Saturday 11 August 2012

GMO-free PLA Bio-Polymers with Bio-Efficiency by Purac

     Francois de Bie, Global Marketing Director, Purac (Holland) pointed out that selecting the right feedstock for biopolymers was the key to success.  PLA from sugar cane, beet or corn is most bio-efficient because these crops yield more per hectare  and sugar converts most efficiently to PLA.

  • ·   1.6kg sugar yield 1 kg of PLA via lactic acid and lactides. (e.g. Purac     and Natureworks)
  • ·   It takes 4kgs of sugar to make a kilo of polyethylene via ethanol (e.g Braskem)
  • ·   Bio MEG and bio PTA can be used to make polyester and while not commercial yet, this would need over 5kgs of sugar per kilo of polymer.
  • ·   Estimates for PP from sugar via ethanol were not available.
  • ·   Purac guarantee PLA polymers free of GMOs.

Purac have a set of objectives to improve sustainability by 2015 and these involve achieving 20% reductions in total energy, in raw material waste, in water use and in total packaging by 2015.  They also target a 20-30%  increase in renewable energy use, and plan to convert all packaging to “recyclable or sustainable”.

(from a paper given at the Biopolymer World Conference, Venice, April 2012)

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