Engineering News

Arkema, Purac to Jointly Develop Block Copolymers
September 14, 2010

Arkema and Purac on Monday announced their collaboration in functional Lactide-based block copolymers. These innovative block copolymers reportedly will enhance the thermo-mechanical and physical properties of many biobased polymers like Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), resulting in a wider range of applications opportunities. These copolymers are produced by combining Arkema's organic catalysis ring-opening polymerization technology with Purac's L- and D-Lactide monomers.

Arkema is known for its expertise in anionic and controlled radical polymerization technologies. A polymer range based on these technologies is already available on the market under the Nanostrength brand name. Arkema has developed a new ring-opening polymerization process based on organic catalysis, thereby enabling full control over the polymer architecture. This process helps produce high purity copolymers from cyclic compounds such as lactides and lactones, providing environmental benefits due to absence of metal residues.

Purac is well known for its expertise in fermentation of lactic acid and subsequent conversion into high purity and 100% biobased L- and D-Lactides. These monomers are marketed under the brand name Puralact. Purac is enabling the growth of the PLA market through partnerships with leading and innovative companies throughout the value-chain.

The combined know-how of Arkema and Purac will allow the development of this new range of high purity functional block copolymers containing PLA segments. This new product improves the specific functional properties, such as thermal resistance and impact strength in various polymers. PLA is a strongly growing biobased thermoplastic polymer which is widely used in packaging, textile and other consumer goods.

Arkema is a global chemical company consisting of three businesses: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. Arkema reported sales of 4.4 billion euros in 2009. Arkema has 13,800 employees in over 40 countries and 7 research centers located in France, the United States and Japan. With internationally recognized brands, Arkema holds leadership positions in its principal markets.

Purac is a leading company in lactic acid based bioplastics and the worldwide market leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives and lactides. Purac develops this bioplastics market through innovative solutions and partnerships with a select group of companies in the plastics industry. Purac has almost 80 years of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of these products in a broad range of industries. Purac operates production plants in the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and Thailand and markets its products through a worldwide network of sales offices and distributors. Purac is headquartered in The Netherlands and is a part of CSM.

Source: Arkema

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