Ingeo - PLA
Natureworks LLCMakes greenhouse gases-sugars-lactic acid-Ingeo PLA (polylactic acid) polymers.
Ingeo polymers and fibers-films to yogurt cups to baby wipes. How Ingeo is Made Nature looks at greenhouse gases, like atmospheric carbon, as a feedstock, a raw material. It's what trees, plants, and coral reefs are built from. At NatureWorks, they are doing the same thing - using their best technologies to turn greenhouse gases into a portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) performance materials called Ingeo. The Process Starts with Greenhouse Gases Nature looks at greenhouse gases, like atmospheric carbon, as a feedstock, a raw material. It's what trees, plants, and coral reefs are built from. NatureWorks uses plants like corn, cassava, sugar cane or beets to capture and sequester CO2 transforming it into long-chain sugar molecules. NatureWorks R&D team is assessing new technology to skip plants and use microorganisms to directly convert greenhouse gases into lactic acid.
The plants are put through a milling process extracting the starch (glucose). Enzymes are added to convert the glucose to dextrose via a process called hydrolysis. Microorganisms then ferment this dextrose into lactic acid. A proprietary two-step process transforms lactic acid molecules into rings of lactide, which is a valuable chemical on its own and the core of our customizable platform of chemical intermediates. Polymerizing Lactide into Ingeo PLA In the process of polymerization, the lactide ring is opened and linked together to form the long chain of polylactide polymer we call Ingeo. NatureWorks form this long chain of Ingeo PLA into pellets that are shipped around the world to NatureWorks customers and partners who transform them into a wide-range of innovative products including coffee capsules, yogurt cups, baby wipes, and appliances.
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