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Biobased Chemicals

Kaneka expands biopolymer capacity in Japan

by Alexander H. Tullo
May 21, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 20

09820-buscon8-kaneka.jpg
Credit: Kaneka
Kaneka opened this PHBH facility in Takasago, Japan, in December.

Kaneka plans to build a plant with capacity for 20,000 metric tons (t) per year of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBH), a biodegradable, biobased polymer. Kaneka completed a 5,000 t plant in December at a cost of nearly $25 million. The company says the resin is already gaining traction among firms such as Japanese 7-Eleven stores, which use straws made of PHBH. The company hopes to expand capacity to 100,000–200,000 t by 2030.

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