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NatureWorks Introduces Its Next Generation Polymer Grade Lactide

MINNETONKA, Minn. — October 24, 2013 — NatureWorks, the largest producer of biobased lactides, announced today world scale availability of its new Ingeo™ M700, a high-purity, polymer-grade lactide rich in meso-lactide. Ingeo M700 has been designed to package and deliver performance and functionality all in one unique molecule. This is different than previous industry approaches, which have attempted to deliver the functionality requested by the market with mixtures of two different materials, L-lactide and D-lactide.

"A few producers have offered what is described chemically as racemic or 'DL' lactide," said Dr. Manuel Natal, global segment leader for lactide derivatives at NatureWorks. "Compared to those lactides, Ingeo M700 is a next generation solution in terms of processing efficiency, cost effectiveness and, in a number of applications, higher end-product performance." 

Ingeo M700 lactide can be used as an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous resins, grafted substrates, resin additives and modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, printing toners, surfactants, thermosets and solvents. Ingeo M700's melting point is below 60°C, compared to racemic lactide's melting point of nearly 130°C, and L- and D-lactide's around 97°C. Providing a product with a lower melting point allows NatureWorks to supply processors with a more effective chemical intermediate on a number of different levels. For example, because of its lower processing temperatures, Ingeo M700 offers more energy efficient and generally easier manufacturing processes to deliver ester functionality and, because it is effectively an anhydrous form of lactic acid, processors will not have to deal with water when using Ingeo M700.

Ingeo M700 is up to two times more susceptible to ring-opening reactions than L-, D- or racemic lactides, which can mean less catalyst usage, lower reaction temperatures, faster reaction time and improved throughput. It can be processed below 80°C, which under most circumstances eliminates the need to handle expensive solid particles and allows easier processing.

For samples and additional information about Ingeo M700 meso-lactide, contact Dr. Manuel Natal at (952) 562-3315, or manuel_natal@natureworksllc.com. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworks) for the latest updates. The international Ingeo users' forum Innovation Takes Root will be held February 17-19, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.

Posted October 29, 2013

Source: Natureworks LLC

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