PHB poses an even better oxygen barrier than PP and PET and it is a better water vapor barrier than polypropylene. A copolymer polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate, which we can supply and modify as well, is used for example in shampoo bottles, single use razors and medical aids. Pure PHB is relatively brittle, which is tackled by modification. Compared to PLA, pure PHB has lower glass transition temperature, around 5 °C. But the hydroxyvalerate copolymer - PHBV, that is more commonly used, is more flexible and has lower melting temperature, under 170 °C, increasing the distance from temperature of thermal degradation and simplifying processing of the material. A Pure PHB has a quite high crystallinity, around 50%. PHBV has lower crystallinity which is compensated by nucleating agents. Depending on the content of hyroxyvalerate, PHBV can be more akin to PP or PE.
PHB and PHBV is produced through a controlled bacterial fermentation with the help of more than 70 genera of bacteria. Bacteria synthetize PHB as an energy reserve. They need carbon feed source such as dextrose or glucose coming from corn, waste cooking oils and other sources, and other nutrients, whereas one of these needs to be limited. This limitation induces production and accumulation of PHBV. PHBV can compose up to 90% of dry matter weight of bacteria. These are afterwards disintegrated and PHBV is extracted from the biomass.
PHBV is thus fully biosourced but what is equally important, it is also fully biodegradable. Microbes in soil or water can consume PHBV. Of course PHBV products will not decompose on your shelf, but they will decompose in compost within a few months. PHB is compatible with human body and the monomer, hydorxybutyrate can be naturally found in human blood. We can supply you pure PHB as well as PHBV in granulated or powder form. We are however looking forward to modify the materials for a particular application according to your requirements.
Disclaimer: all data and information obtained via our site including but not limited to material suitability, material properties, performances and characteristics are given for information purpose only. Although the data and information contained here are believed to be accurate and correspond to the best of our knowledge, they are provided without implied warranty of any kind. Part of the data and information contained here are genericised based on commercial literature provided by polymer suppliers and other parts are coming from assessments of our experts.
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