Archer Daniels Midland Co. quietly announced in August the commercialization of a potential bio replacement for bisphenol A (BPA) in polycarbonate called isosorbide. Polycarbonate has been phased out of some baby bottles and other applications because of concern about the potential health effects associated with BPA.
Isosorbide is made from corn and joins ADM’s Evolution Chemicals line of biobased industrial ingredients that are derived from renewable resources like corn and soy. The Evolution line includes propylene glycol, glycerin, industrial ethanol and ethylene glycol.
ADM offers isosorbide in both a technical grade (97 percent pure) and a polymer grade (99 percent pure). ADM is a JV partner in Telles, a major bioplastics player in the United States.
The largest American-based producer of polycarbonate is Sabic Innovative Plastics in Pittsfield MA. In response to a question from Design News about the potential use of isosorbide, a Sabic IP spokesperson said: “SABIC Innovative Plastics’ policy is not to discuss future technology consideration/plans for competitive reasons.”