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Sulzer’s bioplastics production technology selected by NatureWorks

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Sulzer is delivering customised production technology for NatureWorks’ latest biopolymer manufacturing facility which will be located in Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex, Thailand. Developed to support the increasing global demand for polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastics, the fully integrated plant will utilise Sulzer Chemtech’s advanced lactide purification and polymer production technology to produce 75 000 tpy of Ingeo PLA, which is used in applications such as compostable food packaging.

Selected to design and supply lactide purification, polymerisation and devolatilisation units at NatureWorks’ newest facility, Sulzer Chemtech will provide technology, engineering services and key equipment to design and supply fully customised production solutions meeting NatureWorks’ specific requirements.

The use of the company’s crystallisation technology will deliver high-purity lactides suitable for Ingeo PLA grades, while the polymerisation and post-reaction train will convert lactide into the full portfolio of Ingeo grades. Extensive support during the project execution phases will also be provided to help NatureWorks begin its operations quickly and smoothly.

As part of the company’s global manufacturing expansion plan, the new facility will increase NatureWorks’ overall production capacity of lactic acid, lactides and advanced Ingeo PLA biopolymers. Made from renewable resources, these biomaterials have a lower carbon footprint than average petroleum-based plastics and support a wide range of applications, including compostable food packaging and serviceware, fibres, filaments for 3D printing, hygiene masks and household appliances.

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