Thyssenkrupp’s PLAneo Technology converts lactic acid into PLA

The company announced that it is building the first industrial demo  plant of its patented PLAneo® technology in Changchun, China.  

The customer is COFCO Corporation, a leading supplier of agri-products. Once completed, the new plant will produce around 10,000 tons of PLA per year. Commissioning is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

thyssenkrupp-pla-planeo

The PLAneo® technology was developed by Uhde Inventa-Fischer, a direct subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions located in Berlin (Germany) and Domat-EMS (Switzeland). It possesses a  global expertise in the scale-up of new polymerization technologies and it has built more than 400 polymerization plants throughout the world.

The PLAneo® technology reportedly converts lactic acid into PLA in a particularly efficient and resource-friendly way. Another reported advantage is its transferability to large-scale plants with capacities of up to 300 tons per day (100,000 t/year). Thanks to its great flexibility the process allows the production of tailored PLA types with different degrees of crystallinity and viscosity for a multitude of applications.

Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the Electrolysis & Polymers Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions says: “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. With it we enable our customers to produce high-quality bioplastics with custom properties – and at a price that is increasingly competitive with conventional petrochemical plastics.”thyssenkrupp is providing basic and detailed engineering, key plant components and supervision of erection and commissioning for the new PLA plant.

COFCO, standing for China National Cereals Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation, is one of China’s state-owned food processing holding companies and China’s largest food processing, manufacturer and trader. COFCO ranks the top in its total asset and the third in its total revenue in agri-industry all over the globe with overseas operations in countries such as the US, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada.

Besides the foodstuff business, COFCO has developed itself into a diversified conglomerate, involving planting, cultivation, food-processing, food packaging, finance, warehouse, transportation, port facilities, hotels and real estate. It is ranked n°121 of the Fortune’s 500 enterprises with revenues of 65 bn USD.

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