NEC to mass produce bioplastic that breaks down in just 4 years

NEC to mass produce bioplastic that breaks down in just 4 years
NEC Platforms, a wholy owned subsidiary of NEC, has created a plastic material that breaks down in the environment in approximately four years. Called NeCycle, it is made up of around 50% cellulose, sourced from non-edible plants such as wood and rice straw, and can be used for injection molding as regular plastics are.

NEC has the infrastructure to mass-produce NeCycle, and in a way that requires no coating processes, so it has the flexibility to take on many shapes.

NEC will offer the material in pellet form or as molded components for all kinds of products, including automotive applications and office automation equipment. It says it will initially focus on uses with high environmental impact, and hopes to sell 5 billion yen worth (around US$46 million) by 2025.


Shukichi Tanaka, research manager, System Platform Research Laboratories explains how it works; "It’s a biomaterial that is composed of approximately 50% inedible cellulose, but is similar enough to resin in terms of its properties to be used in electronics. I don’t think there’s any other material which contains such a high concentration of inedible plant-based materials while also maintaining the properties of resin to such a degree.

"The main characteristic of this material is that it can be freely molded and achieves this gorgeous blackness like lacquerware without any coating process. It can be manufactured by injection molding just like regular plastics. It does not need coating process unlike synthetic lacquerware (plastics coated with lacquer), so the shapes that can be formed and the ability to mass produce should be greatly increased.

"Aside from the obvious reduced negative environmental impact, it’s an entirely new kind of material that makes it possible give components of various shapes an air of luxury thanks to its black lacquerware-like appearance."
NECycle 2

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