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NatureWorks attracts $150 million equity investment from leading Thailand company PTT Chemical

This new high performance Ingeo formulation offers the ease of 3D printing associated with PLA filament to create industrial tools and jigs for manufacturing, electronics, toys, prototyping, and more.

MINNETONKA, Minn., September 13, 2012 – A peer-reviewed article appearing in the journal of Polymer Degradation and Stability concludes that Ingeo™ biopolymer is essentially stable in landfills with no statistically significant quantity of methane released. This conclusion was reached after a series of tests to ASTM D5526 and D5511 standards that simulated a century’s worth of landfill conditions.

"This research is the latest in a series of NatureWorks initiatives aimed at understanding and documenting the full sustainability picture of products made from Ingeo," said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO, NatureWorks. "We work with a cradle-to-cradle approach to zero waste. What this means in terms of landfill diversion, for example, is ideally that Ingeo foodservice ware would be composted in order to enable the landfill diversion of a food-residual stream, and that Ingeo resins and fibers would be mechanically or chemically recycled and not landfilled. However, these systems are still emerging and developing. The reality today is that a percentage of Ingeo products end up in landfills. And now we can say with certainty that the environmental impact of that landfilling, in terms of greenhouse gas release, is not significant."

Verbruggen added that several months ago Ingeo was the first biopolymer to receive tandem certifications for sustainable agricultural practices in growing feedstock. "NatureWorks is looking at sustainability from a 360-degree perspective – from sustainable agriculture to facilitating sustainable end-of-life scenarios for Ingeo bioplastic and fiber."

Two scenarios tested

Conditions in landfills can vary considerably by geography, management practices, and age of waste. As a result, researchers Jeffery J. Kolstad, Erwin T.H. Vink and Bruno De Wilde, and Lies Debeer of Belgium-based Organic Waste Systems performed two different series of tests spanning a broad spectrum of conditions. The first was at 21˚ C (69.8˚ F) for 390 days at three moisture levels. The first series did not show any statistically significant generation of biogas, so the team decided to push the stress tests to a higher and more aggressive level and instituted a series of high solids anaerobic digestion tests. Today, some landfills are actively managed to act as "bioreactors" to intentionally promote microbial degradation of the waste, with collection and utilization of the by-product gas. To capture this scenario, the second series of tests were designed to simulate high solids anaerobic digestion under optimal and significantly accelerated conditions and were performed at 35˚ C (95˚ F) for 170 days. While there was "some" biogas released in this aggressive series of tests, the amount released was not statistically significant according to the peer reviewed research paper. Both series of tests were designed to represent an examination of what could happen under a range of significantly accelerated anaerobic landfill conditions and were roughly equivalent to 100 years of conditions in a biologically active landfill.

Download the complete 10-page study, Assessment of anaerobic degradation of Ingeo polylactides under accelerated landfill conditions. Products made from Ingeo span multiple industries and categories, including packaging, electronics, clothing, house wares, health and personal care items, semi-durable products, and the foodservice industry. View this special edition Ingeo LookBook for a sampling of the latest Ingeo innovations. To learn more about Ingeo and NatureWorks, visit natureworksllc.com. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworksllc) for the latest updates.

About NatureWorks

NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. With a current Ingeo capacity of 140,000 tons, NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. NatureWorks production of Ingeo uses significantly less non-renewable energy, and generates significantly lower CO2 emissions than all traditional oil based polymers. NatureWorks remains wholly owned by Cargill pending regulatory approval of the agreement.

Details are available at www.natureworksllc.com.

About PTT Chemical plc

PTT Chemical Public Company Limited is a fully-integrated petrochemical and chemical company, combining visionary leadership and innovation in the chemical industry. PTT Chemical aspires to develop sustainable growth based on social benefit and global environmental standards under its vision to be the “Leading chemical company for better living through innovative technology and people.

Details are available at www.pttchemgroup.com.

PTT Chemical was advised by HSBC in this transaction.

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing our global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges. For more information, go to: www.cargill.com

Cargill was advised in this transaction by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

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Ingeo and the Ingeo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

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 Steve Sterling

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 Steve Sterling

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 Pauline Ning

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 Daisuke Takabatake