Darden Hood, Beta Analytic Inc.’s president, will join the discussion on the future of bioplastics at BioPlastek 2011, an interactive forum on bioplastics to be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York from June 27 to June 29, 2011. As the ASTM D6866 testing expert in the panel, Mr. Hood aims to dispel misconceptions on the measurement and interpretation of a product’s biobased content percentage.
Other panel members include USDA BioPreferred Program Director at Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service Steven L. Devlin, Nexant Inc.’s Director of Strategy William L. Tittle, CMAI Group Vice President Don Bari, Lux Research Associate Andrew Soare, Mason Wells Managing Director Gregory J. Myers, Rafferty Capital Markets Senior Equity Analyst Ian Horowitz, and Maverick Biofuels Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer David Bradin. “The Future of Bioplastics: Making It Happen” discussion will take place on June 29 at 10 am. It will be moderated by Dr. Ronald S. Schotland, the president of conference organizer Schotland Business Research, Inc.
“Companies seeking advice on USDA BioPreferred Program application are welcome to visit Beta Analytic’s booth at the exhibit hall. I would be glad to discuss the significance of ASTM D6866 testing to a company’s marketing and advertising efforts,” Mr. Hood says.
Beta Analytic is not affiliated with the BioPreferred Program or the USDA.
The exact biobased content percentage of a product is determined via ASTM D6866, a standard method based on radiocarbon analysis. Products wholly sourced from renewable sources have known radiocarbon levels whereas products from fossil sources have zero radiocarbon content. This major difference makes it easy to correlate a product’s radiocarbon level to its biobased content.
An ASTM D6866 result is expressed as “percent biobased” defined as the amount of organic carbon relative to the total carbon content in a material. The source of confusion in interpreting the results lies in this definition. It is often overlooked that ASTM D6866 only takes into account the organic carbon in the formulation and excludes inorganic carbon (e.g. carbon in carbonates).
Another source of misconception is in the definition of the term “biobased.” As per 2002 Farm Bill definition, a biobased product is a commercial or industrial product other than food or feed that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products including renewable domestic agricultural materials, forestry materials, and marine and animal materials. The 2008 Farm Bill has extended the definition of biobased products to include biobased intermediate ingredients or feedstocks. This biobased definition is included in the ASTM D6866 standard and the USDA BioPreferred Program.
It must be noted that the terms “biobased” or “non-biobased” are associated with carbon-containing materials. Glass, for example, may technically be “non-biobased” but is not generally referred to be such because it does not contain carbon.
ASTM D6866 was developed by ASTM International at the request of the USDA for the BioPreferred Program. ASTM D6866 was first published in 2004 and was further optimized over the years through revisions. The latest version of the ASTM D6866 method was released in April 2011.
ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited Beta Analytic supports the biobased industry by providing accurate and precise biobased content results. The company has provided commercial ASTM D6866 analysis since 2004. Beta Analytic has participated in the development of ASTM D6866; the company is a member of the ASTM International subcommittee responsible for the development of the method. Beta Analytic served as the expert on radiocarbon analysis.
The company accepts biobased products for analysis through its lab in Miami, Florida, and sample forwarding offices located in London, UK; Sydney, Australia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; and Nagoya, Japan.