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Chemical, 2018-10-18, 12:26 PM

thyssenkrupp commissions first commercial bioplastics plant for COFCO in China

– PLAneo® technology from thyssenkrupp lowers CO2 emissions and reduces use of fossil raw materials

– Production capacities for bioplastics expected to grow

COFCO plant with PLA/bioplastics technology from thyssenkrupp
The COFCO bioplastics plant with the PLA (polylactide) technology from thyssenkrupp's polymer specialists Uhde Inventa-Fischer

To reduce reliance on petroleum-based plastics, thyssenkrupp has developed a manufacturing process for the bioplastic polylactide (PLA). The world’s first commercial plant based on the patented PLAneo® technology recently started production in Changchun, China. It is operated by the Jilin COFCO Biomaterial Corporation, a subsidiary of COFCO, China’s largest food and beverage group. The new plant produces all standard PLA types, among other things for the production of eco-friendly packaging, fibers, textiles and engineering plastics.

Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the Electrolysis & Polymers Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions: “The bioplastics market will continue to grow in the coming years, not least due to the increasing environmental awareness of industry, governments and consumers. With our PLAneo® technology we want to do our bit to make the plastics sector more sustainable and resource-friendly. With it we enable our customers to produce high-quality bioplastics with a wide range of properties – at a price that is competitive with conventional plastics.”

Polyactide (PLA) is a 100% bio-based and compostable plastic which thanks to its physical and mechanical properties can replace conventional oil-based polymers in many areas. The starting material for PLA production is lactic acid, which is recovered from renewable resources such as sugar, starch or cellulose.

PLAneo® technology converts lactic acid into PLA in a particularly efficient and resource-friendly way. Another advantage is its transferability to large-scale plants with capacities of up to 100,000 tons per year. In developing the technology, thyssenkrupp’s subsidiary Uhde Inventa-Fischer profited from decades of expertise gained from the construction of more than 400 polymerization plants and extensive experience in the scale-up of new technologies. For the new plant in Changchun thyssenkrupp provided the engineering, key plant components and supervision of construction and commissioning.

About us:

The Industrial Solutions business area at thyssenkrupp is a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems. Based on more than 200 years of experience we supply tailored, turnkey plants and components for customers in the chemical, fertilizer, cement, mining and steel industries. As a system partner to the automotive sector we develop highly specialized solutions to meet the individual requirements of our customers. More than 16,000 employees worldwide form a global network with a technology portfolio that guarantees maximum productivity and cost-efficiency.

About Uhde Inventa-Fischer:

Uhde Inventa-Fischer is a leading engineering company located in Berlin, Germany, and Domat/Ems, Switzerland. Its scope of services includes the development, engineering and construction of industrial plants for the production of polyester, polyamide and polylactic acid. The company has built more than 400 production plants throughout the world. Uhde Inventa-Fischer is part of the Industrial Solutions business area of thyssenkrupp.

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