Polylactide (PLA) - a new way of production

S. Jacobsen, Ph Degée, H. G. Fritz, Ph Dubois, Robert Jérôme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poly(lactide) (PLA), a biodegradable aliphatic polyester with excellent properties for different polymer applications, has been used mostly in the biomedical field, mainly because of its high price, resulting from expensive polymerization and purification techniques. Although this polymer can play a major role in future markets for biodegradable polymers, the current high price has to be reduced significantly to at least $4 US/kg. Therefore, this paper aims to partially review the polymerization techniques traditionally used in PLA synthesis and to propose new developments that enable us to produce these polymers by an innovative process for just a portion of the costs traditionally charged, using reactive extrusion techniques in a closely intermeshing co-rotating twin screw extruder. This paper gives an overview of attainable mechanical properties and future markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1311-1319
Number of pages9
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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