BioAmber and NatureWorks join forces for new bio-based polymers


NatureWorks and BioAmber have formed a joint venture (JV) company, AmberWorks, to develop and market a new family of performance bio-based compounded polymers.

NatureWorks will bring its established customer relationships, commercial presence and developed applications in marketing new bio-based polymers to the JV.

BioAmber, which owns PLA/PBS compounding intellectual property, applies its biotechnology and chemical processing to convert renewable feedstock into chemicals, which are used in plastics, food additives, and personal care products.

BioAmber president and CEO Jean-Francois Huc said: "The AmberWorks JV builds on BioAmber's core business: the production of cost competitive, renewable chemicals that include succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol.

"Our novel PBS compounding technology has enabled us to forward integrate into polymers and our partnership with NatureWorks will strengthen and accelerate market access for our growing portfolio of renewable solutions," Huc added.

As part of the JV, NatureWorks plans to market a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades, which are designed for food service ware applications.

NatureWorks will also provide samples of developmental grades, which will be used in thermoforming and injection-molding processes.

Beyond food service, the further formulated solutions optimised for other applications will also be evaulated over the coming 12-24 months, NatureWorks said.

NatureWorks will commercialise AmberWorks' developed compounded PLA/PBS resin grades through its commercial organisation as new and distinct solutions within its Ingeo portfolio of products.

NatureWorks president and CEO Marc Verbruggen said: "The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously difficult to address.

"The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of different applications," Verbruggen added.