Dutch major in lactic acid Corbion Purac BV says it is the first company to make polylactic acid from materials that don't compete with potential food supply supplies.
The Amsterdam company makes from second generation feedstocks not suited for human consumption, such as bagasse, corn stover, wheat straw and wood chips. Conventional methods of making bio-based PLA are based on foodstuffs such as cane sugar, sugar beet, corn and cassava and some critics argue these foods should not be diverted to make plastics and petrochemicals.
Corbion Purac optimizes fermentation processes to suit various waste biomass. The company does admit, however, that further research and development are needed for the alternative route to PLA to become commercial and it is inviting companies to join a consortium to speed up commercialization. The company's PLA recently was certified to be industrially compostable by European certifier Vincottee.
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