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NatureWorks expands biopolymer portfolio with Sulzer’s production equipment

Bioplastics maker NatureWorks announced that Sulzer, a Swiss industrial engineering and manufacturing firm, has shipped its proprietary production equipment to NatureWorks’ Blair, Nebraska facility that will enable the company to increase production of Ingeo biopolymer and produce new resins and lactides.

Production capacity of Nameplate Ingeo at Blair will increase from 140,000 to 150,000t per annum.

The new installed equipment’s commissioning is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013.

US-based NatureWorks’ chief operating officer Bill Suehr said the company has an extensive patent portfolio, which includes intellectual property around lactides, polymer and product applications.

"This project has been a natural marriage of each company’s assets, focused on a subset of NatureWorks’ patented process technology to bring both new capacity and new products to the market," said Suehr.

This development will facilitate NatureWorks to add new high-performance Ingeo resin grades in the injection molding and fibers arenas, and fibers and nonwoven products made from the new Ingeo grades 6260D and 6100D will have reduced shrinkage and better dimensional stability.