PLAXICA
Further funding for PLA research / Accelerated bioplastics development programme
Bioplastics research firm Plaxica (London / UK; www.plaxica.com) has received GBP 3m (EUR 3.6m) in additional funding for its work in the development of a more energy-efficient production process for polylactic acid (PLA). The funding consists of GBP 1.2m from the technology commercialisation and investment company Imperial Innovations (London / UK; www.imperialinnovations.co.uk) and GBP 1.8m from other existing shareholders, including the Carbon Trust (Witney / UK; www.carbontrust.co.uk), a not-for-profit organisation created to accelerate the development of low carbon businesses.

The technology used by Plaxica is based on sustainable feedstocks, such as sugar cane, and is designed to commercialise a lower cost but stronger and higher quality polymer for use in packaging, textiles, electronics and automotive parts. The new funds will be used to accelerate development and scale its production.

Polylactic acid is by far the most successful biopolymer to date, accounting for approximately 40% of the market. However, due to the limitations of its physical, thermal and gas barrier properties, usage is generally restricted to one-trip food packaging applications, such as still water bottles and compostable bags. Plaxica’s PLA has much improved strength, flexibility, heat and hydrolysis resistance and barrier properties and combines the advantages of biopolymers with the utility of petrochemical-derived commodity plastics. Its novel and cost-effective technology was developed in the laboratories of Imperial College London.
27.08.2010 Plasteurope.com [217107]
Published on 27.08.2010

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