Braskem and AlpFilm partnership leads to plastic film that can eliminate the Novel Coronavirus
Technology developed with the support of FAPESP and tested by the Biomedical Sciences Institute of USP protects food and reaches the market as one more ally of consumers in the fight against Covid-19
The partnership between Braskem and AlpFilm produced the ALPFILM PROTECT PVC, a transparent PVC plastic film with silver and silica microparticles capable of inactivating 79.9% of the new coronavirus in three minutes and 99.99% in up to 15 minutes. The product is already available on the market and it is regularly used in food packaging such as meat, fruit and cold cuts, and now it can be used in additional ways, such as surface protection.
The Vinyl Application Engineering team at Braskem provided support to AlpFilm in the formulation development that led to the film, maximizing the protection potential against fungi and bacteria, and achieved the virucidal role - that is, capable of eliminating virus. In the next step, silver and silica were added to the plastic film using the technology developed and licensed by the São Paulo company Nanox, with support from the FAPESP Program Innovative Research in Small Companies (Pesquisa Inovativa em Pequenas Empresas, PIPE).
The capacity of the plastic packaging to eliminate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, was tested at the level 3 bio-security laboratory (NB3) of the Biomedical Sciences Institute of the University of São Paulo (ICB-USP) and in accordance with ISO 21702:2019, antiviral activity measurement technical standard in plastics and other non-porous surfaces.
For Braskem, the effectiveness once again reinforces the relevance of plastics in initiatives aimed at the health and safety of society. "Plastics has been a major ally of the population in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic. PVC solutions enable the production of a number of essential items, from medical and hospital products to packaging that ensure food safety, hygiene and cleaning, among others, reinforcing the fight against Covid-19," explains Almir Cotias, Vinyl Business Director at Braskem, the area in charge of producing the raw material for the ALPFILM PROTECT PVC film.
"The product has been around since 2014 and it already had anti-fungal and antibacterial properties thanks to the presence of silver microparticles, but, with the pandemic, we submitted it to a number of studies to adjust its composition and ensure its antiviral efficacy, particularly against the novel coronavirus. Given the challenges posed by Covid-19, we decided to turn our attention to the research and development of this product's evolution to inactivate the new coronavirus by contact," explains Alessandra Zambaldi, Director for Foreign Trade and Marketing at Alpes.
Alpes is one of the major producers of PVC plastic films in Brazil, with a monthly production of 450 tons of the material. The company has been marketing plastic films with silver microparticles since 2014 for food packaging in supermarkets and home use, intended to provide protection against fungi and bacteria. The product is already available on the market.
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