Poly Lactic Acid

Cellulose-based materials

Increased volumes of PLA, Poly Lactic Acid, a biobased polymer with competitive properties in comparison to fossil-based polymers, is requested globally. The current rawmaterial source is corn or sugarcane which is debated due to the utilisation of agricultural land for production of plastics instead of food. Therefore, the ability to convert side streams from other industries based on biomass, like forest industry, agricultural industries, food residues etc., into lactic acid and further into PLA has rendered increased interest.

We have in two consecutive projects proven that it is possible to reach industrially viable levels converting the sugars in the side stream from the forest industry into lactic acid. The fermentation liquid has then been purified and concentrated before polymerized to PLA in lab scale. Next step is to solve the purification on an industrial scale and to further investigate more efficient methods for polymerizing the lactic acid to achieve high quality PLA.

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