Global Printing Toners Market: Resins Derived from Soybean Replace Petroleum-based Resins in Printing Toners

Growth of digital printing market has pushed the demand for printing toners. Shifting consumer preference has led printing inks to give way for toners. With a wide range of applications of digital printing, the global market for printing toners is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.8% during the period between 2014 and 2020. The demand for printing toners across the globe was around 216.0 kilo tons in 2013. The overall market stood at a valuation of US$2.91 billion in 2013 and is estimated to be worth US$4.33 billion by 2020. 

Though the demand for printing toners is increasing, so is the adverse impact on the environment as the printing toners are usually polyester resin-based or styrene-acrylic based. The presence of chemicals such as naptha, which is derived from petroleum, along with other polymers and resins increases the carbon footprint of the global printing toners market. Bio-based toners have emerged as the potential answer to lessen the negative impact on the environment.

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Bio-based Toners:  Global Printing Toners Market Goes Green

In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published guidelines for printer toner bio-content. According to the USDA, a printer toner manufactured with at least 32% renewable raw materials can be qualified as bio-based. Petroleum-based resins constitute around 70% of toner resins. Various bio-based materials such as cottonseed, soy, and corn can be substituted with the petroleum-based resins. Bio-based toners increase energy dependence by reducing the need for petroleum-based toners. Increasing demand for existing agricultural products such as soy will also spur the economic development. Following are some of the bio-based toners recently introduced in the market:

  • AgriTone: A bio-based toner created with resins derived from soybean has been developed by an independent research and development organization Battelle and its partners, Advanced Image Resources, and the Ohio Soybean Council. Advanced Image Resources Inc. manufactures BioRez, a soy-based resin that is a vital constituent in the production of the bio-based toner. Battelle was awarded the 2008 Greener Synthetic Pathways Award for the development of this bio-based toner.

  • BioBlack: Developed by Mitsubishi Kagaku Imaging Corporation, the bio-based toner is made with a bio-based resin that substitutes for up to 34% of the petroleum-based resin. The toner has been also certified as bio-based by the USDA. 

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Bio-based Toner Developed by Eastman Kodak Wins Innovation in Bio plastics Award

Manufacturers are increasingly focusing on creating environmentally sustainable printing toners. In March this year, Eastman Kodak won the Innovation in Bioplastics 2015 award at the NPE Plastics Trade Show in Florida. The company won the award for creating a bio-based toner designed for the electro-photographic printing industry. The toner contains more than 90% bio-based and biodegradable materials. The resin used in the toner comprises of polylactic acid and has been derived from renewable and naturally abundant resources. 


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