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Packaging: typical application for +Green liquid additive.
Packaging: typical application for +Green liquid additive.
Photo: 12

A new liquid additive from Riverdale Global is able to yield a finished plastics product that provides the same performance and shelf life as a standard counterpart but then is reduced to biodegradable wax, eliminating 98% of the centuries-long process involved in natural degradation.

The active ingredient in this +Green liquid additive is a formulation invented by the company TimePlast, whose technology is covered by US Patent No.9181412B2. Riverdale Global has a manufacturing agreement with TimePlast and to incorporate the TimePlast formulation into the +Green additive for sale to the global market.

TimePlast technology radically accelerates the natural process by which plastics degrade. Left exposed to normal environmental heating and cooling, the covalent carbon-to-carbon bonds that make long-chain polymer structures possible gradually weaken and break, yielding the small molecular structures typical of waxes. The process can take 1,500 years.

In contrast, the TimePlast formulation targets the covalent bonds during the melt processing required in standard molding or extrusion, replacing those bonds with weaker linkages that ultimately will cause the breakup of the polymers into biodegradable wax molecules. The cooling step that follows melt processing delays the breakup of the polymer chains into wax molecules, permitting a normal use life for the product.

"The finished product performs exactly like its unmodified counterpart for the full period of time required for a standard working life or shelf life," said Manuel Rendón, CEO of TimePlast. "Our technology does the work of nature in 98% less time, leaving a working life of 2% for the plastic product – more than enough for most applications."

The +Green liquid additives provides a substantial economic advantage over oxo-biodegradable additives and bioplastic resins, according to Paul Maguire, President of Riverdale Global. "The added cost of rendering a finished product biodegradable is seventeen times greater per pound of finished product with oxo-biodegradable additives than with the +Green liquid additive, and it is far greater indeed if you use bioplastics rather than an additive."

Rendón added, "Other additives reduce products to plastic micro-fragments that remain in the environment – in fact, the only true degradation that takes place is that of the additive itself. In contrast, TimePlast technology converts plastic into environmentally benign biodegradable waxes, and it does so without need for the action of soil bacteria, water, or oxygen, and without the production of carbon dioxide. Indeed, we calculate that the carbon footprint of TimePlast-treated polyethylene is fully 65% less than that of the untreated polymer."

Like other additives from Riverdale Global, the new +Green liquid can be supplied as a stand-alone product or in combination with a color. All products are supplied in a container that stays sealed from the moment it arrives at the processor's loading dock, through storage, handling, and metering into the process, and during return to Riverdale Global for replenishment.

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