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How Ingeo is Made

Nature looks at greenhouse gases, like atmospheric carbon, as a feedstock, a raw material. It's what trees, plants, and coral reefs, are built from. At NatureWorks, we're doing the same thing – using our best technologies to turn greenhouse gases into a portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) performance materials called Ingeo.

feedstock option 1
Our Process Starts with Greenhouse Gases
Nature looks at greenhouse gases, like atmospheric carbon, as a feedstock, a raw material. It's what trees, plants, and coral reefs, are built from. At NatureWorks, we're doing the same thing – using our best technologies to turn greenhouse gases into a portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) performance materials called Ingeo.
bioplastics feedstocks today
Today

We use plants like corn, cassava, sugar cane or beets to capture and sequester CO2 transforming it into long-chain sugar molecules.

bioplastics feedstocks future
Now Assessing

Our R&D team is assessing new technology to skip plants and use microorganisms to directly convert greenhouse gases into lactic acid.

feedstock option 2
Creating Lactic Acid, the Building Block of Ingeo
lactic acid
The plants are put through a milling process extracting the starch (glucose). Enzymes are added to convert the glucose to dextrose via a process called hydrolysis. Microorganisms then ferment this dextrose into lactic acid.
feedstock option 3
Transforming Lactic Acid to Lactide
natureworks lactide
A proprietary two-step process transforms lactic acid molecules into rings of lactide, which is a valuable chemical on its own and the core of our customizable platform of chemical intermediates.
feedstock option 4
Polymerizing Lactide into Ingeo PLA
In the process of polymerization, the lactide ring is opened and linked together to form the long chain of polylactide polymer we call Ingeo. We form this long chain of Ingeo PLA into pellets that are shipped around the world to our customers and partners who transform them into a wide-range of innovative products including coffee capsules, yogurt cups, baby wipes, and appliances.
Ingeo polylactic acid

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Where to Buy

Looking to buy Ingeo biopolymer?

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Looking for products made with Ingeo?

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