opens up possibilities for various biomedical applications, including sutures, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering materials, ensuring compatibility with the human body.


  1. Environmental Sustainability: With a renewable carbon content of at least 95% by weight (ASTMD6866-18), the blend qualifies as a bio-based material, significantly reducing reliance on finite petroleum resources and lowering carbon footprints.

  2. Enhanced Material Properties: The incorporation of crosslinked rubber polymers enhances the overall material performance. The polymeric composition exhibits improved thermal stability, melt strength, flexibility, toughness, and impact resistance, surpassing traditional PHAs in these aspects.

  3. Wide Processing Window: Manufacturers can benefit from the increased processing window of the polymeric composition, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective production compared to pure PHAs with narrow processing limits.

  4. Cost-Effectiveness: By utilizing renewable and biocompatible materials, companies can align with the growing demand for sustainable products while maintaining cost-effectiveness, as this technology mitigates the dependence on expensive petroleum-based polymers.

  5. Versatility and Applications: The polymeric composition's diverse applications, including packaging, biomedical, and single-use items, make it a versatile solution for multiple industries seeking greener alternatives without sacrificing functionality.

This revolutionary technology paves the way for a sustainable future, offering businesses and consumers a viable, eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based polymers, ensuring a cleaner environment and a healthier planet for generations to come.

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