[en] Polylactides (PLA), biodegradable aliphatic polyesters, produced from renewable resources might substitute petrochemically based polymers in a broad range of applications in the near future, if we manage to produce them at lower cost and higher efficiency than nowadays. Possible applications include food packaging for meat and soft drinks, films for agro-industry and non-wovens in hygienic products. The authors developed, based on a new catalytic system, a reactive extrusion polymerisation process, which can be used to produce PLA continuously in larger quantities and at lower costs than before. This extrusion polymerisation process has been developed and tested with laboratory scale machines and has to be transferred to industrial processing equipment. This paper aims to address the problems attached with this transfer and to discuss the chances to finally achieve low cost PLA at industrial scale.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
The European Commissions AIR-project and FAIR project