What is PLA?
The revolutionary biomaterial PLA is made of long molecular chains of the polymer polylactide. Polylactide (PLA) can be found in different natural products such as as natural raw materials, agricultural wastes and non-food plants. The more common name for the unused natural sugars in vegetal materials is starch.
How is starch formed ?
The leafs of green plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Sunlight provides the energy to transform CO2 and water to sugar molecules and oxygen (= photosynthesis). These sugars are used as fuel for the plants; unused sugar is stored as starch an can be harvested.
By means of a natural fermentation process microorganism can convert the starch into lactic acid . Lactic acid molecules can be linked and form the monomer lactide which on its’ turn can link together to a long chain of polylactide molecules.
This ever 100% natural material is shaped into granulate which De Saedeleir is extruding into fibres (non chemical heat process) . A further mechanical needling process will transform the fibers into bio-nonwovens or biomats . The electricity needed for these non-chemical processes is for 60% from own windmills.
The biononwovens produced by De Saedeleir are 100% biodegradable and 100%compostable. An Ok Compost certificate has been awarded by Vinçotte.
At the end of the life cycle the biomats will biodegrade into useful organic components for the plants. No synthetic elements will stay in the environment or in the soil.
|OK Compost certificate||OK Compost certificate Hortaflex weed control.pdf (828,6 kB)|
|PLA versus synthetic variants||PLA versus synthetic variants.pdf (30,4 kB)|