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Aekyung Chemical jumps into bioplastic industry through ties with state research body

By Lim Chang-won Posted : November 24, 2022, 14:15 Updated : November 24, 2022, 14:15

[Courtesy of Aekyung Chemical]

SEOUL -- Aekyung Chemical, a chemical company in South Korea, jumped into the bioplastic market in cooperation with a state research body, focusing capabilities on developing and upgrading bioplastic material technologies. The company is a newcomer in the country's bioplastic industry which has seen a rapidly growing demand due to tightening regulations.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed on November 24, Aekyung Chemical said it would develop various reactant manufacturing processes and high-purity refining and utilization technologies, based on vegetable oil. The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB) will develop a raw catalyst-based material production process and lead an environmental risk assessment. 

Aekyung Chemical said it would expand its bioplastic business through joint research with KRIBB. The accumulation of plastic waste has become a serious global problem. The bio Industry creates added value based on biotechnology by combining industrial technologies. White bio refers to replacing materials from the chemicals industry with renewables such as plants, microorganisms, and enzymes. 

The global demand for bioplastics is growing as governments and franchise companies shun polyester products such as plastic bags, plastic straws and disposable cups to protect the environment. Industry experts suggest the market's demand and distribution networks for biodegradable bioplastics must be established before commercialization kicks into full gear in order to popularize degradable bioplastics.

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