Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) – an innovative biopolymer for the bioplastics toolbox

Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) is a crystalline polyester which is produced from Succinic Acid and 1.4-Butanediol (BDO). By usage of Succinic Acid and BDO from renewable resources, PBS can be up to 100% biobased. PBS is quite flexible and has a balanced property profile. It has a melting temperature exceeding 100°C, which is crucial for applications that require
high temperature stability. Its mechanical properties are similar to those of LDPE.

The mechanical properties of PBS can be tuned either by copolymerization e.g. with adipic acid and also by creating blends/compounds with other polymers. Amongst the different possibilities for PBS copolymers, PBST and PBSA are the most commonly mentioned in literature. Generally speaking, copolymerization yields higher impact strength and elongation at break. PBS is easily compounded with other polymers, for example PLA and PBAT. PBS can be processed by most conventional conversion methods, such as injection, extrusion or blow moulding.

PBS takes an interesting spot in the bioplastics material coordinate system due to its up to 100% biobased content and its biodegradability under industrial conditions (according to DIN EN 13432). Also, CO2 is captured during the production of Biobased Succinic Acid. Furthermore, PBS and its monomers have a relatively high Biomass Utilisation Efficiency (BUE; source Nova Institute 2016), compared to other biobased building blocks.

Due to these interesting material properties, its eco-profile and its high versatility, Bio-PBS is gaining increasing attention in the framework of the growing bio-based economy. Mostly used as a blend partner in combination with other bioplastics (such as PLA), it plays an important role in the development of new bioplastics products. Application examples include food packaging, food service ware, single use coffee capsules, agricultural products (mulch films), but also durable applications, e.g. composite materials for automotive.

To provide our customers and the polymer industry with some basic information on PBS, its properties and applications, Succinity has published a PBS brochure in 2016 with support of the Nova Institute. The brochure can be found under the article.

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