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Karen Laird

April 7, 2016

3 Min Read
Orineo nabs Bio-Based Material of the Year 2016 Innovation Award in Cologne

The International Conference on Bio-based Materials, an annual highpoint on the bioplastics industry’s calendar that is organized by Germany's nova-Institute, took place this year on April 5-6 for the ninth time in Cologne. In line with the previous eight editions, the conference concluded the first day with the traditional presentation of the Bio-Based Material of the Year innovation award. The award, sponsored by InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG, a service provider for the planning, construction and operation of plants and sites, celebrates new developments in biobased applications and in the markets for biobased products that were either launched in 2015 or are due to be launched in 2016. Following a 10-minute pitch from each of the six shortlisted nominees, the top three winners were selected through an on-site voting process by the conference attendees.

This year, first place went to the Belgium-based SME Orineo, for its coffee-waste filled bioresin, which the company markets under the brand name ‘Touch of Nature. Two major German companies – specialty chemicals producer Evonik and high-tech polymers supplier Covestro - came in second and third for their products, an biosurfactant called Rewoferm SL 446 and Impranil eco, a biobased waterborne polyurethane dispersion for textile coatings.

Winning company Orineo is specialized in the development and production of bio-based glues and materials. and received the honor for its Touch of Nature biomaterials developed on the basis of linseed oil – “An oil with a history,” as Philippe Willems called it in his company presentation. The company’s intermediate materials are commercially available, finding application in seamless floors, desktops, countertops and panels with a novel use of biobased fillers and binders.

“We have developed a two-component system that is about 75% biobased to which we add a ‘filler with a story’, such as coffee waste, seeds or cranberries. We use no colorants, no prints: Color and texture depend on the filler, which is really the heart and soul of the material. Our materials mobilize the senses: they look good, feel good and smell good,” Willems said. “What you get is what you see.”

The materials that are designed, developed, produced and supplied by Orineo are designed to have a service life of twenty years, while the feedstock regeneration time is seven years, at a maximum. Moreover, the products also deliver on performance: “Offering strength, safety, comfort and aesthetics, our materials fully meet the requirements of the market,” said Willems.

Michael Carus, the managing director of nova-Institute, presented Willems with the trophy and the winner’s certificate; Evonik and Covestro were presented with the second and third place certificates.

The two-day International Conference on Bio-based Materials was attended this year by around 200 participants, mainly from the industry and representing 25 countries. Twenty-four companies presented their products and services at the exhibition. The event was supported by FKuR, Linotech and Livemold Trading.

Interestingly, what emerged from the discussions this year was, among other things, the insight that biobased drop-in chemical commodities were fading into the background as a result of the current low prices of crude oil. By contrast, special bio-based fine chemicals and materials for end products are more attractive than ever. Their new functionalities and properties mean that they are not in direct competition with conventional petrochemical products, but are carving out market share on their own merits. Worldwide, substantial investments are being made in this sector with high added value and strong market growth. The three winners of the Biobased Material of the Year 2016 award are perfect examples of this new generation of biobased products.

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