Biodegradable Products

Coperion is specialist for complete compounding lines for biodegradable products

Plants for the Processing of Biodegradable Material

In addition to classic engineering plastics such as PE, PP and PA, Coperion is also specialized in the design of compounding systems for biodegradable products. The manufacturing method for biodegradable products evolved from the processing of thermoplastic starch. Starch is not thermoplastic and has to be transformed before it can be alloyed with other biodegradable products such as polylactic acid (PLA), polycaprolacton (PCL), polyvinylalcohol (PVA) or synthetic polyesters.

Coperion’s technical engineers configure modular compounding systems that exactly meet the requirements of the customer. Our experts define the right machine size of the twin screw extruder, i.e. the screw diameter for a given throughput quantity must be chosen and the structure and length of the process section including the screw geometry must be determined. In addition, gravimetric feeders, raw material feeders and intermediate storage for the end product are selected. Vacuum pumps for drawing off steam and other undesirable volatile components from the polymer melt must be configured. The design of the granulation depends on the water sensitivity of the biodegradable products. Both underwater and water ring and air pelletizers can be used. Alternatively the plastic can be cooled in a water bath and cut by a strand pelletizer. Transfer of the end product and its intermediate storage as well as the handling of the raw material are planned and executed by Coperion.

Producing biodegradable products is also possible using direct extrusion. Direct extrusion or in-line compounding enables the production of semi-finished products such as films, sheets, tubes or profiles in one process step – intermediate pelletizing is omitted completely. Coperion is considered a specialist for the production of direct extrusion plants.

Typical applications for the processing of biodegradable products

  • Plastics with granular starch as a biodegradable filler
  • Starch-based loose fill
  • Thermoplastic starch
  • Polylactide (PLA), PVOH, synthetic copolyester, PBS, PHA, PCL, CA
  • Compounds of various biological materials
  • Compounds of plastics and biological materials
  • Pelletizing of PLA, polymerization of PLA

Plant for biodegradable material successfully in operation

One example of the technological leadership of Coperion in the biodegradable product sector is the delivery of a complete compounding system to blown film manufacturer Asahel Benin Sarl. and sharing the corresponding process engineering expertise with them.

The system includes a ZSK 26 Mc18 twin screw extruder, four highly accurate feeders from Coperion K-Tron, as well as a water bath, an air wipe and a strand pelletizer from Coperion Pelletizing Technology. Before plastic bags and packaging were banned in Benin in July of 2018, this west African manufacturer had made its plastic films using polyethylene (PE). The new law forced the company to completely convert its production. Following a successful test and training phase at Coperion’s Stuttgart test lab, Asahel Benin Sarl. produces biodegradable compounds in its home country with the aid of the ZSK twin screw extruder, and further processes these on its existing blown film machinery into biodegradable bags and packaging materials.

Italian compounder Sirmax (in Padua) also relies on Coperion ZSK technology for bioplastics.  Recently, Sirmax acquired two new ZSK extruders from Coperion to double its output of biocompounds.

One more example is the processing plant for biodegradable material of the Portuguese compounding company Cabopol – Polymer Compounds, S. A. with its headquarters in Porto de Mós.

The plant, which went into operation in January 2010 already, was the first for biodegradable plastics on the Iberian peninsula. Cabopol sells the biodegradable material under the tradename BIOMIND. The company’s most important field of activity are products for household and agriculture such as disposable diapers, hygiene articles or catering products.

Biodegradable products should be used wherever the biodegradability brings advantages.

Uta Kühnen , Process Engineer for food technology and specialist for biodegradable products at Coperion, Stuttgart/Germany

Discover the range of bio plastics applications

Comprehensive product range

Coperion twin screw extruder screw elements

Compounding Machines and Extruders

Coperion's ZSK twin screw extruders are the optimal extruders for processing biodegradable material. The modular structure of the process section allows for individual configuration of the twin screw extruder for every application.

Feeding Equipment

Coperion K-Tron’s feeding capabilities are extensive: our wide range of feeder options includes single screw, twin screw, vibratory, smart weigh belt and our Bulk Solids Pump feeders.  All available with our patented digital SFT weighing systems for ultimate accuracy.  If space is limited, we can utilize our K4G continuous blending station to group up to six feeders around the process inlet and provide your process a compact feeding system. Whether you are feeding powders, fibers of granular bulk materials, we have the right feeding solution for your process.

Coperion service overview

Material Handling Equipment

The variety of material used when producing Bio Plastics can make designing a material handling and feeding system a challenge. Coperion K-Tron’s past experience makes designing a solution for your process successful from the start. Our pneumatic conveying and feeding systems can make sure the right recipe of ingredients is delivered to the extruder. We can provide a complete material handling solution to deliver material from silo, bulk bags, or small bag dump stations to your process. Our system capabilities include our Series 2400 for moving your minor ingredients and continuous vacuum or pressure for conveying higher capacity ingredients to your process.

Process Equipment
Coperion compounding plant

Plants and Systems

Coperion is specialist in the design of complete compounding plants for biodegradable material - from from  raw material transfer and feeding to extrusion, pelletizing, drying, conveying and packaging of the pellets.



With our comprehensive range of services we provide highly customized service packages for machines and plants. We secure your plant availability and the efficient use of resources.



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