Business Rationale of Bioplastics

There's no guarantee that a brilliant innovation can be successfully commercialized. You should do some analysis before you start production.

Identifying inputs, processes or impacts that could affect scale-up will improve your chance to commercialization. Analyse and collect data on performance, economic viability and environmental impacts. The data are obtained from research and publications and should be used to illustrate system inputs and material flows.

  • Illustrate the engineering systems and processes required for production.
  • Gather process data on feedstock production, operating conditions, item size and number.
  • Gather performance data on yield, system efficiency, fuel consumption, resources (equipment, chemicals, consumables and energy).
  • Analyse spatiotemporal data such as weather conditions, roadways and travel times.
  • Do a techno-economic analysis (TEA) to define the needs for materials and resources for production including capital and operating costs
  • Do a life cycle analysis (LCA) to asses impact of system output on environment.

Lactic acid is used in food, cosmetics, polymers and other products, had a global market of $2.1 billion in 2015 (Grandview Research, 2017).

A TEA analysis shows that the biggest effect on PLA price is the yield and feedstock cost; while fermentation time had the least effect.

Argonne National Lab compared PLA from corn grain to PLA from corn stover: corn stover PLA process used 25% less energy and had 54% less greenhouse gas emissions.

A comprehensive evaluation of the scale-up potential of a new bioproduct is time-consuming and requires expertise, but can help avoid costly mistakes.



This is a Summary of the article “Pipeline to commercialization” written by By Ajay Shah, Mary Wicks and Ashish Manandhar and published on