ThyssenKrupp plans biotech lactic acid plant for 2012

12 August 2011 14:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--German engineering firm ThyssenKrupp will start producing industrial-quality lactic acid using its new proprietary biotechnology processes in early 2012, the company said on Thursday.

“Our research into lactic acid is now so far advanced that the first semi-industrial plant is already going into operation at the beginning of 2012,” the company said in its 2010–2011 interim report, released on 12 August.

The report did not give further details of the location of the lactic acid plant or its capacity.

Uhde Biotechnology, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp, has been developing processes to produce lactic acid, the precursor to polylactic acid (PLA), from bacterial cultures since 2006. It already runs a pilot 500 tonne/year PLA plant at Guben, near Brandenberg in Germany, and is building a €16m ($23m) facility at the same site.

Neither ThyssenKrupp nor Uhde could confirm that the Guben facility was the plant referred to in the report when contacted by ICIS.

Pyramid Bioplastics, a joint venture of Switzerland’s Pyramid Technologies and German Bioplastics of Germany, is also in the process of developing a 60,000 tonne/year PLA plant at Guben using Uhde technology.

($1 = €0.70)

By: Peter Salisbury
+44 20 8652 3214

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