Market Insights

Basel, 28 April 2022

CITROFOL® – bio-based solutions for biopolymers

Jungbunzlauer’s CITROFOL® (citric acid esters) types are characterised by their safe toxicological attributes like non-carcinogenic, non-irritating, non-sensitising, GMO-free (genetic modified organisms) and non-VOC (volatile organic compounds).  

All CITROFOL® types are colour- and odourless liquids of low viscosity and compatible with various synthetic polymers as well as with biopolymers. They are modifying softness, elasticity or tear strength depending on the used dosage. Appropriate biopolymers in combination with CITROFOL® are polymers derived from cellulose (e.g. nitro cellulose, cellulose diacetate), polylactic acid (PLA), poly hydroxy alcanoate (PHA), thermoplastic starch (TPS), poly butylene succinate (PBS) or blends thereof.

CITROFOL® BII (tributyl o-acetyl citrate) is the most common grade and is traditionally used as replacement for fossil based plasticisers  in synthetic polymers (e.g. polyvinyl chloride, acrylics, polyurethane) for sensitive applications like medical devices, food packaging or toys in the past, but as well in consumer goods like for example wallpaper and flooring nowadays.

The use of CITROFOL® BII in biopolymers is another scope of application, which not just recently has started. Due to its physical liquid state CITROFOL® BII can be blend easily with polymers and improves their processing, as citric acid esters contributes qualities as lubricant. This lead to a better melt flow and improves extrusion and injection moulding processes. Here can be mentioned the processing of PHA, where the difference between melting and decomposition temperature is showing a small gap only. The use of CITROFOL® BII is widening the processing window and is making the processing much more safe and stable, which means reducing or avoiding heat effects like discolouration.

Beside the safe and bio-based attributes CITROFOL® BII shows the inherent property of compostability according to DIN EN 13432 respectively ASTM D6400, it will be decomposed into carbon dioxide and water without contaminating soil or water or causing questionable emissions. This functionality is of high importance for biopolymer applications, where fossil plastic can’t be collected without leaving behind microplastics, like agricultural mulch film, vegetable pots or garbage bags for bio-waste collection.

At Jungbunzlauer we recognise our responsibility for exercising sustainable principles in all our manufacturing operations.  To underline the importance of our aspiration to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Jungbunzlauer has committed to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) and we are in the process of setting ambitious emission reduction goals in line with the Paris Agreement. At Jungbunzlauer we are convinced it is important and mandatory to be aware of our responsibility towards the environment and to work together proactively for a more sustainable future.