Bioplastics companies Danimer Scientific, based in Bainbridge, GA, and Total Corbion PLA in the Netherlands have entered into a collaborative long-term arrangement to provide Danimer with biobased, biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) for use in manufacturing resin blends that incorporate both polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and PLA.
PHA is a bacteria-based polymer that uses, as feedstock, oils extracted from the seeds of plants like canola and soybeans. Nodax is the trade name for Danimer’s signature PHA.
PLA is produced from renewable feedstocks like sugarcane, corn, sugar beets, and cassava. Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between TotalEnergies and Corbion that specializes in PLA, will supply Danimer with Luminy PLA.
Commercial production of PHA is Danimer’s focus, and the arrangement with Total Corbion PLA will provide Danimer with the PLA needed to create custom PHA/PLA blends that meet the specific biodegradability and functionality requirements of its customers. PHA has strong biodegradability and barrier properties, and PLA offers optical clarity; therefore, blends of the two will expand applications for Danimer’s biobased resins across industries.
“Danimer Scientific customizes resin formulations for a variety of applications, including flexible packaging and food and beverage containers,” Phil Van Trump, Chief Science and Technology officer at Danimer Scientific, told PlasticsToday. “Blend ratios are determined based on a customer’s specific need for material functionality. Like every resin Danimer Scientific produces, these will be custom formulations.
“There is no single blend ratio that is inherently more promising than another,” Van Trump added. “It all depends on the specific needs of our customers. We base each formulation specifically on their requirements.”
Danimer is currently offering blended PHA- and PLA-based resins to customers but cannot speak to when the end products of those customers will be tested or commercialized.