The possibilities with Thermoplastic Cellulose Plastics
Mr Jouni Lattu is Key Account Manager at VTT in Finland, focusing the sales on the international packaging value chain.
VTT’s particular interest areas in packaging materials are bio-based polymers, foam formed paper and cardboard webs, and nanofibril developments.
Mr. Lattu has an M. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Tampere and Chalmers University. With three decades of expertise within the packaging industry, he has worked with companies like Huhtamaki, McDonald’s and SoloCup.
Jouni will bring us the latest from the bioplastic front. We contacted him, in advance, to find out a little more.
Bioplastic is something that VTT have worked with for a long time, and which they have talked about before. What is new this time, and what will you talk about at the Packbridge Research Forum?
“Our previous developments have been based on using raw materials from agriculture, but now we are focussing on the forest and using cellulose”.
This is an important development not least because, in the Nordic countries, there is plenty of raw material. But what were the problems with developing plastics from cellulose, which meant that it took a little time to achieve?
“Cellulose is not very easy to work with. We have tried to find a way to get it to behave just like plastic during processing and give similar product characteristics”.
Amongst other things this has led you to develop a cellulose-based film. Can this film be made transparent?
“Absolutely, but it’s not just about the film. We produce the material as a granulate which can then be converted into plastic products in the same way as any conventional plastics are made. It can be injection moulded and extruded. And I am looking forward to telling you more about this at the Packbridge Research Forum.”