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Bio-Based Polymers for Adhesives

Bio-Based Adhesives

The demand for adhesives is greater than ever due to a growing population and an increase in the need for materials that require an adhesive for assembly or use.  The surge in demand coupled with growing environmental concerns and a focus on reducing reliance on fossil based materials is leading to the development of more adhesives that are based on renewable and sustainable materials such as starch, proteins, and other natural resins.  Adhesives that are derived in part by natural and renewable raw materials are considered bio-based adhesives.

Bio-Based Adhesive Applications

Initially, adhesives made from bio-based polymers were water-based and made for general purpose packaging applications.  However, advances in technology and material have allowed for the development of adhesives for specific applications  and that exhibit strong adhesion to specific substrates.  While the packaging industry is still the primary consumer, bio-based adhesives have and are being developed for other industries as well including the wood composite and medical / dental industries.  This continual innovation and increase in demand for bio-based adhesives that match the adhesion properties and bond strength of traditional petroleum based products has lead manufactures to look for new sources of bio-based polymers in order to remain competitive.

Scogin® Alginate Polymers

Scogin® Alginates are a line of naturally occurring bio-based polymers that are renewably harvested from brown seaweed.  This line of sustainable polysaccharides consists of sodium alginate polymers with unique properties that make them incredibly useful in adhesive applications.

Hot & Cold Water Soluble

Unlike other thickeners and adhesive polymers, Scogin® bio-based polymers are soluble in both hot and cold water.  This allows for easier addition during formulation and manufacturing.

Viscosity & Gelation

Scogin® Alginates have a high affinity for water and excellent water retention properties.  They are often used to control the viscosity of water-based adhesive formulations.  In addition, when calcium is introduced into a water-based solution of Scogin®, a soft elastic hydrogel gel is formed.


Scogin® alginates have the ability to bond to paper and plastics with a good degree of strength and allow for the stabilization of complex homogeneous and heterogeneous structures.


Sodium alginate polymers can be used to form both water soluble and insoluble films.

Safe And Natural

Alginates like Scogin® are approved for use in applications requiring food contact safety and are well known pharmaceutical excipients.

Scogin® Adhesive Applications

The unique properties of Scogin® Alginates that are listed above make them and interesting family of polymers to evaluate for various adhesive applications.  Some well known applications for these materials are listed below.

Green Packaging

Alginates offer a good alternative to synthetic polymers used in heat seal coatings and laminating adhesives and increase the bio-content of a package.  Adhesives formulated with Scogin® exhibit good adhesion to plastics and paper used in flexible packaging.

Wood Composites

Scogin® is a suitable replacement for aldehyde based chemicals used in the production of wood composites.  Sodium alginate exhibits good adhesion to wood particles and has been found to be a suitable binder for wood composite materials used in building and construction.

Medical Adhesives

Sodium alginates is a good alternative for acrylics that are used in the manufacture of hydrogels for bandages and wound dressings.  Scogin® alginates are safe and natural polymers that can be used to easily form hydrogels that exhibit good and safe skin adhesion.

Summary and Conclusion

The demand for adhesive materials with increased bio-content is on the rise as the effects of the chemical industry on the environment continue to be a concern to consumers and regulatory bodies.  An increase in the development of environmentally friendly adhesives that match the performance of traditional adhesives has led to a search for bio-based polymers that offer unique properties.  Scogin® Alginates are a bio-based polymer that offers a number of properties that make it a useful candidate in the formulation of bio-based adhesives.  Contact us today to speak with one of our dedicated product experts about how Scogin® Alginates could be used in your next adhesive formulation.

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