Germany-based thyssenkrupp is set to build new commercial facility by using its PLAneo technology in Changchun, China.
The new facility is being developed for Cofco, which supplies agri-products with a wide range of foodstuffs and services.
Changchun facility will be used to produce bioplastic polylactide (PLA), which is a bio-based and compostable plastic.
Expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2018, the facility will produce around 10,000 tons of PLA per year.
The PLA can be used for processing of packaging materials, films and engineering plastics, helping to replace conventional oil-based polymers.
German firm has developed its own manufacturing process for the PLA, in a bid to reduce dependency on petroleum-based plastics.
The raw material for PLA production is lactic acid that is produced from renewable resources such as sugar, starch or cellulose. It is both bio-based and bio-degradable
PLAneo technology will convert lactic acid into PLA in a specific way, which can be transferred to large-scale plants with capacities of up to 300 tons per day.
The process is said to allow the production of tailored PLA types with different degrees of crystallinity and viscosity for a multitude of applications.
thyssenkrupp is providing basic and detailed engineering, key plant components and supervision of erection and commissioning for the new PLA plant.
The thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions electrolysis and polymers technologies business unit CEO Sami Pelkonen said: “With our technology we want to help establish bioplastics on the market. It reduces the use of fossil raw materials and significantly lowers CO2 emissions.”