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Materials Science



Ecovia's AzuraGel superabsorbent awarded 100% USDA certified biobased product label


05/12/2018

Ecovia Renewables announced yesterday that their AzuraGel 100 product earned the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product Label at 100% biobased content. As an Ecovia Biopolymer, AzuraGel is based on a water-swellable and water-dispersible cross-linked biopolymer. It forms biobased and biodegradable hydrogels with outstanding functional properties.

Third-party verification for a product's biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program. AzuraGel is the first Ecovia Biopolymer product to receive USDA biobased certification and is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content. Furthermore, AzuraGel 100 qualifies under the mandatory federal purchasing program as both a personal care product component and chemical intermediate.

"The team is excited to have confirmation of 100% biobased content in AzuraGel," says Drew Hertig, Chief Business Officer of Ecovia. "It represents a big step toward offering a complete biobased solution for manufactures of personal care products, especially superabsorbents for hygiene."

"Thanks to innovative companies like Ecovia Renewables, Inc., the USDA BioPreferred Program has certified another intermediate ingredient that offers manufacturers biobased alternatives when designing products for consumers," said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. "We commend Ecovia on their latest certification and look forward to the launch of their AzuraGelâ„¢ 100 product."

In addition to hygiene superabsorbents, the unique properties of AzuraGel makes it well suited for a broad range of other applications, including as thickeners, texturizers, and soil amendments for water retention. Biodegradability and composability trials for AzuraGel are set to commence next year. Likewise, biobased content is being testing for AzuraBase, Ecovia's linear biopolymer product offering.

Biobased materials are seeing rapid adoption across the world. According to Inkwood Research, the market for biobased chemicals is expected to grow to $24 billion at a 16.2% CAGR between 2017 and 2025. This growth is simultaneous with the ongoing pressured faced by petrochemical producers, of which conventional, non-biobased plastics are made. Single-use plastics make up about 15% of all non-combusted oil and are threatened by worldwide bans.

Although there is a waitlist, samples may be requested here. AzuraGel is expected to launch next year and will be sold as off-white granules.