December 30, 2013

Cellulac to build lactic acid plant

The countdown for 2014 begins and I hope next year will bring in revenue for the blog (for the first time in 6 years!). This woman needs to eat!

Anyway, I had a really interesting interview with Ireland-based industrial biochemicals company Cellulac as it recently announced its plans to build a lactic acid acid facility in a former Irish brewery site in Dundalk owned by Great Northern Brewery.  The facility will initially produce 20 ktpa of ethyl lactate, (D-) lactic acid and (L+) lactic acid starting June 2014.  Capacity is expected to increase to 100 ktpa by 2016.

The interesting information here is about the market on (D-) lactic acid. According to CEO Gerard Brandon, the polylactic acid (PLA) industry is increasingly using combination of (D-) and (L+) lactic acid, which offer more performance advantages such as heat tolerance compared to just using L-lactic acid. However, (D-) lactic acid is still small with very few producers worldwide.  Cellulac said it has several proprietary technologies throughout the entire end-to-end production that will enable its new facility to manufacture (D-) lactic acid at 40% below current producers' costs. It will also be the biggest production facility for (D-) lactic acid worldwide.

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