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Plastics & Elastomers
The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers

The One-stop Shop for PLA Bioplastics

Alex Battù – Jun 20, 2019

PLAnet™Three companies who wanted to simplify the manufacturing of bioplastics from renewable vegetable sources have teamed up to offer PLA process installations from a single source.

As process technology and equipment specialists, Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC have formed the PLAnet™ initiative to promote the production of sustainable plastics made of polylactic acid (PLA). Newcomers to the PLA market benefit from process guarantees and technology integrations which only a one-stop shop can offer.

Thanks to the growing awareness about waste, recyclability and sustainability, the plastics industry is looking for improved recycling processes and alternative materials to petroleum-based plastics. Because it is a biopolymer, PLA, such as the kind produced through the PLAnet™ technology, perfectly complements the polymers that are already available on the market.

These include polyolefin, polystyrene, cellulose and polyester, which are used in many applications. It has a renewable origin, many end-of-life management possibilities and special properties. PLA has a similar rigidity to polyesters and can be spun into fiber on conventional extruders.

It performs like traditional polymers - such as PET and nylon 6 - and it can be processed in casts made by blown film machines. PLA provides industry transformers with new opportunities to meet changing product specifications and market demands.

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Download the Full Technical Review by Sulzer here!

How to Benefit from a Technology Network?

Driven by ecological awareness, more and more companies are seeking to replace their oil-based polymers with sustainable bioplastics. Among the bioplastics, PLA is one of the fastest-growing polymers because of its versatility and broad raw material base.

For customers, the most comfortable and calculable solution is to get all the machines for PLA production from one source. Until now, this option has not been available on the market. Thus, the idea of a one-stop shop was born.

The combined expertise and experience of the three players offers proven solutions for customers. The risk in installing new plants is minimized thanks to the expertise brought by the parties of this industrial network, who have already realized several successful plants in the past few years.

PLAnet supports the construction of plants of any size, including PLA facilities with a throughput of up to 100’000 tons per year – that permits manufacturers to save both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) by providing for integrated and optimized plant section design.

Investment Security for Newcomers

The one-stop shop for PLA production installations offers investment security for newcomers who want to go green and join the bioplastic movement now. Sulzer, a technology pioneer, has been active for over 25 years in the bioplastic movement. With its cooperation partners (Fig. 1), PLAnet can offer customers:

 − Proven technology from Futerro and Sulzer merged with a tailor-made optimized process integration from TechnipFMC
 − A single guarantee for the entire process instead of multiple contact points
 − Engineering and process design of the whole plant
 − Site service activities
 − Consulting and support services for new entrants to the market
 − Reliable after-sales service and long-term cooperation with customers

The PLAnet™ Team Cooperation
Fig. 1 Three Companies are Part of the PLAnet™ Cooperation

Greener alternatives to traditional plastics need to be backed by suitable technologies that allow businesses to mass-produce high-quality bioplastics efficiently. PLAnet, the collaboration between Sulzer, Futerro and TechnipFMC, makes this possible. By leveraging our superior technologies for the entire PLA value chain, we can help processing industries to establish reliable integrated PLA plants and increase their competitiveness, while making sustainable plastics a reality.

Sven Cammerer, Head of Polymer business, Winterthur, Switzerland

 » Continue reading to know how the PLAnet™ partnership between Futerro, Sulzer and TechnipFMC is offering leading technologies, expertise and skills that you can rely on for the entire PLA value chain 

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