NatureWorks will open a new headquarters and advanced biopolymer research center in Plymouth, Minnesota, in response to increasing expansion in the market for sustainable biomaterials.
Its additional laboratory capabilities will aid research into the whole circular lifecycle of Ingeo biopolymers, from next-generation fermentation through novel applications and enhanced functionality.
The company's improved R&D skills will also aid in the development and operation of its new fully integrated Ingeo PLA manufacturing plant in Thailand. The Thai factory, which is planned to operate in 2024, will have an annual capacity of 75,000 tonnes of Ingeo biopolymer and will produce the whole Ingeo grade portfolio.
Rich Altice, president and CEO of NatureWorks, said that in the face of these difficult circumstances, they've developed a facility that will facilitate research, creativity, and collaboration between them, their partners, and the market. As the pressing demand for practical, safe solutions to address climatic and environmental concerns posed by plastics and chemicals grows, these additional facilities will assist speed the pace of research and innovation.
The new space is designed to reflect NatureWorks' aim of creating sustainable, high-performance materials by using low-impact materials such as Ingeo lighting, flooring, and art, as well as water and energy-saving technology. With compostable food serviceware, coffee pods, and tea bags all available to visitors and employees, a powerful organics recycling collection system will redirect food waste away from landfills and toward compost.
Visitors will enjoy a revamped experience that fosters collaboration and exhibits instances of Ingeo in applications ranging from appliances to 3D printing to compostable and recyclable paper coatings, whether engaging in trials in the applications lab or interacting with personnel.
In February 2022, the company will relocate to its new headquarters and R&D facilities.
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