New PLA facility in Thailand
NatureWorks has passed the final authorization milestone by parent companies Cargill and GC International Corporation, a subsidiary of PTT Group, for a new Ingeo PLA manufacturing facility in Thailand.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA’s) have been known by scientists for a very long time.x In fact, the simplest PHA, called P3HB, or sometimes just PHB, was discovered as early as 1926 by a French researcher, Maurice Lemoigne, in the course of his work with the bacterium Bacillus megaterium. At the time, little heed was paid to Lemoigne’s discovery, mainly because of its perceived irrelevance: at the time, fossil fuels were inexpensive and abundant. But all that started changing when, in the 1970s, the oil crisis started and bio chemicals and plastics started to become viewed as a viable alternative to petroleum-based materials. It was around that time that microbiologists brought PHA to the attention of the industry.
Polylactic acid, or polylactide (PLA) is a thermoplastic polyester with backbone formula (C3H4O2)n or [–C(CH3)HC(=O)O–]n, formally obtained by condensation of lactic acid C(CH3)(OH)HCOOH with loss of water (hence its name). PLA can also be prepared by ring-opening polymerization of lactide [–C(CH3)HC(=O)O–]2, the cyclic dimer of the basic repeating unit. The two mojor producers of PLA ar NatureWorks and Total Corbion.