UPM-Kymmene. has developed a lignin-based bioplastic material for agricultural items like pots, pipes, and mulch films. The material includes lignin and a biodegradable biopolymer like PLA or PHB. The patent also covers the process of making the material and its agricultural applications. GlobalData’s report on UPM-Kymmene gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on UPM-Kymmene, Microscale biofuel reactors was a key innovation area identified from patents. UPM-Kymmene's grant share as of January 2024 was 48%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Lignin-based bioplastic material for agriculture items

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: UPM-Kymmene Corp

A patent application (Publication Number: US20240026157A1) discloses an innovative item for agriculture made of a lignin-based bioplastic material. The material comprises a lignin fraction with specific molecular weight and phenylpropane units, along with a biodegradable biopolymer like PLA, PGA, or PHA. The weight ratio of lignin fraction to biodegradable biopolymer ranges from 5:95 to 95:5, with the lignin fraction making up to 90% of the material. The lignin fraction may also contain cellulose and cellulose-degrading enzymes. Additionally, the bioplastic material can include soil enhancers like carbonates or lignin-degrading microbes such as enzymes, bacteria, or fungi.

The item for agriculture can have either a 2D shape like mulch film or a 3D shape like a container or pipe. Depending on the shape, the thickness of the item varies from 5-200 µm for 2D items to 0.1-10 mm for 3D items. Furthermore, the rate of water-solubilization and degradation of the item can be controlled by adding specific ingredients like gelatinized starch or a water-based solution of composting-bacteria pools. This innovative agricultural item aims to provide a sustainable and biodegradable alternative for various applications in the agricultural sector, contributing to environmental conservation and reducing plastic waste.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.