LG Chem partners with TK Chemical to produce maritime biodegradable materials

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : September 13, 2021, 11:10 Updated : December 22, 2021, 17:17

[Courtesy of LG Chem]

SEOUL -- LG Chem, a chemical unit of South Korea's LG Group, teamed up with TK Chemical, a domestic chemical fiber producer, to develop maritime biodegradable materials and source materials for agricultural vinyl films and disposable bags. Maritime biodegradable materials can be used to develop eco-friendly fishnets to protect marine environments and resources.

South Korea has been focusing on distributing biodegradable fishing nets to prevent marine pollution and accidents involving animals or fishing vessels getting caught by abandoned or lost nets made of nylon. By spending 5.2 billion won ($4.7 million), the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has distributed biodegradable fishnets for crabs and yellow croakers in March 2021.

LG Chem said in a statement on September 10 that it signed a memorandum of understanding with TK Chemical to establish a polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) production line by the second half of 2021. PBAT is a petroleum-based marine biodegradable plastic that rapidly degrades through enzyme reactions with oxygen, heat and light. They are widely used in environmentally-friendly products such as agricultural vinyl and disposable bags.

"Through the partnership with TK Chemical, we have come to secure differentiated competitiveness in the biodegradable plastic market," No Guk-rae, LG Chem's petrochemicals division head was quoted as saying. Data released by global market research company Statista showed that the global biodegradable plastics market will grow to $23.3 billion by 2026 from $8 billion in 2021.
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