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Application of bio-based materials in high-end electronic field encounters great difficulties

On 9 Sept., 2014, Apple Inc. (Apple) launched iPhone6, a mobile phone attracting global attention, on the market. Previously, a wide diversity of opinion was raised, concerning the material of iPhone6 – plastics, glass or metal. Still, it is the traditional metal that is applied in iPhone6, instead of plastics, according to Bio-based Materials China News 1409 on September by CCM.

Early in 2013, iPhone5C was released, with plastic cover, a petro-based engineering plastic namely polycarbonate (PC). Compared with metal and glass, plastics are cheaper, with clear signal, bright color, wear resistance and sturdiness. It seems like a good choice for plastics to be applied in electronic products. Moreover, as the concept of low carbon and environmental protection shows up as an upsurge, the further application of bioplastics in this field may boast an excellent result.

Lin Yufeng from Yun You Into (Suqian) Composite Material Co., Ltd. ever stated that bioplastics should be developed into high-end electronic field, due to the high prices of bio-based raw materials, which has been confronted with hardness to enter low-end fields such as common plastics. If applied in high-end electronic field, high prices are negligible. Then, bio-based materials can wait for the innovation in commercial technology to thoroughly solve the obstacle of costs, and set foot in the substitution for cheap petro-based materials, especially petrochemical plastics.

According to incomplete statistics, the mobile phones thrown away in 2012 exceeded 100 million in China. Currently, mobile phones are witnessing surprising development, which may lead to the enlarging number of abandoned phones and further will cause severe environmental pollution. However, many mobile phone manufacturers, such as Apple and HTC Corporation, gradually adopt metal into their ultimate series, instead of bioplastics. Here, CCM tries to discuss about the possibility to apply bio-based materials in high-end electronic filed, focusing on mobile phones with the fastest development.

It seems to be unrealistic for bio-based materials to be applied in high-end electronic field in large quantities, such as phone covers. Though the processed bioplastics boast excellent characteristics, like fine hand feeling, easy shaping and biocompatibility, they inherit common failing of plastics, weak thermal conductivity. Compared with metal and glass, they are bad conductors. Since large amount of heat will be generated from running mobile phones, it is an unwise move to apply bioplastics in the market fulfilled with smart phones.


Besides, bioplastics cannot meet the requirements on materials from electronic field, concerning their physical properties. Polybutylenes succinate (PBS) presents properties between petro-based polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). It is a kind of excellent bio-based materials, regarding heat resistance, strength, rigidity and toughness. Also, it is one of the rare kinds of bio-based materials developing maturely. However, it cannot match petro-based PC when applied in the internal part and covers of mobile phones, in view of stabilization, mechanical property and low temperature resistance.

Meantime, in the current market, only cheap and emulational mobile phones use plastics, titling plastics as low-end products. And it is very difficult for bioplastics to redefine this concept.

In addition, due to the exploration and exploitation of shale gas, it is expected that shale gas will partly replace petroleum, which will extend the time for petroleum consumption. Petroleum crisis is not that urgent. The voice to reduce petroleum consumption and develop bio-based materials tends to be moderate. Meanwhile, owing to the comparatively long-time development, petro-based plastics own mature high-end technology such as plastic modification. It will take a long time for bioplastics to reach such a level, let alone substitution of petro-based plastics in high-end electronic field.


Table of Content: Bio-based Materials China News 1409

1. Bioplastics still to be niche market

2. China's bio-based materials industry continues unsatisfactory development in Q1–Q3 2014

3. Analysis on development of China's bio-based materials industry during Twelfth Five-year Plan

4. Application of bio-based materials in high-end electronic field encounters great difficulties

5. Development of China's bio-based materials industry based on application patterns at home and abroad

6. PLA fiber to be best choice for China's high-end fiber industry

7. International price decline of sugar to benefit China's bio-based materials industry

8. PLA applied in lamp radiator

9. Brief analysis on development of bio-based PET

10. Songyuan Guanghe passes inspections of CAS on straw-based ethanol industrialization technology

11. Esun to apply bio-based materials in Hobbyking's aeromodels

12. Taizhou Bangfeng expected to apply bio-based materials in Tingyi's noodle bowls

13. Tangshan Sanyou releases new bio-based fiber

14. Hisun enters into public review for 10,000 t/a PLA expansion project

15. Ford depends on environmental protection borne by bio-based materials to promote auto brand

16. NDRC issues policy to guide development of bio-based materials industrial chain

17. Non-degradable plastics prohibited in Hangzhou's scenic areas

18. Corn launched on market expected to propel price down-regulation for corn starch in China

19. Imports of LA in China increase but exports decrease in 2011–2014


Biomaterials, referring to products using renewable raw materials, have developed rapidly in China in recent years and are expected to have a promising market in the future, though this industry is emerging. Biomaterials are mainly divided into four types in the news: natural bio-based materials, microbial synthetic materials, chemical synthesis of bio-based materials and bio-nylon. Undoubtedly, the application of biomaterials is the trend in the future, thanks to environmental protection, excellent properties, etc. Biomaterials China News includes12 to 14 topics per monthly issue andwill bring you the latest information on the market and company dynamics, new biomaterials products, new biomaterials technology development, new legislations and policies and raw material supply dynamics that are shaping the market.


About CCM

CCM is dedicated to market research in China, Asia-Pacific Rim and global market. With staff of more than 150 dedicated highly-educated professionals, CCM offers Market Data, Analysis, Reports, Newsletters, Buyer-Trader Information, Import/Export Analysis, and Consultancy Service.

For more information, please visit

Guangzhou CCM Information Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

17th Floor, Huihua Commercial & Trade Mansion, No.80 Xianlie Zhong Road, Guangzhou 510070, China

Tel:   86-20-37616606


This article was provided by CCM, a leading provider of data and business intelligence on China's chemicals market.           

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