to engineer functional lactide-based block copolymers, as well as work with a consortium that's developing a process to cull lactic acid feedstock from the pulp and paper industry's cellulosic waste stream. The proposed Arkema/Purac functional lactide-based block copolymers would enhance the thermo-mechanical and physical properties of polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic, broadening the range of application opportunities. These copolymers are to be produced by combining Arkema's organic catalysis ring-opening polymerization technology with Purac's L- and D-Lactide monomers.
Arkema has expertise in anionic and controlled radical polymerization technologies, having already developed a polymer range based on these technologies marketed under the Nanostrength brand name. Arkema's new ring-opening polymerization process is based on organic catalysis, enabling what the company calls full control over the polymer architecture.
The lactic acid feedstock consortium also includes Crown Van Gelder N.V., a paper producing company, and Bumaga B.V., a development center in the paper and board industry. The project is part of the Dutch Biorefinery program and will be partially funded by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Fishery.
Purac is working to develop new sustainable building blocks for its products, with a particular interest in non-food feedstocks, such as agricultural byproducts, instead of using sugars, glucose, and tapioca starch as for its fermentation processes. —[email protected]