The term bioplastics or biopolymers, does not cover a single polymer group but a whole family of products. The DIN SPEC 1206 "Recommendation for the terminology and characterization of biopolymers and bioplastics" designates the term "biopolymer" as polymers derived from organic substances obtained from living organisms and their residues. In this sense, this biomass is considered as a renewable resource. A renewable resource is regenerated by natural processes at a rate comparable to its rate of degradation. The carbon content of such a polymer is derived from the so-called short-term carbon cycle (expected time frame: 1 to 10 years). With long-term carbon cycles, the expected time frame for conversion of biomass in oil, gas and coal is < 1.000.000 years. The following figure illustrates the time frame difference in carbon regeneration for conventional plastics and bioplastics.



Sources for pictures: Flcelloguy (Quelle), ImGz (Quelle)


Clear definition is sometimes hard to find

In order to make a subdivision of the family, it must be clear that the term "bioplastics" can be applied to different materials, such as:

- Bio-based plastics: reference is made to the source of raw materials
- Biodegradable Plastics: reference is made to their functionality
- Biocompatible plastics: reference is made to their compatibility with human or animal bodies

Specific definitions of terms are derived from these in turn, such as organic material, plastics and moulding compounds, polymers and polymerization and many more. The first two categories are used to define a bioplastics material, including as such both bio-based and biodegradable plastics. Accordingly, the compliance with both criteria is also possible, as shown in the figure below.

bioplastic types

[Quelle: Kunststoffe 8/2008]


The industry portal biokunststoffe.de is a project by Franz-Patat-Zentrum. This comprehensive portal provides information about the benefits and possibilities of the use of bioplastics industry since 2005, providing a source of skilled technical know-how as well as a professional platform that serves as showcase for companies, their products and services.

In addition to background information and current news, biokunststoffe.de has focused mainly on the field of technical properties of bioplastics. As technical experts with over 25 years of experience in the field of bioplastics, we also wish to provide you on this portal with an overview of the consulting portfolio offered by us and inform you about our research and development services.
 113 FPZ