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PLA: The sustainable plastic of the future
Sulzer Chemtech
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How would you describe your solution in a few words?

Sulzer Chemtech’s technology for polylactic acid (PLA) enables the production of bio-based, bio-compostable, 100% recyclable high-quality bioplastic that is suitable for a wide range of applications, e.g. food packaging, fabrics, additive manufacturing.
The solution is available to any company interested in producing biopolymers on an industrial scale. Agricultural businesses can benefit from new, more profitable revenue streams for their sugar-rich crops or plant biomass.

Who are your customers?

chemicals, petrochemicals renewables, sustainable fuels, biobased, recycling


What are the environmental benefits of your solution?

PLA’s positive impact is twofold: it plays a key role in the decarbonization of the industry, and helps tackle plastic pollution. When looking at the emissions associated with the production of plastics, PLA is a gamechanger, as studies indicate that the manufacture of a kg of this polymer using Sulzer Chemtech’s technology is expected to generate as little as 0.5-0.6 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2). Moreover, PLA is compostable and recyclable, supporting more sustainable waste management and circular strategies.

Ingeo, courtesy of NatureWorks


How do you manage to exist on the market?

Sulzer Chemtech’s PLA technology is already being used in commercial-scale facilities worldwide. It can support plants of any size, making it profitable to deliver as little as 10000 tonnes per year or as high as over 100’000 annual tonnes of biopolymer and/or its intermediates. This flexibility, coupled with the ability to serve different businesses and deliver value-adding products for different applications, is key to driving global adoption. The scaling potential of the technology is also backed by Sulzer Chemtech’s global reach, combined with comprehensive localized support.


Nominated solution: PLA: The sustainable plastic of the future

Company: Sulzer Chemtech

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