Eastman Kodak, a victim of the digital age now focusing on ink and toner production, won the 2015 Innovation in Bioplastics Award for a bio-toner. Designed for the electro-photographic printing industry, the toner contains greater than 90 percent biobased and biodegradable materials.
The bio-toner is made from Nature Works Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA) resin, which is said to make the de-inking process simpler. The resulting waste contains mostly lactic acid, a useful feedstock.
According to Eastman Kodak, toner resin worth approximately $1 billion is consumed each year in the printing industry for electro-photographic toners. One third of that goes into chemical toner production of which color toner production accounts for 98 percent. Bioresins now account for only one percent of color toners and 10 percent of monochrome toners.
According to Eastman Kodak, its biobased toner will be widely available by May or June this year.
The announcement was made at NPE2015 in Orlando, Florida.